Things I’m Learning on My Bike

It has been an eventful winter at the Rootchopper Institute of Bicycle Education.  Last week I learned that even when riding into a gale force wind, it is a good idea to look where you are going. Oddly, I now catch myself staring at the ground in front of me as I ride. I’ve never noticed that before. Riding into the back of a parked car and going ass over tea kettle is a rough way to learn. So is the prospect of losing my 19 year old steed to fatigue and stupidity. (What was I doing riding in a wind storm anyway?)

Today I learned that runners on the Mount Vernon Trail have their own personal relationships with God.  As it goes by National Airport, the Mount Vernon Trail is pinched between the airport fence and the George Washington Parkway (which, unlike the airport, was not renamed after the host of Death Valley Days, but I digress).  I was heading south, plodding along on Little Nellie like a prospector on a burro in the mountains of the old west. Coming toward me on the opposite side of the trail along the fence was a fit female runner. She was cruising along with ear plugs, lost in her running trance. Behind her came a man, about my age, a bike commuter with a head of steam.  He had just come off a bridge that carries the trail high over an airport access road. No warning. Zoom, right past the runner just as she was about to step to her left for some reason known only to her and her iPod. The cyclist just missed her.  “Jesus Fucking Christ!!!”  she yelled as she cringed toward the fence. She was lucky she didn’t get hit. The passing cyclist was lucky he didn’t crash into her. I was lucky they both didn’t collide into me. Just about the only good that came of the whole situation was that I learned that Jesus has a middle name.

It’s nearly spring time folks.  Time for all of us to pay attention (me included). Slow your roll (as Nici on WHFS used to say). Chill. Take the ear plugs out. Give a warning when passing. If we all don’t exercise a little common sense and pay attention to our surroundings, we’re going to have a miserable March.  And having your own personal Jesus, with or without a middle name, isn’t going to do you a damned bit of good as the EMTs disentangle our mangled bodies and machines.

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I Have a Bad Feeling about This

With two of my three bikes in the shop for repairs, I rode to work on Little Nellie, my Bike Friday New World Tourist. Nellie has little wheels so the ride is comparable to the bike I rode in 1st grade.  The upside of little wheels is the responsive steering and quick acceleration. The downside is the harsh ride (quite hard on my back) and the fact that little holes in the road pose a danger. 

I made it to work uneventfully, despite the fact that my left hand had trouble gripping the brake lever.  This was an after effect of my bike crash over the weekend. I also was kind of groggy from staying up late to watch the Academy Awards on TV. No worries. I made it in one piece and was even treated to a bald eagle sighting at the Belle Haven nest.  Seeing a bald eagle, majestic in the early morning light, perched high above the trail always makes my day..

During the day I received an email telling me that the Sequoia was ready for pick up. Excellent news, dude.  The ride home was considerably warmer than the morning commute but the head wind made for an honest bit of work. I noticed that the left hand was now functioning properly, no doubt the result of the ingestion of Vitamin I (ibuprofen) during the day.

I dropped Little Nelllie at home and jumped in the car to retrieve the Sequoia.  Fred, my long-time mechanic, had bent the fork back into place evenly. It felt fine but it was still about 1/2 inch to close to the frame.  My toes overlapped with the front wheel, surely a recipe for disaster. I returned the bike and we’ll see if Fred can salvage my baby.

If he can’t I have two options. Option one would be to buy a new fork. The odds of this working out are not real good. It’s a 19 year old bike after all.  Option two would be to say good bye to an old friend and buy a new bike. This is a nightmare, not because of the expense, but because I am an utterly incompetent consumer.   I suppose this is a good thing, because otherwise I’d have ten bikes instead of three. 

So will see if Fred can tweak the fork a bit more and go from there. Little Nellie gets the call again tomorrow. She doesn’t mind.  It’s lonely being home alone.

What a Maroon! A Utilitaire Gone Bad

Many years ago during Bike DC, I watched in amazement as a cyclist hammered up a long hill with his head down. Bam! Right into the back of a parked car. He did an Arte Johnson. As Bugs Bunny used to say, “What a maroon!”  Davis Phinney once did the same thing in the Tour de France.  He launched himself through the back window of a station wagon.  Another maroon!

How hard is it to avoid a stationary object? I mean really??

The day started out like any other Saturday.  I read the Post and managed to finish all three crossword puzzles including the tough one in the Style section of tomorrow’s paper.  Then I made a to do list and set out to do it.

