The weatherman warned of nothing but sprinkles for my ride to work. It sounded like a good day for me to wear sandals and ride Big Nellie to Friday Coffee Club. I stepped out of the house ready to go when the sprinkles became a steady rain. Urgh! I prefer to ride The Mule in the rain so I went back into the house to put on some cycling shoes and a vest. Back outside, I saddled up and headed for DC.
I’d only ridden 6 or 7 miles since Sunday. Biking with fresh legs is joy. The pedals seem to go round automatically. I could hear the gears make a buzzing sound. Pedal, pedal, buzz. Riding up North Royal Street in Old Town Alexandria I watched as a young girl broke away from an older girl and dashed across the street in front of the SUV that I was behind. The SUV stopped and the girl made the crossing unharmed. She had a sheepish look on her face that made it clear that she knew she had done something foolish. As I rode past, I told her “Don’t do that again!” I hope she remembers. SUVs make for unpleasant pedestrian experiences.
Trash Walker said hello as I passed him near the airport. It must be good to be retired and healthy.
I crossed Maine Avenue and something seemed different. It wasn’t until I saw a tweet from Katie later that I realized that the terrible rutted and potholed road surfaced and been repaired.
I arrived at Swings to see the early birds already in attendance. As usual most of the Friday Coffee Club folks in attendance were guys except for Lisa who usually leaves before I arrive and Kel who I haven’t seen in quite a while. Chris rode his monster bike. I forgot to get a picture. The tires are so wide that I couldn’t get my hand around the tread. (As the owner of a clown bike and a rolling lawn chair, I am in no position to make disparaging remarks about his choice of two-wheeled transpo.) A few months ago Jesse was visiting from Seattle. He was back today with the news that he had moved to DC. Welcome to the madhouse!
Felkerino arrived on his massively impressive CoMotion tandem with his daughter riding in the stoker seat. Then one by one women began arriving. It was a cascade of femininity, the likes of which the Coffee Club has not seen in ages. Reba, Rachel, Mary, Kristin, Katie, Kirsten, and Kate (making it a 2-Kate Coffee extravaganza) all grabbed a seat. Somehow Mike and Bob (Don’t Call Me Rachel) Cannon sneaked in undetected. Even with satellite versions of Friday Coffee Club now operating in the burbs, we were overflowing with cheerful faces.
Finally, our guest of honor arrived. Lauren (@lkono), a Coffee Club fixture from early on (which is to say last spring), moved to Dublin last fall to go to grad school. I am ever impressed with how she can bike around this city dressed in stylish clothing and not look the least bit disheveled when she arrives at Swings. (I ride ten feet and I look like I slept in a ditch all night.) She’s only here for a couple of days before jetting off to do field work in rural Brazil. (Lauren, can I have your life please?) Suffice it to say, we were all happy to see her. Felkerino took a picture of Lauren and me. (Lauren, can I have your bangs while we’re at it.)
After Coffee Club I still have a couple of miles to go to get to the office back in Virginia. The Teddy Roosevelt Bridge has become my route of choice. I was passed by two inbound cyclists who didn’t register with my brain. I think they were Shawn and Mark, who have both been known to appear at Swings on Fridays.
The ride home was marked by the usual car hassles in the Rosslyn Circle of Death (RCOD). Two cars, one in the left-most lane and one in the center lane, were about to take right turns on red, directly in front of me. I yelled at both and they stopped but not before fully obstructing the crosswalk and curb cut I use to get onto the bike path. (Bitch about scofflaw cyclists all you want, but I can show you some seriously dangerous drivers on a daily basis in the RCOD.)
There are few things more life affirming than a tailwind on the ride home on a Friday night. The Mule and I felt like Dave Stoller and his racing bike. I could almost hear the overture to Rossini’s Barber of Seville. (You’ll note that I felt like Dave Stoller, but The Mule does not follow semis doing 60.)
The Mount Vernon Trail was somewhat crowded, mostly with bike riders going too fast and not announcing their passes. It won’t be long before I see another rider on the ground from this stupidity.
At Gravelly Point a man sat under a tree and played his trumpet Bike commuting is often made better when you have musical accompaniment.
Down near home, the Mount Vernon Trail merges with Northdown Road. Road construction crews are busy rebuilding the road. It needed it because it was nothing but one bumpy patch after another.
Tomorrow I hope to get out for a long ride in the country. This will require getting out of bed early which seems dubious in light of the fact that it is 12:45 as I type this.
Buona notte, Fellini.