Andrea vs. The Mule

Andrea, the first tropical storm of the season, sneaked into DC on little squishy sneakers last night. You might think that this is a bad time to ride a bike to work. You might even be right. You might also know that I am not about to listen to such nonsense. So The Mule and I headed for DC and Friday Coffee Club.

Before we got out of the driveway we were greeted by our first critter of the day, a box turtle next to my son’s car. He (or she, can’t much tell) was looking a little befuddled. I followed the prime turtle directive and left him/her alone and headed out.

The rain was not too heavy. I wore an old Orioles baseball hat that had some paint stains on it. The long bill of the baseball cap, I reasoned, would keep the rain out of my eyes. And it did. The only downside was that it’s hard to see far ahead when riding a conventional bike. I got slapped in the face by two rain-weighted tree limbs on the Mount Vernon Trail. As soon as I cleared one (Whap!) I rode into the next (Whap!).That certainly woke my ass up.

I was pretty much alone all the way to town. A few runners were taking advantage of the respite from hot and muggy conditions to get their ya yas out, but the bike commuters were sitting this one out. Fortunately, a huge great blue heron wasn’t. I saw him flying just above the water, parallel to me over the Potomac River. It always amazes me that the Seussbirds can be so graceful and efficient when on the wing.

I enjoyed the tailwind and noticed that the planes from National Airport were taking off with the wind instead of against it. This is very unusual. One noisy American Airlines plane seemed to get very little lift as it headed out over Gravelly Point.

Friday Coffee Club was once again an all guy thing, until, that is, @Nikki_D showed up. At its peak, I think we had ten people there. Not bad for a rainy day.

I was concerned about the weather for the ride home. The forecasts called for heavy rain, thunder and lightning. Luckily, it was a light persistent rain instead. About a mile into the soggy ride, I was passed by Bob (Don’t Call Me Rachel) Cannon who sat next to me at Coffee Club in the morning. The headwind was as persistent as the rain but the combination actually felt nice. The Mule and I made steady progress. Once again the MVT was nearly empty. Near the Slaters Lane turn off, French Braid Kate came by DC-bound. If the weather was bothering her, I couldn’t tell.

South of Old Town I noticed two trees had fallen over from all the rain. One apparently was diseased; the part that hit the MVT seemed to shatter on impact. The trunk was sheared off and obstructing the right lane of the trail. We rolled by. Here and there pieces of rotten tree limbs were strewn along the trail. It occurred to me that a helmet would have been useful in the event of a limb crashing down on my noggin. (This once happened during a storm in Belle Haven Park. A limb dropped directly in front of my bike. It missed my noggin and the rest of me.)  My noggin spared I rolled home soggy but satisfied that Andrea had lost  and The Mule had won.


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