Last Friday, I slept in and missed the most heavily attended Friday Coffee Club. This Friday I would not be denied, even if it meant riding in the rain. So I was up and out of the house by 6:30 and headed to DC. It was DARK. Middle of the night DARK. I pedaled The Mule toward the circle of light cast by my Stella headlight. The mist made me regret wearing my rain pants but when it gave way to steady rain, my choice was vindicated.
It was good to see plenty of runners out on the Mount Vernon Trail. The marathon season is here and those last long training runs must be done. As every runner knows, there are not bad days for running. They sure looked soggy though.
The ride north was into an occasionally stiff headwind which really got my attention as I crossed the Potomac River on the 14 Street bridge. The rain was so steady that there was little need to reach down for my water bottle. From the bladder of the gods.
I took 17 Street to Friday Coffee Club because I did not know if White House Plaza which connects the 15th Street cycletrack to 17th was open. When I arrived at Swings a handful of folks were sitting at the outside tables which are protected from the rain.
It took a while but a decent number of people, ten or fifteen, gathered to chat. Jacques showed up with Hugo, the cutest one-year old boy on the planet. We (excepting Hugo who was busy eating Jacques’ muffin and some Cheerios) solved all the world’s problems in short order and lingered because most of us had no job to go to thanks to the government shutdown. Mary, Queen of Coffeeneuring, was anxious to get back to her government job. I tried to get her to be one with the furlough, to accept her nonessential fate, to embrace unpaid sloth. I am not sure I convinced her.
After a long linger, we went our separate ways. I actually participated in my first roll out, the tradition of riding east across White House Plaza. Ed, normally the roll out photographer declined to snap my picture, protecting his camera from the steady rain. I bid adieu to Ed and Mary at the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track and headed for home. Once back on the MVT I enjoyed a steady tailwind and a trail of my own all the way to Old Town. With each passing mile the rains increased in intensity until I was riding through a deluge. Belle Haven Park had a decent number of runners slogging about. Runners are tough.
I rolled into home to find my house invaded by our cleaning service. I snuck in the back door and went down to the basement to take off all my wet things. Once the crew left, I showered and sat down to another hard day of furloughing.
Coffeeneuring No. 4
Location: Swings House of Caffeine at 17th and G Streets NW, Washington DC
Drink: Colombian house brew. The best of the four coffeeneuring brews so far.
Miles: 28.5 (I think my new front tire short changed me by about a mile.)
Highlight: Hugo, the world youngest coffeeneur