When your bike commute is 29 1/2 miles round trip, you rack up the miles pretty fast. Add a side trip to the Friday Coffee Club and you’re looking at a 150 mile week. This makes it kind of hard to get all enthusiastic about doing a lot of bike riding on the weekend. Oh, I still do a long ride now and then, but some weekends I just need to recharge my legs and my head.
This weekend and next are set aside for family doings. Saturday, despite the threat of rain, we got up early and drove for 2 1/2 hours to Hershey Park. My wife and daughter are roller coaster addicts and the sky above Hershey Park is a spaghetti bowl of roller coasters. It’s crazy. You’re having a conversation and ROAR/EEEEKKKK!!! a roller coaster goes screaming by overhead.
We met my son, his girlfriend, and her family at the gates. Her father works for one of the many organizations associated with the Hershey Chocolate company so as we went along he told us all sorts of information about Milton Hershey and his business philosophy. For example, he endowed a school for needy kids that is still very much in operation. During the depression, he had his employees build a resort to tide them over during the slump in sales. Hershey Park sprung out of and evolved from land set aside for employee recreation. One wonders where the Milton Hersheys of today have gone.
Other than a few very gentle rides I kept my feet and my tender stomach on solid ground. The others in our group were fearless. And since it was threatening to rain, the park was not crowded, so waits for the rides were short. We went on the Ferris wheel (they pitied me) and could see some old buildings in the town of Hershey being torn down. It was the original factory. So much for preserving history. We could also see an old roller coaster with a set of cars stuck near the top of one of its big climbs. (They got it going in about five minutes.)
It was hot. The park is kind of hilly and we walked all over the place. After about six hours, we were all pretty pooped and called it a day.
My wife, daughter, and I drove back home. After arriving, we realized that the city of Alexandria was having fireworks. So back in the car we went. We parked on the street in Old Town and hoofed it to the center of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge where we were joined by dozens of big spiders that have taken up residence on the bridge railings and sound walls. EEK! During our walk we enjoyed some pretty spectacular skyscapes, too.
The main event was Alexandria’s fireworks with the monuments of DC in the back ground. Occasionally, we could see fireworks on the western and northern horizon. And for the first 10 minutes or so, National Harbor on the opposite side of the bridge was shooting off their Saturday night barrage.
It was a pretty cool topper to a long day. I must say that I am surprised we didn’t see fireworks of a different sort: cars were parked on the shoulders of the bridge. This was INSANE! Once the fireworks ended these cars were pulling out willy nilly into high speed traffic. I do hope that the police take steps to avoid a tragedy in the future.
After we arrived home I got to see the Nationals lose to the Marlins in the tenth inning. Boo.
Today, I woke up with really sore calves. This is what happens when you use leg muscles you’re not used to using. I took it easy, watched the Nats beat the Fish (Yay) and then went for an easy 20 mile ride down to Mount Vernon. I think they are ready for another week of bike commuting.