Errandoneuring in the Summertime

Sleepless in Mount Vernon could be the title of my biography. I got all agitated over a billing dispute with my doctor on Friday. I kept waking up stressing about it. At 5:45 a.m. I gave up and had breakfast.

I hoped to go on a really long ride today (sound familiar) but grogginess had other things in mind. So I decided to do some errands and bike maintenance instead.

There is a bird feeder in front of my kitchen window. Apparently it had become the drive through restaurant of choice for every bird within 20 miles. The damned thing sometimes has 30 birds on and around it. Suffice it to say that I like my birds like Groucho liked his cigar. I rode to the hardware store on Little Nellie to buy more seed. On the way I ran into Nancy “Two Sheds” Duley. We gabbed for a half an hour. One of the shortcomings of living in suburbia is that there is no Swings House of Caffeine nearby.

Once I shut my piehole, I made my way to the hardware store, bought a ten pound bag, and rode back home, listing slightly to the left the whole way.

Next up was adjusting the brakes on Little Nellie. There was no stoppage happening. That accomplished, I pedaled The Mule to Spokes to get a new drivetrain. I was expecting to replace some chainrings but Carlos the Wrench said I didn’t need to. They changed the chain and casette on the spot (Yay, Spokes!) and I was on my way.

After lunch I rode to the drug store to get a baby syringe which I used to inject new lube into the Speedplay Frog pedals on Little Nellie. I had seen this done on YouTube but it didn’t work as well as I had hoped. (You can buy a lube injector but it costs about $20 more than a baby syringe.) I think I’ll spring for the injector.

After 15 miles of riding to stores. I took a much needed nap.

Next up was a walk through what has usually been one of my favorite places in Mount Vernon, Huntely Meadows Park. It’s 1,500 acres of woods and wetlands in the middle of ugly suburbia. If you go early in the morning it’s quiet, but not this afternoon. Cell phone conversations, radios, the sound of people partying in an adjacent neighborhood stole my serenity. But the two mile walk was a nice change of pace. The park authority is allowing beavers to reclaim the park. Much of the swampland has turned dry and is lush with vegetation. The woods that used to be on the perimeter of the swamp are now flooded. Huntley Meadows Park never looks the same twice. Nature never rests.

Tonight I’m going down to the Wilson Bridge to watch fireworks in Old Town. Then I will rest.

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