Tailwind Sucker and Other Foolishness

I’ve been riding a bike for longer than most readers of this blog have been alive. One thing that astounds me is the fact that I still am routinely suckered in by a tailwind. You know the feeling when you are zipping along effortlessly on a bike and your brain says, “Damn, I got it going today.” Then you turn around and find out that you were being pushed along by a fierce tailwind. My college friends Becca and Susan used to mock me for being gullible. They had it right.

This has been a week of threats. The looming threat of thunderstorms. Well, it boomed a little last night after I went to bed, but my commutes have been mostly rain free. Except for tonight. I was doing okay for the first few miles. There were some towering thunderclouds hanging about, but nothing to worry about. (I had reason to worry. I was on a steel bike, with a steel u-lock and a metal laptop. I was a lightning magnet.)  I should have been more concerned about the rain though. As I passed under the 14th Street bridge I felt a few drops. Cyclists coming from the airport ahead of me were stopping under the bridges I had yet to go under. As I cleared the last one, I saw it: a squall line running from east to west across the Potomac River. I rode right into it. The wind was blowing the rain into my face. The cold water felt pretty good though. As I turned to head due west at Gravelly Point I could see the rain coming down sideways. A few minutes later I emerged from the back end of the line and all was copacetic.  Once I cleared the airport, I had some tree cover to cut the headwind. Live was good.

DSCN2306Somebody placed a series of signs along the trail the other day. They had lost their keys. The signs showed that even when an inconvenience comes, some people still have a sense of humor. As the good doctor once said, “It’s fun to have fun but you have to know how.”

Today was a four-regular day. I saw Three Step Runner and Hoppy Guy in the morning. In the evening I saw Bent Ankle Biker and French Braid Girl. French Braid Girl has been to the beach; her arms were bronze. I actually have a couple of other people in mind for regular status. One is a man who I see walking along the trail across the DC monuments. He takes his time and picks up trash as he goes. He always says “Hello.” The other is a guy on a blue mountain bike. He has two small panniers on a rack on the back. He lives down near me. The bike looks like a beater bike except that the tires are smooth and he has an aero bar on the front. He hauls ass on that thing.

When I left the office last night, a colleague, noting the hot and muggy weather outside said, “You’re not riding home in this weather, are you?” My response was, “It beats the hell out of January.” I might have added February, March and April to that.

One of the best things about riding in warm weather is the transitions. I don’t have to put all those extra layers of clothing on. Shirt, shorts, socks, shoes. GO,

Tomorrow’s a no-go. My son is having his wisdom teeth out so I will be working from home to make sure he doesn’t have any problems. I am looking forward to a nice long ride this weekend. Maybe I’ll take Big Nellie out and make vroom vroom noises at the Rolling Thunder motorcycle riders.

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