Return from Kawledge

I spent the long weekend plus a day visiting my daughter who is a freshman at Butler University in Indianapolis. She seems to be a pretty happy camper, especially for a first semester freshman. She took us on a walk through the gardens and the canal next to campus. They were beautiful. The canal reminded me of the Erie Canal near Rochester that I rode during my 2004 tour.

We attended a football game and a basketball game. The football team scored 72 points (they won by 60).. The visiting basketball team scored 58 (they lost by 31).  It’s not everyday you see a football team outscore a basketball team. The basketball game was held in Hinckle Fieldhouse where the movie Hoosiers was filmed. It’s a beautiful old building with surprisingly good sight lines. Our seats many rows up on the corner of the court were angled in.

We also ate way too much food and saw two movies (Thor II and About Time), both of which were okay.

On the 9+ hour drive each way we saw scores of dead deer on the highways. It was one gory carcass after another.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, I got about three hours of sleep last night. The ride to work into a cold 20-mile-per-hour wind  was a crude reminder of last March when the wind seemed to be in my face constantly. At the end of my less than stellar day at the office I was feeling lousy. I dreaded the ride home but the robust tailwind was just what I needed. I managed to avoid six ninjas along the trail. When I got south of Old Town I put it on autopilot, following the white circle formed by my headlight. I was in such a daze that I momentarily couldn’t figure out where I was on the trail. As it turned out I was a good half mile farther south than I thought.

All of which is to say, I need to get to bed. Once this is posted, I am popping a couple of Nyquil and riding to the land of Nod.

Blow Me Down

Har. The wind she was a blowin’, My timbers were shivering. Big Nellie was squawking. We rode to work anyway.

I could tell the headwind was bad when I rode down the Park Terrace hill and could barely make 30 miles per hour. I mean, cars were gaining on me!  It was humiliating.  I timed my arrival at the GW Parkway crossing perfectly and made it to the Mount Vernon Trail without slowing. (Technically this is illegal, but it’s definitely safer than waiting around for a speeding car to run me over.)

The ride in had little wildlife other than Nancy Duley who appeared on Union Street in Old Town.  More than half the time I encounter her is in a two block section of Union Street. I am begining to think she is tracjing me with GPS or something.

I fought the wind and the wind won. I fought the wind and the wind won.

Across from the Washington Monument a bald eagle cruised over my head.  It was positively ‘merican, I tell you.

I was hoping for a tailwind on the way home. I got a swirling, whirling vortex instead. Just getting out of Rosslyn took serious skill.  I’d get hit head on with a gust, then from the side, then the rear. I was worried I’d get yanked into the path of a car. The taxis blocking the bike lane didn’t help at all. I yelled at one as I passed just to make sure he saw me.

The first few miles on the Mount Vernon Trail went by fast, except for the brif slowdown to get through a gaggle of lethargic geese. I rang my bell and one goose just wasn’t interested in getting out of the way. Then it turned and flapped its wings once and waddled out of the way. I wonder if it was an expectant momma goose. 

The rest of the ride was ride of the mill. A few geese here and there. A mallard or two.

Normally, I use this blog to vent my spleen about jerks on the trail or on the street, but other than the taxis in Rosslyn, today was jerk free. In fact, more than half of the people passing me this morning said “hello”. 

Two young women separately riding upright bikes gave me big smiles as they passed me from the front. They must have been taken my raw sex appeal and innate charm.  Or, possibly, they thought I looked exceptionally stupid dressed like a hobo, riding a faired recumbent that was being blown all over the trail.