Errandonnee 2019: Take me out to the happy hour

Another day, another errand. The third Thursday of the month hereabouts means that it’s time for another BikeDC happy hour. This one was held on the Dew Drop Inn in northeast DC.

The festivities began at 5 which gave me all day to ponder happiness. What better way to do that than to go to an afternoon baseball game at Nationals Park with my daughter. Our seats were sweet, on the 300 level between home plate and the Nationals dugout.

View from 317

The game lasted 3 hours and the good guys won, but not without some ninth inning drama. No worries, Dr. Doolittle saved the day. After the game, I headed rode north past the Capitol. (Ho hum. Life in the capital of the free world.) I made my way to the Metropolitan Branch Trail which runs along the railroad corridor heading north from Union Station. Using the MBT allows bicyclists to bypass probably a dozen traffic lights. It’s sweet.

The Dew Drop Inn is at the current northern terminus of the MBT. It’s a bar in an small, old industrial building. Fortunately, it serves food. I had beer and a sandwich during the 90 minutes I was there. For all 90 minutes I sat in the direct sun and fried my forehead. Dumb. The picnic tables on the patio where we sat were covered with tree pollen. (We cleaned them off.)

I rode home with progressively less sunlight and seemingly more and more pollen. At times I had to slow to a crawl in order to get the pollen out of my eyes and throat. Once I cross the Potomac River, I added midges to my misery. For 12 miles. At least the weather was enjoyable.

Errand No. 8

Category: Social Call (2nd use)

Place: Third Thursday Happy Hour at the Dew Drop Inn

Observation: The Metropolitan Branch Trail is like a bicycle expressway in the heart of DC. No red lights. Only a couple of stop signs. Relatively flat.

Dew Drop
Photo by Ted Nigrelli

 

From a Scan to Afghanistan

So it snowed a little the other night. Mr. Outside (that would be me) stayed inside and rode for nearly 90 minutes in the basement.

Big fun.

Not.

Today the temperatures broke 40 degrees. Cowabunga!

I rode 21 miles on my Cross Check stopping so I could get ready to go to the hospital.

We’re having fun now.

I went in for a CT scan of my adrenal glands. (They are located atop the kidneys.) My doctors are looking to rule out cancer because some cancers increase the propensity for blood to clot.

The scan is pretty hot. Literally. You lie on a table that moves into a donut shaped scanner. You hold your breath and the scanner activates. The table gradually moves back out from under the donut. This takes about five seconds. After three passes, a contrasting agent is injected into a vein in your arm. The agent flows back into your heart and then get pumped throughout your body. As this happens you feel eerie warmth spreading through you system. The spreading takes a few seconds so you feel it gradually advancing. Next, you get moved back under the donut for another scan. The warmth dissipates and you get one more pass under the scanner.

I have no idea what the outcome was. The technician is not allowed to tell me. She did, however, seem pretty upbeat afterwards. I’d be surprised if they find any cancer.

Which, of course, leaves us wondering what caused the deep vein thrombosis in my calf that released the pulmonary embolisms into my lungs? Don’t you just love a mystery?

A few hours later I drove to DC to attend a #bikedc happy hour at District Hardware at the recently opened Wharf development along Washington Channel. District Hardware is one part hardware store, one part bike shop, and one part coffee bar with beer and wine. I am not making this up. What a concept.

There were a few dozen people at the happy hour, most of whom are involved in the friendly, somewhat loony winter bicycling competition known as Freezing Saddles. I knew perhaps a third of them. I can vouch for their loony-ness.

One of the attendees not involved in Freezing Saddles recently returned from a year abroad. I met Lis Wilson several years ago at Friday Coffee Club. She’s one of those people that make DC such an incredibly interesting place to live in. Lis recently returned from Kabul, Afghanistan. She spent much of her time confined to a compound for her safety so, although the work may have been rewarding, the living was rather tedious. It was a terrific surprise to see her. She shamed me into forgoing alcohol. L’chaim indeed. Welcome home, Lis. We missed you. Maybe next time you can spend a year in someplace a little less edgy like Omaha. Or Elmira.

Many thanks to Lis and the many others who expressed concern about my health. And to Joe and Rachel for organizing this get together. I needed a social fix.

 

 

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Well, I don’t know about dark but yesterday’s evening rush hour was Lena Horne stormy. Hail. Thunder. Lightning. Wind. Torrents of rain.

Just the thing for breaking in (or, perhaps breaking) a new bike commuter. So my co-worker Kelly set out  to beat the storm. She has a 40 minute commute and was determined to beat this storm as she had beat the previous two evening storms.

Her luck ran out.

She found herself seeking shelter under I-395 just north of Shirlington. Good idea. Yay, Kelly.

Alas, here is Kellyfloodwhere Four Mile Run is pinched by the underpass and the Four Mile Run trail. The creek had become a rage of white water. The waters began to rise over the artificial banks. Kelly found herself standing in eight inches of water.

Eek.

At least she took her predicament well. ‘

After a few minutes of terror, she rode home.  the storm had passed. The waters receded.

Home. Warm and dry.

After recovering her sanity and walking her faithful canine Paddington, she went back out and rode to the bike commuters’ Third Thursday Happy Hour in Shirlington.

Our end of a very long set of tables filled with bike commuters included Ed and Erin. I have been reading Erin;s blog for a while and looked forward to meeting her. It turns out she’s yet another member of the Rootchopper Prosopamnesia Club. We met on the Mount Vernon Trail last summer. I only began to connect her to the meeting after hearing her speak.

After happiness was achieved, Kelly went right and Ed, Erin, and I went left. I led the three of us over the hills in Alexandria. In Del Ray Erin veered off for home. Ed and I took my supersecret route through Old Town. South of the beltway, we took Fort Hunt Road and Sherwood Hall Lane instead of the MVT, because nothing makes beer in your belly feel quite as awful as some bicycle hill climbing.

I woke up extra early (my beer and black bean burger wanted nothing to do with a full night’s sleep) and rode to Friday Coffee Club with surprising spring in my legs.

Now if only I can get home without killing my legs so I can go on that hike tomorrow with Ultrarunnergirl. White Oak Canyon, here we come!.