There and back again

Today was perfect riding weather. I rode The Mule to the county recycling center in Lorton, Virginia to dispose of some old motor oil and insecticide. The recycling center is next to the old Lorton Federal Prison and the massive mountain of trash at the county landfill. The prison was closed a few decades ago. The landfill keeps growing.

Yesterday I rode to Fort Washingtonin Maryland, It was a ride that involved several tough hills. Not surprisingly, my legs were not amused by today’s climbs on the way to the recycling station. A couple of the hills reminded me of the long grinding climbs that I did last summer in Colorado, Utah, Nevada, and California. Thankfully, I am near sea level hereabouts so I had no problem with oxygen debt.

I made it in one piece and did my civic duty, pouring about a half gallon of used lawn mower oil into the Vat of Grossness.

The recycling place is on an interesting road.

Maybe they should call the mountain of trash at the landfill Mount Doom.

For the record, Mordor has some of the biggest speed bumps you’ll ever see. They are more like tectonic bulges. You can really get a nice bounce out of them. The giant semis and garbage trucks practically moan when they go over them at 5 miles per hour.

For the record I didn’t call The Mule “My Precious” once.

My reward for a good deed done was the mostly downhill ride back, partly along Old Colchester Road. For about a mile, the roadway, newly paved, descends in a series of curves through a wooded area. 30 miles per hour through a tunnel of fall foliage. Ahhh.

The weatherman is calling for more near perfect weather for the next several days. My legs are going to fall off.

Re-cycle Ride

The weather was too nice to do something prudent like rest my back. I needed an excuse to go somewhere that was easy. I had three dead batteries from my old Nite Rider lights so I decided to take them to a place in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood that recycles them.

Before leaving home I did yoga session number two. All the same stuff as yesterday with three additional exercises added. Yesterday’s back bends looked not unlike the Washington Monument. Not exactly limber. Today was better. The three new exercises included one that I do every morning. The other two made me feel like the Tin Man. It’s going to take a few days to get things working right. Even so, my back felt pretty wonderful and I felt like I was 2 inches taller. Funny how standing straight up can do that for you.

The idea was to do a flat ride which means the Mount Vernon Trail to and from home. I figured the trail would be a zoo on a nice weekend day so I headed up Fort Hunt Road. On a whim I decided to ride over to Telegraph Road and cross into Alexandria there. This added two or three short hills to the ride. Until I got to Del Ray and found out the store doesn’t exist anymore.

Plan B was to ride to the Bradlee Shopping Center in the western part of Alexandria. I rode up King Street, up being the operative word here. Traffic was light but King Street is not much fun to bike on. The area around the shopping center is traffic hell and no place to be on a bike. 

As you have probably already figured out I survived. 

My back behaved the entire way until I dismounted. Ouch.  

I rode back through Park Fairfax, a development of apartments and town homes built over 50 years ago. I love this neighborhood but every single inch of curb space was taken up by cars. People had fewer cars back then. 

I had more strength in my legs and back today but after 20 miles I was sucking wind. Fighting your body is exhausting. I took the Mount Vernon Trail home to avoid any unnecessary hills. 

My dismount at home was most unpleasant. I was no longer standing straight but after a few minutes of rest and a hot shower I came back to vertical. 

Tomorrow I’ll only ride about 6 or 7 miles. I have to take one of our cars to the dealer which is only 3 1/2 miles from the office. Little Nellie will get the call. We’ll see if her normally back-unfriendly ride does any damage to my back.

You might think that all these posts about my bad back was getting me down. Pshaw, I say. This evening my friend Charmaine and I made arrangements to go to North Carolina for 3 days of riding near the coast during the first weekend of April. 

Spring, bring it ON!!!!