I woke up at 5:30. Actually my bladder woke up at 5:30. My brain was still asleep. It was a fierce fight for anatomical dominance but my bladder won. My trip to the end of the driveway was invigorating. Not because of my bladder. It was in the 20s and the wind was blowing. Maybe I should get wind resistant jammies. I briefly considered driving to work, but then I thought, “Why not freeze my noo noos off instead?” And so I rode Big Nellie into the frigid morning.
Despite the big fairing on the front of Big Nellie, I was having quite a rough time getting any speed going. I hit the hill on Park Terrace Drive going only about 10 miles per hour. In a few seconds, I was doing 32 and ducking behind the fairing to preserve the flesh around my eyes. Tears were shed involuntarily. Dang.
Onto the Mount Vernon Trail without a stop to cross the Parkway. Ithink I will call this maneuver “Pulling a Moses.” How nice of people to provide a gap in traffic. The Dyke Marsh boardwalk was free of rime, too, so things were going swimmingly.
I didn’t blog about my ride yesterday but it was notable for two wildlife sightings. Along the river near Dyke Marsh a tree was absolutely filled with red winged blackbirds. They were making the trilling sound that reminds me so much of my days as a kid playing in and around Dead Man’s Pond. (Sounds a bit like something Luke Skywalker would say, no?) Sadly, the pond was filled in by developers long ago. When I got to the northern side of Belle Haven Park, I spotted a bald eagle about 200 feet up in the air flying from the river across the trail toward the Beltway/US1 mixing bowl.
Yesterday’s flashback was provided so that I could place today’s wildlife sighting in context. As usual, I was hoping to spot a bald eagle in the Belle Haven nest. Instead, I spotted one about 30-50 feet high gliding straight toward me over the trail. All I could think of was, “It would suck to be a mouse right now.” Just before getting to me, the eagle flapped its wings, turned and gained altitude as it headed for the nest. Double dang.
I slogged into the headwind through Old Town. The beaver dam is starting to get built up again. I wonder if this isn’t the work of the National Park Service official beaver dam disrupter or just a very stubborn beaver. The water level is almost up to the trail again so I suspect the disruptor will be back soon. Damn. (So to speak.)
The rest of the ride in was work. As usual, once I cleared the airport, I had nothing to block the headwind. The bike seemed unusually sluggish. On the way home I learned that my front fender was dragging on the side of my front tire. I must have been really sleepy this morning because I didn’t hear it rubbing even with the fairing to amplify the sound. Once I freed the tire, I could enjoy the tailwind all the way home.
And so I completed my 30th bike commute of 2013. Normally I don’t hit 30 until sometime in March. Tomorrow I am driving in. The forecast is calling for afternoon snow showers and a wintry mix for the evening rush. Not gonna happen on two wheels.