The Infinite Bike Commute

It’s Friday. Had to get up early. Had to get out of the house. Conversation and smiling faces awaited at Swings House of Caffeine. So off I rode on Big Nellie. She was missing me after three days of wet-ish weather.

All this switching back and forth has cost me my recumbent legs. Ask anybody who rides one. It’s true. You use different leg muscles on a ‘bent. Spinning is the key. Mashing the pedals is bad. Your arms are rendered useless. They really should put a steering wheel on ‘bents instead of a handlebar because it feels more like driving, except when your going downhill.. Downhills are like luge runs. Woosh!

One of the bald eagles was perched in the tree adjacent to the tree with the Belle Haven nest. He was just hanging out, chewing on his talons, and having a smoke. Actually, I made that part up. It’s hard to tell what he was doing. My suspicion is that eagles perch in trees at sunrise to warm up a bit before heading off to the office. Eagles are not allowed to work at Yahoo.

Somehow I managed to make all the lights going up 15th Street. This is a first. I felt like the caffeine gods were on my side. I ahd to get creative at the White House. Crews closed off Pennsylvania Avenue as they disassembled the viewing stands for the inaugural parade. I rode a windy path through Lafayette Park. Some tourists were walking toward me. A little boy spotted Big Nellie and his eyes widened. You could hear his head saying, “Wow!”  I waved at him. As I went past, I heard him jabbering to his mom about that cool bike. In five more years, he’d bea tween and would be telling her, “That guy looked like such a dork.”

I arrived at Swings ready to medicate. As usual the crowd was chatty. Espresso and the prospect of the weekend perks (sorry) everybody up.

Today’s surprise attendee was Reba. Reba lives down near me, but I haven’t seen her in ages. Welcome back! Bob (Don’t-Call-Me-Rachel) Cannon was at the same table. Screw Siontz and Kirk; come to Friday Coffee Club for all your lawyering needs. We also had Chris, Ricky Lee, Will, John (Mr. Hoppy 100) and Aaron at our table.

I had a chance to talk to GOTB (Groupie-of-the-Blog) Kirsten (officially the bestest hugger at Friday Coffee Club). She keeps asking me to take her on the Rootchopper tour, the one where I summon bald eagles and members of the #bikedc community out of thin air. If I had any cartilage left in my knees I’d do a swap. I’d have her give me the Ultrarunnergilr tour of trail running.  In my 20s and early 30s I ran a lot (My marathon PR was 3:04:29. Never forget it.), but nearly all of it on the roads. Trail running sounds like a lot of fun, although I am not sure I could have ever done the 50K run (over 30 miles) that she did last weekend.

The hope is that when I ride to Rosslyn from Swings I get to go across the TR Bridge without stopping. This has only happened once in the last year. The trail on the bridge is too narrow for safe passage of two bikes so I always end up pulling over and stopping. I will get points for this when I go to bike commuter heaven.

Considering it was Friday and I was tired and grumpy by day’s end, the ride home went lickety split. (Yes. I just said lickety split.) I had a consistent tailwind so I broke 20 miles per hour on several stretches between Rosslyn and Old Town. Yowza.

In Old Town, I checked the flexipost that I hit last night. It looked none the worse for wear. I did notice, however, that it was positioned in the middle of the street directly in line with the right edge of the trail. That explains why I hit it (well, that and my general incompetence). I veered to the right to avoid a couple of cyclists cutting across my direction of travel. When I leaned to head back to the left I hit the post.  The reflective material on the post was facing away from me, which explains why my headlight didn’t illuminate it.

I managed to avoid all obstacles, foreign and domestic, on the rest of the ride home. It was another 150 mile bike commute week.

There was a lot of talk about retirement at the office. Retirement is an infinite bike commute.