Item 1 was to caulk some gaps in the concrete steps leading to the house.  I hate caulking but this worked out nicely.

Item 2 was to check my records on when our two Honda Accords last had oil changes.  We’re still good for a month on both cars so I didn’t have to take either in for service. 

Item 3 was to take the Tour Easy in to the Belle Haven Spokes Etc. shop for a new crank arm and pedal.  I chatted with Fred, a mechanic who has been fixing my bikes since the late 1980s when he was working at Metropolis in Shirlington.  Another mechanic ordered the crank arm and I left with hope that the Tour Easy will be on the road by next weekend.

So far, so good. Three items checked off.

Item 4 was a Utilitare ride.  I needed to get my 2011 copy of Turbo Tax and some file folders from Staples.  And on the way I’d pick up some tax forms for my kids at the library.  Then I’d back track to the drug store to buy some medicine.  Then a quick stop for some bird seed and another for a couple of lottery tickets.  Very productive, no?

No. 

I started out for the library into a mighty headwind.  I could barely move!  Wasn’t it 70 degrees yesterday? This was nuts.  I made it the half mile to the library after much effort. The library stop was, however, a bust.  They didn’t have any Virginia tax forms.  The last time I check Virginia charged $20 to file electronically.  My kids refund would be less than that so they would be filing paper returns. Now I’ll have to download and print them.  Annoying,

On to Staples into the mighty wind. I was getting no place slowly when I decided to drop my head and just grind it out.  The only problem with this strategy is that when your head is down, you can’t see what’s in front of you.  It dawned on me after a while that I hadn’t looked up.  So I did. And there, only a few feet in front of me, was a green Honda Accord parked quite legally.  Minding its own business. I reached for the brakes. Too late. Bam!

The fall was in slow motion. As I descended I could hear a voice inside my head saying, “You are such a Maroon!!!”  I had the presence of mind to roll as I hit the pavement and I was going really slow thanks to the headwind.  This did not make the asphalt any less hard however.

Feeling like a complete Nimrod, I stood up, gathered my trusty Sequoia and discovered that my front wheel was now a half inch of so closer to the frame than it was before the impact.  Not good.

I fiddled with the fender stays as they were intersecting with the diagonal tube on the front of the bike.  Then I rode on to Staples.  The steering felt funny. So of course a fire engine had to force me into the curb and a redneck had to cut me off in her pick up truck. Can’t you people see that I am having a bad day here?

After I locked my bike at Staples, I took a good look at the front fork from the side. It was obviously bent.  Ugh,

After buying my wares, I backtracked to the drug store.  I dropped off my prescription, bought the bird seed, and the lottery tickets and headed for home. Another Utilitaire ride in the bag, but a what cost? I loaded the Sequoia onto my bike rack for the drive to Spokes, fingers crossed all the way. 

At times like these you want a bike mechanic with lots of experience. Fred’s been at it for well over 20 years so I was very fortunate that he was still there. I’ve always heard that if steel bends you can usually bend it back. You can’t do this with other frame materials. I never thought I’d ever take advantage of this obscure fact. Fred checked the fork and frame for cracks and other irregularities. Finding none, he declared the Sequoia repairable. Just put it in the jig and bend it back in place. We hope.

What a relief. This bike has 29,750 miles on it.  I’d hate to lose it.

On the way out of the store I took a quick look at their stock of Surly Long Haul Truckers just in case the jig is up.

The Bs of Bike Commuting

Today was a day that I’ve been waiting for since October. Mr. Weatherman said that it would be 60 degrees in the afternoon.  Yesss.

But first I had to deal with the ride in. Noooo.

It wasn’t so bad.  When I left the cozy confines of the Rootchopper Institute, it was a reasonable 46 degrees, warn enough to leave the fleece bike booties at home.  Mr. Weatherman also kindly added a light tail wind to the proceedings.  The first five miles were effortless.  To cap them off, a bald eagle took in the sun at the Belle Haven nest.  He or she was looking fine in the bright morning sunshine.

I rode through Old Town without a care. The traffic cop at Saint Mary’s School waved me through the mess o’SUVs dropping off all the papists.  At the north end of Old Town, I guessed that the Mount Vernon Trail was still closed near the power plant.  I guessed right and made my way along the bumpy Root Route, so named because it is a wash board of tree routes on the west side of the power plant.

