As many of my readers know, I did two hilly metric centuries this weekend. Since my accounts and a few pictures are long and I am still pooped, I will blog about them in the days to come. For today I present what it’s like to commute on two legs of lead: not exactly expeditious!
I left home a few minutes early to be sure to arrive at work in time for an 8:30 commitment. About a mile from home I rode up a short steep hill on my way to the Mount Vernon Trail. Dang! My legs were dead meat. Undaunted, I continued on flat Alexandria Avenue. I spotted some kids waiting for a school bus. Their heads were dropping as they drowsily ignored each other and mourned the end of the weekend. On my recumbent I have a nice view of the sky. Just before I passed the kids, a big bald eagle came soaring right over the tops of the trees toward us. Not one of them saw it. Then, another bald eagle came right behind the first. The kids missed that one too. Kind of hard to get inspired for the start of the week if you don’t look up now and then, no?
The ride into work featured a nice cold headwind. Lovely. The Hoppy Runner seemed not to mind as he had the wind at his back. Nancy “Two Sheds” Duley waved hello and yelled “Enjoy the wind!” as she cruised by on her way south.
As I cleared the 14th Street bridge a passing rider commented on my weekend riding. How the heck he knew I rode both rides is beyond me.
The rest of the ride north was uneventful except for the hill up to Rosslyn. It seemed much steeper today. A block from work I admired a black Maserati as it waited at a traffic light in front of me. If I owned a Maserati I don’t think I’d drive it in rush hour traffic.
The ride home featured a welcome tailwind. I could tell I was still a little out of it when I passed a jogger pushing one of those fancy baby carriages. I could see a bike approaching from ahead of us. Normally, I’d just accelerate but today when I called on my legs to push they said, “Not today”. Thankfully, the approaching rider was alert and I managed to veer out of his way. My apologies if you read this.
I have a short climb to get up to Washington Street at the beltway. My legs were convinced we were on Alpe D’Huez. At the top, I started to turn left to cross an intersection. I saw a runner coming from that direction. My eyes fixated on him. Instead of stopping, I glided a bit. Just as the runner reached the curb cut on my side of the intersection, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something big. I hit my brakes and stopped just before hitting a light pole. My legs aren’t the only things that are tired.
I managed to get home from there in one piece. As I crossed the Dyke Marsh boardwalk, I huge Great Blue Heron flew from right to left in front of me, coming to a soft landing in the water to my left.
Even tired and sore, my bike commute is still pretty damned nice.
Tomorrow, part one of Let’s Ride Two.