23 Degrees and Grateful

23 degrees in the shade. Except it was dark. I took off aboard The Mule well before sunrise to make a 7:30 physical therapy appointment on the way to work. I got about a mile from home when the fruits of last night’s gusting winds became evident:

DSCN3626_764

I briefly considered walking around the tree on the lawn to the right. Then I saw the wires and cables near the curb and thought better of it. I backtracked about a half mile and began my trek anew.

I made it to the Dyke Marsh bridge just as the sun was rising. My name is Rootchopper and I am a sunrise addict.

Daybreak and Sequoia - Dyke Marsh 2-4-15

I stopped again under the Wilson Bridge to admire a lift being used to diddle around with the underside of the I95 roadway far above. The lift completely blocked the trail. Nobody bothered to direct traffic because I was pretty much all the traffic that there was to direct. I stopped and took a picture for the hell of it:

Maintenance at the Wilson Bridge

All this stopping and gawking was eating up time. So I boogeyed on up the trail to the physical therapist, located conveniently right on the trail just north of Old Town.

My therapist gave me an extensive exam, ruling out causes for my numb right foot. He gave me a couple of PT exercises to do and we set up a schedule for follow up visits. One of the exercises is the standard runner’s lean to stretch the calf muscle. The other uses a belt to stretch the hamstrings. Looks like the acupuncturist and the PT man are on the same page.

The rest of the ride to work was cold but uneventful. I managed to avoid some black ice here and there. North of the airport I waved to @bilsko as he headed southward. Next I tried to get Mrs. Rootchopper’s attention as she sat in a long line of cars headed for the 14th Street bridge. She didn’t see me. She didn’t look very happy. I was cold but at least I was smiling – and moving.

Temperatures had climbed into the 30s for the ride home. Winds were light. And I was feeling pretty darn good after a low stress day at the office. To be honest, it was just about the nicest ride home I’ve had in a long time. I took in the monuments. They never get old. Every so often a bird flew across the trail. Some Canada geese flew over the river. There were no hills to slow me. When I feel like this, the ride becomes rolling meditation. My mind just ignores the stresses of life and goes on a vacation. I sing (badly). (“Fall at Your Feet” by Crowded House/Neil Finn has been my earworm for three days now.)

As I made my way south of Old Town, the full moon shone above the far bank of the river. It cast a perfect moonbeam on the water. I’d have taken a picture, but it would not have done it justice. It was jaw-droppingly beautiful. I am sooo grateful for my commute route.

Black ice kept appearing in front of me and I just sailed around it. There was no way I was going down tonight. Just not going to happen.

I arrived home to see a small box on my doorstep. My repaired headset had arrived from Chris King. Wanting not to push my cycling luck, I hopped in the car and drove to Spokes Etc. Belle View store where Little Nellie had been stashed during the repair. They should have my steed back to me tomorrow. I’ve missed you Little Nellie.

Beautiful sunrise, full moon, meditative ride, and repaired bike. Not a bad day.

Grateful.

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