BBUS Alert!

The next five miles went without a hitch.  As I made my way toward the 14th Street Bridge I saw something black on the side of the trail.  It was a black bra of unusual size, a BBUS!  In all my years of bicycling and running along the byways I have never seen a BBUS.  So today was my lucky day.  All I could think of as I stood over the BBUS was what a rude surprise for the bike commuter who lost this.

Sequoia and Flowers

I have no use for a BBUS and thought perhaps the owner would be looking for it so I left it where I found it and carried on.  After clearing the Memorial Bridge underpass I came upon beautiful blooming daffodils. Mr Weatherman has fooled Mother Nature.  Lovely.

I had to interrupt my biking to make a living but after 9 hours of toiling for the man, I was back on the bike.  When I left the tower of toil in Rosslyn it was 62 degrees.  Soooo nice.

A BBUS of a Different Sort

On the way home I passed the site of the BBUS, It was gone. I do hope it found its owner.  A few miles later I passed another BBUS.  This one was the boys’ bike of unusual size.  The bike had some sort of extension on the back on which were perched two little boys in helmets.  They seemed to be enjoying making dad slog up the flyover spans at National Airport. 

After clearing Old Town, I made my way over to Fort Hunt Road and to the Spokes Etc. bike shop at Belle Haven for some new front brakes.  Basically, I’ve been riding without front brakes for two or three weeks.  Not recommended. Spokes is a pretty good shop and they do incidental repairs such as installing brake pads while you wait.  In fifteen minutes I was back on the bike.  I climbed the long rise on Fort Hunt Road in the dark.  From there it was pretty much three miles down hill to home.

Mr. Weatherman you’re the best.

P.S. Since I stopped at the bike shop, this counts as yet another Utilitaire ride.

Oil, Lube, and Utilitaire

Although I have been eliminated from MG’s Utilitaire 12 Challenge, I continue to forge ahead, using my bike for life, liberty and the pursuit of car maintenance. Yes, sadly I own a car, three actually.  Today the Millenium Falcon needed an oil change and an alignment. 

I used to change the oil in my car every 3,000 miles. Consumer Reports did a test of the oil in New York City taxi cabs.  They found out that the oil in the taxis was still good after 10,000 miles.  So, nowadays, I change my oil every 7,500 miles.  I lost track of the last time I changed the oil in this car.  I think when the oil looks like the La Brea tar pits, it’s probably a good idea to change it.

Sometimes I wonder if I wasted money and despoiled the environment with all those unnecessary oil changes.  I don’t drive that much so I think the planet is safe. Besides the real benefit to frequent oil changes is when the mechanic discovers that your brakes are toast while he’s underneath your car. . 

The same is true of bike maintenance. If you clean your chain every couple of weeks, you will have the opportunity to spot any other problems. I always inspect the frame for cracks. Two of my bikes have 29,000 miles on them so metal fatigue is a concern.  It’s not very likely, but I once had a fork failure during a ride. I was at a standstill when it happened.  Something felt odd about the steering. I pulled over and stopped. CLANG.  There was my right fork blade lying on the ground. For those of you new to cycling, let me explain. This is not good. If this had happened while I was bombing down a hill, I would have been in a world of hurt.

So what does taking my car to the mechanic have to do with the Utilitaire. Technically, nothing at all since I failed to do 2 qualifying trips last week. (Oh, the shame!. The shame!) Never the less, I could get some sort of honorable mention from MG, her highness, beauteous Queen Utilitairiana. (Sucking up to the contest judge can’t hurt at this stage of my miserable failed existence.)

Anyway, I hate to wait at the mechanic while they work on my car. So I put the Sequoia on the bike rack and rode the mile or so home while the car was serviced.  Then, a few hours later I rode back. 

The Sequoia hides behind a promotional sign at the mechanic.

When I have work done on my car during the work week, I do the same thing except I ride to and from work. 

The mechanic’s waiting area is always filled with people looking pissed for having to blow their weekend morning taking their car in. People, get a bike!. Ride home and get something done with your automotive downtime. I rode a little under 3 miles during today’s utiltaire. Instead of sitting on uncomfortable chairs drinking bad coffee and listening to ESPN blare away, I had a nice little spin to my house where I sat in an uncomfortable chair and drank bad coffee that I made myself.

I spent over $300 on the car.  Sheesh! Cars are appallingly expensive.

