I knew I should have worn my waterproof jammies. By the time I retrieved my newspaper from the end of the driveway, I was soaked. I stalled my departure to no avail and headed out aboard The Mule for a nautical ride to work.
There’s really no way to dress for this sort of thing. If I put on a rainproof jacket, I get all hot and sweaty. If I don’t, I get all wet and possibly cold. I opted for my illuminite vest and a cotton t-shirt. I packed a second t-shirt for the ride home.
I was squishy after one mile, but the vest kept me warm so that it was actually kind of pleasant. I wore my Bike Virginia 1991 cycle cap under my helmet to keep the rain out of my eyes. After twenty minutes it was saturated with water. Water was pouring into my eyes and mouth. I could taste the shampoo from last night’s shower. Yum. At least I had a tailwind.
I hit 32 miles per hour on the Park Terrace downhill. This would have been fun but for the car that pulled out 100 yards ahead of me causing me to ride my brakes. Not that they did a damn bit of good. Fortunately the car rolled through the stop sign at the bottom of the hill. Disaster averted.
At the GW Parkway crossing, the cross traffic was incredibly heavy. I waited two minutes in the deluge. Not a happy camper.
The Mount Vernon Trail was deserted. It would appear that most trail users eat quiche on a regular basis. The rain was coming down so hard that the Canada geese in Belle Haven Park were waddling next to the trail when they normally hang out at the river’s edge.
Once at the half way point the rain abated. French Braid Girl came rolling past, wearing no additional clothing to thwart the rain. Her sole concession to the elements was that she was not wearing her RayBan aviator sunglasses. She didn’t appear to be nearly as wet as I so there was hope for the remainder of the ride.
I started seeing people after Four Mile Run, commuters from Alexandria and South Arlington. Most people were plodding along. I passed more people than passed me, a highly unusual occurance.
On the ride up the steep hill to Rosslyn, I spotted two bunnies along the side of the trail. They didn’t seem the least concerned about me rolling past. The underbrush where they hide must have been flooded.
The radar on my pc said I’d be riding into nasty weather on the way home. It lied. It was actually a pretty nice ride. I saw the Nine Hour Lawyer riding up the hill to Rosslyn. The Mule and I headed down to the MVT with a light tailwind making this a two tailwind day. With no rain coming down, I could focus on the ride. The handling on The Mule seems to be very stiff. I don’t know what is going on. Maybe I need to fiddle with the headset a bit.
South of the airport, French Braid Girl made her northbound appearance. The aviators were back on. All was right in the world.
Under the Wilson Bridge, a father watched as his two little kids rode their bikes in circles. If you know anybody with a kid learning to ride or who needs a safe place to pedal, tell them to go to Jones Point Park and ride under the bridge. It’s shaded, protected from most of the rain, and the pavement is smooth as silk.
At Northdown Road crews were working on finally repairing the road. They were tearing out cobblestones along the edge of the road. This is going to take a while.
I arrived home to a swampy yard. I put The Mule and my snorkel away.