Are You Official?

The Friday before Memorial Day I expected light car traffic and a low turnout at the Friday Coffee Club at Swing’s coffee emporium near the White House.  The Club is a get together of area bike commuters many of whom are also bloggers and twitterers. Or is that tweeters? Tweeps? Twits?  Whatever…

The joint was jumpin’.  Despite the absence of a few regulars the place was filled with over 20 people for whom work is more important than the beach. Yes, these are the dedicated people who make the nation’s capital what it is today, a hopeless pathetic mess. 

As usual people came and went. It was Adam’s last time at coffee club as he is moving to Norfolk to take over a nuclear powered doppler radar station.  It was actually Adam’s third last time (it’s a long story) so if he shows up next Friday, folks, he’s buying. (Would I lie to you?)

Adam (center) in his 2012 Bike to Work Day t-shirt
Caffeine addicts get their fix
Parking was tight. Big Nellie’s on the left

One of the cool things about this group of bike riders is the variety of bikes they ride. Several kinds of folders – Raleigh, Dahon, Bike Friday – were seen.  My recumbent. A big cruiser with pink bags and streamers coming out of the handle bars. Single sped bikes. Conventional touring bikes like the Surly Long Haul Trucker that Mary rode in on.  And more. The bikes stretched the length of the front of the coffee shop in some places two deep. There were also bikes locked to parking meters on both sides of the street.  

I had an extra large Americano during my stay at Swings. With a fierce case of the caffeine jitters I lit out on Big Nellie for my office. I took M Street to Georgetown and had a brief conversation with a fellow bike commuter in the West End.  In Georgetown, a couple about my age came rolling down from a side street.  They came up beside me at a stop light and asked, “Are you official?”  I said, “No” not having a clue why these obvious tourists thought a guy on a recumbent would be official anything. They asked if I could take them to the Mount Vernon Trail. I said I would for $20 and off we went toward Key Bridge which was where I was going anyway. (Okay, okay. I lied about the $20.)  I stopped to allow them to take pictures of the view from the bridge pointing out the Watergate complex and Kennedy Center. At the Rosslyn Circle of Doom, I pointed them to the MVT and sent them on their way.

In the locker room at the office I took of my shirt. It was my dark blue 2012 BikeDC shirt that had a white logo with the Capitol dome on the left side of my chest.  That’s why they took me for “official”.  I hope the DC tourism board appreciates my good deed of the day. Show me some love, dudes.

For me to get to Friday Coffee Club I need to get out of bed at 5:30. This makes for one tired commuter going home. And so I was. The Mount Vernon Trail was not crowded and people were being more civil than usual.  I saw some ospreys soaring overhead near Daingerfield Island. One of the benefits of riding a recumbent is the view. I can see much more riding Big Nellie than on my other, conventional bikes. About 10 miles into the ride, I rode through Belle Haven Park.  There were far more geese than people.  I rode gently through the gaggle so that the geese did not turn on me and poo me into oblivion. The geese on the trail waddled away.  They were probably so full of grass that they couldn’t chase me.

I stopped at the Morningside bald eagle nest.  The foliage is now so dense that it’s hard to see anything, but I did see some wings flapping over the top of the nest.

I just had a margarita (from a bottle).  It’s the weekend. Enjoy and remember.

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