Later in the day, I went for a ride and stopped in at my local bike shop. They recently ordered a new rear rim for my bike. It’s not in yet.  The current rim is 19 years old and has nearly 30,000 miles on it.  The side of the rim is cupping.  I may not be the smartest gut around, but I know that I am riding on borrowed time.

I wonder how long a bike rim lasts in New York City.  Consumer Reports should get to work on that.

So Fine: 5 for 5 in February

This never happens.

My daughter was out of town from Sunday until Thursday.  It didn’t snow. Not a flake, That means I could ride my bike to work every day this week. In mid-February. And damned if I didn’t pull it off.

It looked a little doubtful on Monday morning. I had spent most of the weekend feeling lousy.  And it was 19 degrees out when I stepped out the door. Ugh. Once I got rolling I felt fine.  The temperature rose to 30 degrees by the time I arrived at work.  Success.

By Tuesday I was fully recovered from what ailed me.  So riding was a breeze,  Ditto Wednesday.

On Thursday all was going fine on the way to work until I encountered a barrier across the Mount Vernon Trail.  A maintenance person was standing at a second barrier about 200 feet away.  There was no activity. No equipment.  No reason for the barrier.  If I obeyed the barrier I would have to back track about a half a mile.  Screw the barrier. I rode around it.  A man on a mission.

Thursday evening the barrier was gone.  A fog was building. My headlight created a glow.  The last few miles in the dark were spooky.

Friday morning arrived in a fog both literally and figuratively.  I was groggy because we didn’t get home from the airport until around 11. My daughter arrived on time but her baggage took about an hour to get from the plane to the terminal.  On a little over 4 hours of sleep, I headed out on my bike into a dense fog. Four miles into the ride I spotted my first robin of 2012.  He or she looked a little scruffy.  Welcome back.

Then I came upon the barrier and the maintenance guy.  This time he set up his barrier 1/2 mile to the south of its previous location.  I asked him what it was for and he said, “Maintenance.”  Loquacious. Dude, move to New Hampsha. You’ll fit right in. 

I took his picture and followed the detour.  Somebody at the National Park Service must have told the maintenance crew to move their barrier to a more appropriate spot.  Cheers.

Loquacious Larry and His Barrier

The rest of the ride was uneventful.

On the way home as I hit a swampy area just north of Old Town.  I spotted a downy egret in the reedy shallows along the trail.  He was fishing up a storm.  The ground was very mucky.  It should have smelled awful. Instead, I was overcome with the smell of steak. Somebody was cooking out. There were no homes within a quarter mile of my location.  Strange. It smelled wonderful.  I was closing in on 140 miles since Monday and I was HUNGRY.  Where’s that steak?

I considered hunting down the steak and killing the cook.  I could make a quick get away.  It would be the perfect crime. Except for the fact that a bicyclist with a steak hanging from his mouth is a tad unusual.

Cop: Is that a steak in your mouth, sir?
Me:  [Muffled sound of words unable to bypass massive cut of sirloin]

Cop: Book ‘im, Danno.

No worries. I got off. Justifiable homicide.

I arrived home with 147 miles on my odometer. 5 days. 5 commutes. In February. So fine.

Celtic Commute, Mexican Recovery

I was bonking on the way home from the office.  Bonking is the cycling version of what runners call hitting the wall.  Unlike wall hitting, bonking is not painful.  You just find your arms don’t want to steer and your head wants to sag down.  I don’t know who came up with the word, but drooping would be more descriptive.  Anyway, I could tell that soup at lunchtime is not quite enough fuel for 4 hours of cogitating — there’s one mother of a quadratic equation on the white board in my office– and 8 miles of cycling. 

That’s when I heard music. I knew I was out of it but I swore I heard music. It’s a little early for the buskers to be out entertaining the tourists in Old Town.  Today is Valentine’s Day so normal rules do not apply. And so I came upon two musicians playing Celtic tunes for harp and fiddle. 

Celtic Tunes at the Torpedo Factory

I only stayed long enough to take this picture and drop a dollar in their jar.  The brief stop recharged my batteries.  I made it home without difficulty.

I am pretty sure that a bowl of tortilla soup, a massive beef burrito, and two margaritas are not optimal recovery food.  You never know. It could be true. Being an empirical kind of guy, I gave my body up to science at the local Chevy’s.  I may not be recovered but I assure you I don’t much care.

