Winter Bike to Work Day

Apparently today is International Winter Bike to Work Day. It’s that day of the year when the wheelpeople of the southern hemisphere ride around in shorts to mock us in the frozen north. Yesterday was a planned day off and it was a good thing because it was cold and very windy. Today was colder still but the winds were light, my legs were fresh, and the antibiotics were still kicking in.

I rarely climb out of the saddle but I did it three times on the way to work today. I am feeling my oats. Nothing like having two functioning lungs to get my ya-yas out.

About 100 yards from my driveway I was stopped in my tracks by the most amazing blazing sunrise I’d seen in ages. I pulled over to admire it. As I was pulling out my camera for a picture a motorcade of school buses and cars came by and obscured my view. So you’ll have to take my word on it.

I banged a left and climbed a short hill out of the saddle. A car came up behind me and honked loudly. It’s a residential neighborhood with narrow streets but Mr. BMW was bound and determined to demonstrate is automotive superiority complex. Do people who drive like this realize what incredible asses they are?


I pedaled on into the cold winter air. It was in the 20s but I had dressed nearly flawlessly for the occasion. I had extra high socks on under my rain pants. I had chemical hand warmers between my shoes and my overboots. I had three layers on my head: skating cap, Buff, and jacket hood. The only part of me that got cold was my thumbs which never seemed to recover from taking this picture of The Mule at its usual sunrise posing place in Dyke Marsh.

There was a dusting of snow on the boards of this bridge but I didn’t slip. I just chugged away to the office arriving surprisingly comfortable.

The ride home feature gray skies, a headwind, and ten degrees less cold. I enjoyed the grind except for two close passes by cars whose drivers were in a big rush to get home. One, of course, was a BMW. Ask any bike commuter what cars have the most obnoxious drivers and you’ll hear “BMW” more often than not.

I made it home in one piece with a smile on my face. Not a bad way to end a workweek.

I hope you fine readers have a splendid weekend.  I plan on doing as much..



Sick Day Bike Rule

Living 15 miles from the office, I have a personal rule about calling in sick: If I am too sick to ride to work, I will call in sick. I have violated this rule dozens of times Not today.

Mrs. Rootchopper has been sick for two weeks with a persistent cough, aches, and pains and fatigue. She took two sick days last week which last happened in the Clinton administration. I keep telling her to go to the doctor but she hates her doctor, who was foisted on her by the dissolution of our primary care doctor’s practice several years ago. I went to him once then decided to bolt. He reminds me of Jaba the Hutt.

Last year I had a cough all winter into spring. This developed into a respiratory infection, severe chest pains, and a trip to the ER by ambulance at 3 in the morning. The ER doctor gave me a nebulizer treatment and a prescription for antibiotics. I was better in under a week.

So I didn’t want to go through that again. I have been sick on and off all winter. I think some of it is allergy related because of the mild winter. Regardless I want my drugs now thank you.

So I slept until noon then went to the doctor. He gave me some antibiotics and swabbed my nose (not a lot of fun) for flu. The test came back negative. My medications are

  • Antibiotics for three days
  • Saline rinse for my nose (neti pot)
  • Zyrtec at bedtime
  • Microdosing LSD

I made the last one up. (Not that I wouldn’t want to give it a go.)

At the drug store my prescriptions (I also filled one for eye drops) were free. This is sick day karma in action.

In the process of tweeting about my illness, I discovered that I have two twitter followers who are nurses and lawyers. Go figure. Is this a thing?

One of the nurse lawyers said I should take tomorrow off, paint my nails and go shoe shopping. Do my tweets betray a latent queer side? Help me, Klarence!

So as of this writing I have taken my antibiotic du jour. Next is my neti pot. My asthma medicine. Followed by a nice long, hot shower. Then I get in my Washington Nationals jammies (pitchers and catchers report in 10 days!!), and curl up like a ball. Zzzzzzz.

I am packed for a bike commute tomorrow.



Some Things You Can’t Miss

  • I was one sick unit this morning. I have a cold that has morphed into a sinus problem. It’s been going away and coming back. I might have to go for some scotch if this doesn’t get better soon. I broke out the neti pot thingie (not an actual neti pot but does the same thing) and flushed my brains. I felt better. Probably all in my head though. (Oooh, did he pun again? Sorry.)
  • Of course, the sickness didn’t keep me from bike commuting in 26 degree weather. Hey, I had a tailwind. No way I’d pass that up. So I made it to Dyke Marsh at sunrise. Never gets old. Note the frozen river. Image may contain: outdoor
  • The rest of the ride to work was an ice free slog except for a treacherous patch on the street at the north end of Old Town. It was just there in the middle of the lane for no reason. I rode over it rather than try to maneuver around it. No slippage.
  • I am happy to report that the scofflaw car parker who blocked the bike lane at 420 North Union Street is no longer scoffing the law. I’m watching for any backsliding.
  • I made it to work in one piece, did my thing for 8-ish hours, and headed for home. While I was in transit I was invited to my third happy hour this week. So on Thursday we take a departing co-worker out for a drink. Then I go do a volunteer thing at my kids’ high school, then I swing by the WABA happy hour in Adams Morgan. Then Friday night there’s a birthday happy hour for a friend downtown. If this doesn’t cure my cold nothing will.
  • When I got home, I checked my Twitter feed to find all this stuff about Russia and the president elect and golden showers and kompromat and such. Somebody put acid in my Dayquil. Come on, fess up.
  • So sick or not, I’m riding to work tomorrow. I may be barely making 10 miles per hour but it’s going up to the 50s and I’ll have a tailwind and I won’t be exposed to any more of Trumpster fires for about four hours. Bike commuting has its benefits.