One Down, 166 or So to Go

The first bike commute of the year is in the books. Well, the book. I keep this paper journal each year and it’s in there:

#1 29 T/E Cold 37 am. Cold low 30s pm 1XBE

Decoded this means:

Bike commute number 1. 29 miles. On Big Nellie (my Tour Easy recumbent). A brief weather note. And I did my back exercises 1 time. (This is a 20 minute routine I do every morning.)

The ride itself was pretty routine. The first two miles involved my left knee becoming re-acquainted with Big Nellie. At about mile 2.5 I hit the big plunge from Park Terrace down to the Parkway. In 37 degree temps this wakes my ass right up. I was dialed in to Big Nellie at this point and took the S curve at the base of the hill at 25 miles per hour.


The rest of the ride I was on autopilot. I haven’t ridden in 3 days. My legs were fresh and the bike was willin’.

Crossing the I66 off ramp at the Rosslyn Circle of Doom I had a close encounter with a right on red driver. He was in the crosswalk. I had the walk sign, he had the red light. He looked at me. I started in front of him. He started to creep forward. I turned and looked him in the eyes and said “RED LIGHT!”  It’s right turn on red after a stop with no pedestrians present. Unless it’s I WANNA GET TO WORK GUY. Then the rules don’t apply and I can intimidate everyone with my big ass car. It’s in the uniform vehicle code under Section 203.2 Exemptions for Selfimportant Assholes.

I made it the remaning half mile without threat to life or limb.

The ride home was a bit chilly. The best part may have been the lingering daylight. It’s only been a couple of weeks since the solstice but the days are already longer. (Or I was halluncinating. Christmas cookies will do that to you.)

It was only a few degrees colder than this morning and the light wind was behind my back. I took me a few miles to get comfy. And I was comfy. And I was dialed into Big Nellie. It was like driving a hovercraft. Recumbents are different. A conventional bike never feels like a hovercraft. And you never get the urge to yell Yabba Dabba Dooo when you ride a regular bike. (And don’t call me Fred.)

I intended to take the short route through Old Town but I got lost in the moment and ended up riding down Union Street and under the length of the Wilson Bridge. I could still see the faintest traces of daylight behind the puffy clouds above.

I crossed over the access road to the Hunting Tower apartments. A woman was walking across the street. I thought she saw me coming. I buzzed by too close. She barked something at me. It was probably nasty. Oops. Sorry.

The ride south from there was a battle of blindness. The headlights of the cars were really killing me. I almost ran off the trail several times. And a bike approaching with two blazing lights, one on the handlebars and one on the rider’s helmet, almost fried my retinas. Dude, really?

When I arrived home I realized that tights were probably not enough coverage for my legs. Tomorrow its back to my wind pants.

Someday, I’ll take pix and post them of my adventures. I am still getting around to setting up my new laptop. Actually, I am procrastinating by reading my Christmas present (Tom Wolfe’s latest and not greatest novel). So if you need pictures, close your eyes, your pedaling away, in your hovercraft….






One thought on “One Down, 166 or So to Go

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s