Soldiering on with Utility Cycling

The weekend was cold and blustery.  As luck would have it, I found myself doing car trips on both Saturday and Sunday.  This pretty much knocks me out of theUtilitaire 12 contest but, in the spirit of things, I continue to do my own cycling utility thing.

Today, I biked to work for the 12th time this year. I was impressed with myself for getting out of the door. I was sick pretty much all day yesterday and even resorted to taking Nyquil last night.  It may be mostly psychological but those little green gel capsules knock me out.  I woke up in a sweaty fog at 530 feeling quite a bit better if not 100 percent. Since my daughter is on a school trip in New Orleans, I can ride every day this week.  So I dragged myself outside to retrieve the newspaper and test the morning’s weather. 

I came back in the house with the Washington Post and the suburban weather report:   no wind, no rain, mo heat.  An hour later I was on the road wearing every conceivable piece of clothing I could.  It was 19 degrees out.  Puff, cough, chug, pedal, cough.  It stayed 19 degrees for 3 miles then the sun got in on the action.  By the time I arrived at work about an hour later it was 30 degrees and I felt overdressed.  One part of my body that did not feel warm was the tips of my middle fingers. Perhaps I need to be more expressive of those who would impede my progress.  This would have been futile since I was wearing lobster gloves; I couldn’t flip the bird to anyone if I tried. The best you can do in lobster gloves is “Live long and prosper” which doesn’t do much for showing that jackass who just cut you off what you really think.

Actually the ride in to work was peaceful.  After a busy, if occasionally, surreal day at work, I headed home in 50 degree weather. Thanks to the Interwebs I have a good idea how to dress.  I shed two layers on the bottom and one on the top. Perfect.  The sun was out for the first five miles so it was nice to see something other than a big white circle in front of me. After cruising along for another few miles, I realized that I was breathing as if I was sitting still.  The zen of bike commuting.  Ahhh.

At Old Town Alexandria I left the bike path a cruised down the bicycle lane on Union Street.  It was now dark and my headlight was on full blast.  I could tell it was effective since all the people who crossed my line of sight put their hands up to shield their eyes.  A car pulled out in front of me from a side street.  If I had been going a tad faster it would have been most unpleasant. My headlight illuminated the driver’s head. She was making the turn with her hand over her eyes.  I get annoyed when people cut me off, but when they do it without being able to see where they are going, I get astounded.

Having had my zen moment shattered by Blind Buffy and her BMW, I rolled on.  In short order, I was back in the zone.  I missed the turn off for the Wilkes Street tunnel. Earth to Rootchopper.  Wake up, dude.

Chocolates in the left pannier. Flowers in the right one.

Back on the Mount Vernon trail, I approach the intersection that provides access to Porto Vecchio, a condo building on the Potomac River. Last year a bicycle traffic light was installed here to reduce conflicts with cars entering and exiting the complex.  I approached with a nice green light.  I could see a small, silver sedan coming toward the trail from the condos.  The driver pulled straight across the trail in front of me. My headlight zapped her right in the head. A little old lady, silver haired perm and all was behind the wheel. I yelled “HEY” twice and she stopped.  Maybe she’s related to Buffy.

I am pretty sure that I need to upgrade my headlight with the optional death ray.  This way the heads of drivers who cut me off would explode like the zombies being put out of their misery in The Walking Dead.

The rest of my ride was pleasantly uneventful. I stopped at Safeway about a mile from home to pick up some essentials for tomorrow morning.  The candy fit in one pannier without problem but the flowers required a little improvisational packing. To avoid messing the flowers up, I had to swing my foot over the front of the bike. Fred Astaire I ain’t but I managed to get underway without incident. Oddly, I dismounted in the normal fashion when I got home and my foot and leg cleared the flowers easily.

So there you have it. Cold in the morning. Danger in the evening.  And a stop at the store to boot. A successful use of my faithful steed.  A glacier somewhere is smiling.

Utilitaire Gone to Hell

Well try as I might, I didn’t get much riding done this week  I commuted on Tuesday, but had to drive on Monday, Thursday, and Friday so that I could get to my daughter’s basketball games after work.  Wednesday’s bike commute was cancelled so I could drive my daughter, a relatively new driver, home from school in the snow and freezing rain. This was a good plan except for the fact that there was no snow and freezing rain.  So that leaves today.  Today I did my errands by car because I had to get the car inspected.  Try as I might, I could not get our 2004 Accord to fit on the back of my Sequoia.  Since I was already out with the car, I did a coffee run and my trip to the pharmacy, leaving very little for me to do on my bike tomorrow.

