Daylight Retired Time

I’ve now been retired almost six months. If it hadn’t been for physical therapy and medical appointments, I would have no idea what day of the week it is.  (I’d also be somewhere warm, but that’s another story.) As for daylight savings time, who cares? The worst thing about standard time was riding to or from work (and for a couple of weeks each year both to and from) in the dark. Since I now get to determine where I go and when, the clock is of little concern.

Today, however, was a little different. I wanted to do some minor chores around the house, do my physical therapy, watch the Nats spring training game on TV, and go for a bike ride. I didn’t have time to squeeze my ride in before the game. But wait. It’s daylight savings time. I did the physical therapy and chores in the morning. Then I watched the game at 1 p.m. It was over by 4 p.m. and I had 3 1/2 hours of daylight left. And that’s not all; it was warmer in the afternoon than it was before the game. So I rode 24 1/2 miles afterwards.

My apologies to my bike commuting friends who will ride to work in the cold dark pre-dawn hours tomorrow. You’re tough. I’ll be thinking of you when I roll over in bed. Daylight Retired Time is hard.



So Much to See

After yesterday’s long ride, my eyes were bloodshot and glassy. I don’t really know what was going on, but I decided to take some Nyquil and hit the hay early at 9. I woke up at 5:59 less than a minute before the alarm was set to go off. Not bad.

I expected my legs to be dead during the ride on aboard Big Nellie, but the tailwind gods were with me. I decided to check out the Morningside nest. On the way there, cars were suspiciously rolling slowly behind me. One was driven by Nancy Duley, who I normally see biking on the Mount Vernon Trail. I guess she prefers to bike commute in the rain and cold. No problem. We’ll serve some up for you tomorrow, Nancy.

There was no eagle action to be seen at the Morningside nest, so I took advantage of the winding downhill and let Big Nellie do her street luge thing. Several spots on the trail were covered with debris or water. The river had gone over its banks overnight thanks to snow melt, rain and high tide.

I had hope of spotting a bald eagle at the Belle Haven nest and I got a bonus. A pair of bald eagles, one big, the other small were in the tree with the nest. I hope it’s a mating pair.  Other than more evidence of flooding including a few rather deep sections of standing water the ride in was routine. A tall man on a Tern (a brand of folding bike, not a seagoing bird) had the audacity to pass me. He must have been getting a bigger push from the wind.  And he was going downhill. Or, maybe, I’m old, fat and slow.

The weatherman was even handed, giving me a headwind for the ride home. No worries. As I turned onto the MVT, I saw Ryan from Friday Coffee Club. At least, I think that’s his name. I suck at putting names to faces. (If you are reading this, let me know if I am right. Thanks.) As I approached the Memorial Bridge, I was passed by Chris, another FCCer. Chris was coming toward me with the tailwind and he was flying. Go, dude. Near the Humpback Bridge I was passed by Eric, an attorney at my old office. Eric was enjoying the tailwind too. Maybe I should turn around.

Seeing three people I know in quick succession rarely happens during my commute. I forged ahead into the wind. Near Daingerfield Island, I spotted an osprey overhead. He was shopping for his dinner, I am sure. Ospreys look impressive when they are overhead, but when you see one along side a bald eagle they look rather small. I once saw an osprey attack a bald eagle in Dyke Marsh. Dumb osprey.

As I approached Old Town near the south end of the power plant, I saw a woman cycling toward me. She was waving at me. I recognized her face, but I couldn’t put a name to it. (If you read this, please let me know. It’s going to drive me nuts.) She looked like she was enjoying the tailwind too.  

As I rode through Belle Haven Park, I came to realize that something was missing; the huge flocks of Canada geese from two weeks ago have thinned out considerably. We are left with the normal number of geese, and some mallards and cormorants.

I shouldn’t complain. I know where some geese nest along the MVT at Dyke Marsh. I should be seeing some goslings pretty soon. Another reason for not complaining is the fact that I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a black swoosh in the sky. I through the trees along the river and there it was, another bald eagle.  It was probably leaving the Morningside nest.

As much as I enjoyed the ride home and seeing all those familiar faces and birds, I have to admit the best party of the ride was not being blinded by headlights. Daylight Savings Time is the best. Except when it rains like a bitch. But that is a tale for the morrow.