I had another sleepless night. I don’t really know why other than the fact that I had a mild tummy ache. I slept maybe 3 hours. Sleepless nights are no excuse for driving to work. Having 3 cars and 4 drivers pretty much seals the deal.
I chose Little Nellie, my Bike Friday, today. It was the first time this year that I did not ride Big Nellie, my Tour Easy recumbent. There was rain in the forecast and I hate to get Big Nellie’s new foam seat wet. Before I was a mile into the commute, I could hear the sound of ever so tiny raindrops on my jacket. The ride in was pretty nice. Dark with a beautiful sunrise over the river. I would have stopped to take some pictures but I was on my way to Friday Coffee Club and didn’t want to be too late.
On the way I passed the front of the White House. It’s almost ready to receive the Inauguration Day parade. Part of Pennsylvania Avenue is blocked off so I followed two other cyclists onto the sidewalk and around some German (or maybe Dutch) tourists dressed up in suits. They were getting a group picture with the White House in the background. How do you say photobomb in German?
I arrived a little after eight. The Coffee Club was humming as usual. I ended up spending most of my time with Kate and Rachel who remind me of Mary and Rhoda, except without the New Yawk accent or smile that’s too big for her face. Bob and Rachel share the same last name but had never met, so the two Cannons had good fun trying to figure out if their family trees intersected. Kate and I discussed bike touring between Massachusetts and DC.
Just before leaving Leslie Tierstein showed up and asked about our friend Charmaine who had been run over by a pick up truck last month while riding to work. Later I heard from Charmaine. Her recovery continues. She has many more weeks of therapy for her broken right arm. I am signed up to escort her on her first ride once she is healed.
Leslie and I rode together across the TR Bridge to Rosslyn. To get there we had to take a poorly designed detour (steep, narrow, no curb cut) near the Kennedy Center. DDOT you can do much better than this. I made it across the narrow bridge sidepath without having to stop for DC-bound bike riders. I timed it so that they approached me at the bump outs in the trail. This was a first for me. I should get a reward. The TR Bridge, even without the detour, is a mess for all users. It’s dysfunctional and ugly. It really should have been replaced years ago. The Sousa Bridge, which carries Pennsylvania Avenue across the Anacostia on the other side of town, is in much worse shape. Sousa will beat Teddy for highway $$.
At the Rosslyn Circle of Certain Death, I crossed the I-66 ramp on Lynn Street in front of a car that was jutting out into the crosswalk. The driver was looking left and I was coming from the right. I continued in front of him and he started to make his turn – into me. I yelled “Wait” at him and the panhandler on the other side of the crosswalk yelled at him too. He stopped abruptly. I don’t normally give money to panhandlers but I think on Monday I will show the panhandler some green. This really should be a no-turn on red intersection. Drivers trying to make a right turn on red have to nudge their cars into the crosswalk to see around the railing that separates the sidewalk to their left from I-66 below. It’s just a lousy design.
The work day was difficult. It started with the discovery that I had forgotten to pack my slacks. Fortunately, I keep a spare suit at work. Otherwise I’d have had to look like M.C. Hammer all day in my biking rain pants. It would have been fun to go into a meeting and tell everyone, “Can’t touch this.” And to have theme music all day. Truth be told, if I tried to dance like M.C. Hammer I’d hurt myself something fierce.
My tummy wasn’t happy. At all. I made it through the day without much joy. I was not looking forward to the ride home. I rode out of the garage a little after five and into a dark, cold rain. It felt like some of the raindrops were frozen. They weren’t but I was pretty cold none the less. The ride home was made more difficult by dense fog that was thickest along the river. I had wet glasses, fog, and headlights in my eyes. About two miles into my ride, I almost hit a ninja on the humpback bridge. As I rolled past, I said “I can not see you.” Twice. He’ll figure it out when he has a bicycle wheel up his butt.
A little further along I heard a quack. I nearly ran over two mallards in the fog. Damn, it was hard to see. Fortunately the rain let up and I made it the rest of the way unscathed. It’s frustrating going so slowly but when I got home I felt like I could ride 10 miles per hour forever.
Tonight was the night that my son and I were to take a second try at fixing the sink in the downstairs bathroom. After about an hour,we had everything nearly perfect. I nudged the countertop one last time and the drain pipe snapped. Ugh. So we found a spare drain pipe and it was ever so slightly smaller in diameter. No Mas. I called a plumber. Instead of going to the DC Randonneurs’ Populaire ride (a little under 70 miles) tomorrow, I’ll be hanging at home waiting for Mr. Buttcrack. It’s all for the good. I’ve already ridden 150 miles since Monday. And half the pipes in the house are dripping.