Coffee and Contrabands

I haven’t ridden in four days. I was away on a business trip Wednesday through Friday. I brought my Bike Friday and intended to ride it after work on Fridat but, alas, twas raining so I just drove home. Yesterday was rainy and cold. Not very inviting biking weather. By evening I was getting irritable, which is a sure thing when I don’t get enough exercise.

So despite feeling really not into it, I jumped on Little Nellie and headed out for a short ride. I took the Mount Vernon Trail to Old Town. The trail was covered in wet leaves so I was extra careful to avoid sudden moves. On Union Street in Old Town I stopped at a stop sign so that a huge SUV coming from my left could (a) not yield to me and (b) roll through its stop sign. Bikes are obviously the problem.

A few blocks further north, I saw a dad and his toddler son get out of an SUV on the opposite side of the street. The little boy had on a plastic green army helmet under a hoodie. As dad turned to close his car door, little boy bolted across the street directly in front of me. I said, “Whoa, dude!” Dad turned around and said, “Sorry.” You might want to keep you “sorries” for mom when you get your kid killed through your negligence, dad.

I rode up King Street in search of coffee. There are about a dozen coffee places to choose from. I made it all the way to the Metro station and turned around. I settled for Dunkin’ Donuts or Dunks as friend of the blog @lkono calls it.  (We used to call it Drunkin’ Donuts because most of its late night customers in Providence were piss drunk.)  If you ever lived in Massacusetts or Rhode Island you’d know that there are more Dunkin Donuts than traffic lights. In my 11 years in Boston and Providence I must have gone to Dunks 200 of 300 times. I really liked the coffee and minchies. Not anymore. It just tastes funky to me now. The coffee cake muffin I had wasn’t bad though.

On the way home, I stopped at the Freeman’s Cemetery. This cemetery is actually a memorial to a cemetery that was established in 1864 for the runaway slaves who found their way to Union-occupied Alexandria during the Civil War. The Contrabands (as the were originally called on a account of their legal status as property) lived in squalor. Many succumbed to smallpox. Over 1,700 were laid to rest in this cemetery. Over the years the cemetery was repeatedly disturbed by road building and other ventures. The last venture was a Mobil gas station. When the Woodrow Wilson Bridge was replaced, the gas station was removed and a cemetery was restored as a memorial.

Some pix of the cemetery can be found on my Flickr page

Cofffeeneuring Scorecard

Date: October 12

Location: Dunks on King Street near the Metro station in Old Town, Alexandria

Drink: House brew with coffee cake muffin. The muffin was way better than the coffee.

Observation: Dunkin Donuts used to be my default coffee shop when I was in school. What the hell do students know about coffee, anyway?

Miles: 18.5

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