Monday, Naked and Shameless

Big Nellie, having escaped arrest for indecent exposure over the weekend, took me to work naked this morning. She was naked. I was clothed.  Just want to make myself crystal clear about this.

The plunge down Park Terrace Drive was rather breezy. We hit 35 miles per hour. I was wearing loose shorts so let’s just say the feeling was rather festive.

I cruised down the Mount Vernon Trail, spotting yet another snapper turtle next to the trail. I am guessing that it was laying eggs. Either that or it was mooning me. It’s hard to tell with the shell.

If the downhill breeze up my pants didn’t wake me up, the reekage in Belle Haven Park would have. There were large pools of standing water that smelled like a sewer. The mallards didn’t mind though. (Remind me not to order duck the next time I eat at a fancy pants restaurant.)

Past the park, I spotted a chipmunk.on the edge of the trail. I wish he hadn’t skittered away. He was pretty cute.

Three of my regulars were out and about. Nancy (Wave Crash/One Bag) Duley was spinning under the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. She had no bag this morning, probably trying to sneak up on me. Having had stench up my nose and a 35-mile per hour wind up my shorts there was no chance of pulling a fast one on me this morning.

A half mile later near Ford’s Landing, I passed Hardware Store Man on his Serotta.

I could tell I am getting used to the naked Nellie when I hit the two boardwalks near Slaters Lane without slowing. I just trusted the bike and it carved through the turns. Wheee.

Just before Rosslyn, I came upon an incredibly skinny runner. She had to be anorexic. I could see every bone in her legs. Her thighs were no bigger than my forearms. I hope she was heading to an iHop. (Seriously, she looked like death. Very scary.)

I was worried that I might have to ride home in the rain. The last time I did I crashed  I still have a red mark on my right knee to show for it. No worries. The road was dry. I could have done without the headwind though.

South of the Memorial Bridge, a kid about 12 years old was sitting in the grass next to the trail fiddling with his bike. I asked if he needed help and he said, “Yes.” He said he had crashed and his chain was all messed up. I couldn’t see any evidence that he was hurt in any way, but his chain was definitely all screwed up. It had somehow jumped over the crank arm and was dangling on the front derailer cage. The chain stay (the tube connecting the seat tube to the back wheel) had all kinds of scratches in the paint. I fiddled with the chain, shifted the front derailer, gently moved the crank arm and, Voila!, fixed. Of course, if it had been my bike, I’d have broken the chain or the derailer or both. Kid, it’s your lucky day.

Cruising along opposite the Washington Monument, a woman of a certain age rode toward me on a CaBi (bikeshare) bike. She smiled at me and said, “Nice bike.” Recumbents are chick magnets.

Sitting at a picnic table near Gravelly Point, a man was doing what looked like Tai Chi. He had some good mojo going from the waist up.

I dropped into the zone and moseyed along at 13 miles per hour. I was on autopilot until I spotted something moving on the trail south of the still stinky Belle Haven Park. It was a little turtle crossing the trail in the direction of the river. I pulled over to give him an assist. He saw me coming and actually sped up. I could see his finned back feet pushing him along. When I got close, he stopped and ducked into his shell. I backed away and he skittered off the trail on his own power. I think this was a very young snapper. Pretty cool.

South of Tulane Drive the trail is being renovated. Two short wooden Northdown Roadhdown has been bridges will be replaced. The Park Service is building a bypass that will be for walking bikes around the work area. Farther south the trail connects with Northdown Road. Nortstripped of pavement and the cobblestone shoulders have been removed. The work crews are pretty patient with trail users so safe passage is not a problem.

I arrived home sweaty. Cotton t-shirts aren’t the best choice for muggy DC bike commutes. I called the local pharmacy to have them refill a prescription expecting to pick it up tomorrow night. The pharmacist apparently used to work in a pizza parlor because she said “Five minutes” when I asked her when it would be ready. The pharmacists get a kick out of seeing me with my bike helmet so I rode the 2 ½ miles to the drug store and back.A 32-mile naked Monday. I do believe I’ll do it again tomorrow. Nellie is shameless.

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