The weather was supposed to be lousy today so I decided to ride my recumbent in the basement. It’s attached to a resistance trainer which keeps me from riding in very tight circles.  It was only my second basement ride this winter which is proof positive that I am getting lazier with time.

So what do I do while riding in the basement, you ask?  (I heard you.  Yes, you over there with the cappuciino.)
I watched the movie The Visitor.  I highly recommend it. Richard Jenkins, a character actor who you will surely recognize, was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar, but the rest of the cast is wonderful too.  I bought the DVD at a sale for $5 about 6 months ago and just now got around to watching it. Two thumbs waaay up.

After that was over, I decided to watch some of Seven Worlds Collide, a DVD of a series of concerts in support of Oxfam,  Normally, these agglomerations of stars from different bands sound dreadful, but this one is excellent.  It doesn’t hurt when the band includes Neil, Tim, and Liam Finn, Eddie Vedder, Johnny Marr, Ed O’Brien and Phil Selway from Radiohead, Sebastian Steinberg from Soul Coughing, and Lisa Germano.  I made it halfway through (I watched it at least 4 times before) and decided to come back above ground.  Three hours is a long time on an indoor bike. I learned that the whole time I was spinning away the wind was howling outside so no regrets about riding indoors from me.

I might get a Utilitaire ride in tomorrow. We’re out of AAA batteries and the remote to the crummy old basement TV needs some.  I have to do it early because I have to drive my daughter to Dulles which will pretty much kill the afternoon.

My hat’s off to those of you who are forging ahead with MG’s Utilitaire Challenge.

Working Off the Guacamole

Chelli’s Killer Guacamole

Something like 111 million Americans watched the Super Bowl last night.  I feel sorry for the guy who had to count them; he missed a good game.  Rootchopperette sided with the Giants only because I rooted for the Patriots.  I grew up rooting for the Giants in the Fran Tarkenton era, when they were rarely better than mediocre.  Then I lived in Boston and Providence in the Chuck Fairbanks era, when the Patriots were rarely better than mediocre. Having become a Red Sox fan and endured Bucky Effing Dent and all that rot, I am never more a fan of New York teams.  And so the outcome of last night’s game was depressing.

To make up for that I had way too much of Chelli’s guacamole during the game.  Then there was the beer (Shiner Bock’s pretty good), the Italian food and the carrot cake and ice cream.  I didn’t get to sleep until after midnight so I awoke groggy, bloated and unmotivated. It’s a wonder I could get my leg over my bike this morning.

Overcoming all this adversity, I saddled up for a chilly ride to work.  The 26 degrees at the start ever so gradually gave way to temperatures in the mid-thirties.  Along the way as I was warming up, I passed Alex and Belle, our resident bald eagles, sunning themselves in a tree along the Mount Vernon Trail.  (Seeing them never gets old.)  Fortunately, the wind was at my back.

I arrived at work remarkably comfortable and survived the day with little energy for the ride home. It was still light out (spring is getting closer!) and the temperature was 50 degrees, which allowed me to ignore the headwind. 

Stupid Sign with Beer Circle

About a week ago I started noticing little circles on the traffic signs on the trail. Apparently a beer lover has decided to decorate the warning signs along the trail.  I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the signs anyway, especially stupid ones like this one.  If I do what the signs say, I stop and get off my bike.  Then, apparently, it’s okay for me to re-mount my bike and ride it across the road.  Why don’t they have signs for car drivers that tell them to stop then get out of their cars before crossing? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? . 

My commute is nearly 15 miles long so by the time I passed the Beltway it was dark. Mesmerized by the white circle from my headlight, I neglected to look up to see if Belle and Alex were still around.  When I reached Dyke Marsh a mile later, I stopped to take a picture of the full moon but, as usual, it came out as a white dot.  The Sequoia showed up nicely though, just before it fell over on its side.  Unharmed, I pedaled home in the dark, giving me Utilitaire  no. 3, and my second and last night Utilitaire.

Dotting the Sequoia at Dyke Marsh

When I got home Rootchopperette showed me the t-shirt that she wore to school. “I Love NY”.  Pass the guac, please.