Yesterday, I followed almost followed the plan. The plan for the day was to stay off the bike after riding 151 miles during the work week. I had a couple of errands to run. Then I stepped outside. The weather was so nice I couldn’t bring myslef to use the car. So Big Nellie got the call. We rode to the bank in the Safeway on US 1. I try to avoid US 1 but I can get to the Safeway using the side access road and the drive through at a Wallgreens. I wonder what the pharmacist things when I cruise by on my recumbent.
The tellers at the bank are always amused to see me in my biking clothes. My pleasure ladies.
After the bank I left US 1 and headed for the hardware store. Village Hardware is a great little place to shop. The people are nice. And the owner rides a Serotta on the MVT in the mornings. They sell shelled bird seed coated with hot pepper. The squirrels don’t like it but the birds go ape over it.
I loaded the big bag of seed in my pannier and headed back for home. Despite having all that additional weight on one side of the bike, Big Nellie rode like a limo.
Today was my day for sitting around in my jammies and watching football after doing a couple of small chores around the house. I did the chores, got online and learned that it was in the 50s outside. Hello, Big Nellie.
We rode the MVT north. Near Porto Vecchio I came upon a father and son who was about 9 or 10 years old. The boy passed his father directly into my path. I braked to avoid him. Dad said, “Keep going. I’m going to wait for your mom.” Dude, the kid is not competent to be riding on a busy narrow bike trail. About 50 yards from them, I came upon mother and daughter. Mother was calling over her shoulder to the little girl who was probably only 7 or 8. The gentle downhill and the traffic passing by on the adjacent Parkway had her on the verge of tears. If you are a parent, don’t be an ass hat. If you want to take your 8-year old cycling, don’t take then on a busy, narrow bike trail like the MVT. They are not ready for it. You are doing them no favors. When they have tears in their eyes or nearly have an accident with another trail user, clue in.
I continued on to the Woodrow WIlson Bridge trail and took that across the Potomac to Maryland. Then it was up the long hill to Oxon Hill Road. Grind. Grind. Pedal. Pedal. 8 then 7 then 6 then 5 miles per hour. At the top of the hill, I took a left toward DC. Then I hooked another left toward Oxon Hill Farm. There is a new road that connects Indian Head Highway to the farm. I was tempted to take it but wasn’t up for the traffic on the highway as it enters the District and becomes South Capitol Street.
I rode past the farm and down toward Oxon Cove. The trail continues into DC. I followed the local road parallel to I-295. Unfortunately, civilians are not allowed to cut through Bolling Air Force Base. Instead, I rode up a steel hill back to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. This is the main drag of Anacostia. People were hanging out in their Sunday best. There were lots of smiles and hellos. There’s nothing like a spring day in January to make people friendly.
I wanted to ride across the South Capitol Street Bridge but I couldn’t figure out how to get there without premature death. I rode MLK to Stanton and headed for the 11th Street Bridge. The signs leading to the bridge are useless. The roadway is all torn up. I rode into Anacostia Park and made my way under the bridge. There were several DC police officers under the bridge. Security for the innaugural is off the charts. They let me pass without question. I think they determined that Big Nellie was not a threat to public safety.
The bridge side path sucks. It dropped me off at Potomac St where the curb cut was blocked by a police SUV from Homeland Security. I stopped and popped out of my seat. Before I made verticle the SUV backed up. Well done, DHS.
I rode near Fort McNair where traffic was all blocked up with police and military vehicles. I am glad I don’t live in DC this weekend. The inaugural events have the city all messed up.
I rode to the Maine Avenue sidepath. There I encountered a cluster of pedestrians aimlessly plodding toward the Tidal Basin. If you are visiting from out of town, please take note. People live here. We want to get where we are going. So do not walk four abreast and three deep on our trails.
As I passed the eastern end of the Tidal Basin I could see the MLK memorial on the western side. There was a big crowd of people at the memorial. Lucky for me, there were very few people on my side of the basin.
I took the 14th Street Bridge to the MVT. The crosswind was gusting. Big Nellie managed fine even with the fairing acting as a sail. When I looped under the bridge and on to the MVT I had a tailwind. Time to boogay.
I had to come to a near stop four or five times on the ride home, but I’m not complaining. It’s great to see people out in such numbers in mid January.
32 miles. The thermometer at home said 60 degrees. Not half bad for a lazy mid-winter day.
As I write this, I am wearing my jammies. I’m a gonna watch me some football.
Sounds like a plan.