Tailwinds

My eyes open. I see the sunlight through the bedroom window. What’s going on? Must have slept in. What a sloth. I roll over. The big red numbers on my bedside alarm clock blare

6:45

Whoa.

Another lazy morning follows. Crosswords, newspapers, surfing the TV and the laptop, meditation and physical therapy delay me long enough to avoid the coldest hours of the day.

I put on a mask and venture out to the hardware store to pick up the lawn mower blade that I had left to be sharpened. The cold wind sharpens my mind as I pedal Little Nellie. It takes only a moment in the store to retrieve the blade and strap it to the bike’s rear rack.

I am grateful for the step through frame of the bike. Swinging my leg over the back end would risk an unpleasant encounter with the business end of the blade which sticks out of the back end of the rack.

I take off my mask and return home to drop off the blade and switch bikes. I switch to The Mule and light out for an easy spin. Northwest. Into the cold wind. Am I dressed warmly enough?

Pedal, pedal.

Yesterday’s soaking rain has left every yard and park soggy. The leafless trees are no match for the clear blue sky.

I ride ten miles to a book store. After locking my steed, I head for the store. I stop and cuss. I need a mask. I go back to my bike and quickly discover that the mask I had on this bike is on the hardware store bike.

No books for me.

Off I ride, a bit frustrated by my thoughtlessness. And annoyed for the umpteenth time by the damned pandemic.

By now the temperature is in the mid 40s. Not too bac. When I finally turn around to head for home, the wind is at my back.

No longer chilled, I take my time. I hear the front brake rubbing the rim. I ignore it. I have a tailwind. That’s how tailwinds work.

For a year we’ve been riding into Covid headwinds. Vaccines are about to become widely available. More tailwinds.

The sun sets tonight at

6:02

Whoa.

Two for Tuesday

I had an 8:30 meeting so I had to get on the road a few minutes early. It was raining, but warm. I hopped on Little Nellie and headed out into a blasting headwind, then turned north. For the rest of the ride that blast pushed me through rain and puddles all the way to DC. I was momentarilly chilled in Old Town. That sensation fell away once I got back on the Mount Vernon Trail.

The MVT was empty today. Riding in 55-60 rainy weather is really not bad as long as you have the right clothes on. I felt superb, realizing that the wind was doing most of the work.

My office had a strategy meeting in a conference room on the 24th floor of an office building near the Key Bridge in Rosslyn. We could see the planes flying toward National Airport. They look so close to the building from the ground but they are far above it as they pass. As the meeting plodded along I could see the back edge of the storm coming toward us. Then there was a cloud burst and the windows were covered with a sheet of water. I was glad I was indoors.

The meeting ended at 4:30 and an urgent family matter sent me home right afterward. Lucky for me, the wind had changed direction. Now, without the rain, I had a second tailwind. I saw Chris from Friday Coffee Club as he made his way toward Rosslyn on the MVT. Judging from the determined look on his face, he was working hard riding into that wind.

Little Nellie, panniers and all, just trucked the whole way home.  I didn’t mind the wet shorts I was wearing. Or the fact that, even with a tailwind, I can’t maintain any decent speed these days. I will blame it on the fact that I forgot my asthma medicine this morning, not my age and disturbingly wide waist line.

 I am not complaining. Even the rain can’t take the joy out of a two-tailwind commute.