5:30 in big red numbers. It was taunting me. My body still thinks its Daylight Savings Time. Leave me alone. 5:31. Dammit.
Suffice it to say, I left early. The Mule and I went a half mile to the middle school down the street. I parked right in front of the door to the polls. My delegate, a democrat, was standing there in a Republican cloth coat that would make Pat Nixon proud. After he finished school he rode his bike across the country. Based on his comments on an interview I gave to the Alexandria Patch online newspaper, he doesn’t quite get cycling as a means of transportation. I will endeavor to edjumacate him over the next few years. He got my vote because he was running against someone who strikes me as a raving religious lunatic.
The line was 3 people long. I was third. Like George Halas.
I voted and collected my sticker. Do they put a gold star on my ballot or a pony sticker?
I was off to greet the rising sun. On Park Terrace a big silver SUV pulled along side me. I heard a familiar voice. It was Reba, normally a bike commuter (and Friday Coffee Club regular). She had rolled down her passenger side window so we could have a rolling chat. More motorists should chat with cyclists. It would defuse the war on cars. After a few minutes, Reba drove away to mingle with the not-so-chatty cars on the George Washington Memorial Highway.
When I got to the highway the sun was peeking over the horizon. It stopped me in my tracks on the Dyke Marsh boardwalk.
A mile or so further along I looked over at the tree with the Belle Haven nest. Two bald eagles was taking in the sunrise. It’s been quite a long while since I’ve seen two in that tree.
I reached down to get a drink of water. No bottle. Oops. Thirst ensued.
I buzzed along the Mount Vernon Trail seeing my regulars much farther to the north than usual, because of my early departure. Nancy “Two Sheds” Duley was startled to see me and gave me her patented wave. (Inside occupational humor.)
The rest of the ride was blissfully devoid of nasty, cold headwinds. A block from my office a Mercedes ran a red light to take a right through the crosswalk that was occupied by about 20 pedestrians, The Mule and I. (It’s legal to ride on the sidewalks in Rosslyn. I checked.)
After a day of magnificent bureaucracy, I headed out. There was still a good 15 minutes of daylight. The trees along the trail are hanging on to their fall foliage for yet another day. It’s been a good show. I tried not to think of the depressing gray and wind and cold that will become the norm for the next three months.
Then it was dark, And the business at hand was following the big white spot in the trail ahead of me. Yes, my master. It’s like riding through a virtual tunnel. Then suddenly, my house appears. Home, warm and dry.