Monkey Off My Back

It was in the low 50s. I thought we were done with this. Out came the tights and the vest. And off I went.

I have been riding Little Nellie pretty much constantly for the last several weeks. I know the bike needs a lot of work. It needs a new cassette, chain, two new chainrings, new cables, and housings, and new handlebar tape. An annoying clicking sound happens whenever I pedal with even moderate force. I suspect the bottom bracket needs to be overhauled. So I figured, why not ride it until the parts are completely shot.

I rode to DC avoiding the Mount Vernon Trail except for the last four miles. Once in the city I did a couple of laps around Hains Point, looking for a bald eagle nest that I keep hearing about. Then I rode up into Rock Creek Park. I decided to climb up the Calvert Street hill. Most people don’t ride up this hill. Most people have common sense. Not me.

After the top, I wound my way higher and higher until I came to 34th Street when I turned for home. I made my way back using the Massachusetts Avenue downhill. This would be a really great ride except for the manhole covers. I managed to hit about five of them. Somehow my filling stayed in. I took the L Street cycle track across downtown to the 15 Street cycle track. I’d have taken it all the way to Virginia but it dies so that street vendors can live. We all know that it’s more important for visitors to have stale pretzels and crappy t-shirts than it is to have save cycle routes. I rode through traffic, past an amphibious tour bus and behind a bicycle rickshaw.

Back in Virginia I took empty streets through Arlington and Alexandria until meeting up with the Mount Vernon Trail at the beltway. When I finally arrived home after 46 miles, I looked down at my odometer and saw this:

10,000 Miles for Little Nellie

The monkey jumped off my back.

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