Bike Commuting Karma

I often write about my bike commuting trance. In fact, people I know in DC bring it up all the time in conversation. Last night I popped a couple Tylenol PMs to help me sleep through Mrs. Rootchopper’s nasty cough. (I swear I did not give this disease to her. Her boss did. Really.)mule-post-sunrise I was still groggy when I headed out for work on The Mule.

I managed to make it nearly all the way to work without incident. I even stopped for a sort- of-sunrise picture. Sorry, readers, but the sunrises a little too early for me now. (This is a good thing for my visibility and my mood, however.)

I was plodding along, comfy with temperatures in the 30s and light winds. Then I rode up the short steep hill to the Intersection of Doom. The IoD is called this because of the number of people on foot and wheel who have been hit there. It is the meeting of North Lynn Street on which north bound traffic heads into Georgetown via the Key Bridge, US 29, and off- and on-ramps to I-66. Does that sound like a mess? Well, add a helluva a lot of impatient car and bike commuters and you have a recipe for disaster.

I was on the connector trail that links up the Custis Trail with the Mount Vernon Trail. Thanks to my drug assisted trance and the effort from the hill, my mind was completely out to lunch. At the IoD I took an immediate left from the connector trail across an I66 off- ramp via a cross walk. I looked up and saw that the WALK signal had a red 10 illuminated. I had 10 seconds. I noted that there was no traffic heading from my right to my left. And for some reason my brain did not register the fact that this meant that the I66 off-ramp cars had a green light. I signaled my left turn, looked left, made eye contact with the driver of the lead car in the first lane of three that I had to cross, and I turned.

It was only as I was directly in front of the car that I realized that the car had a green light. Ack! I was saved by the simple fact that a recent change to the traffic signals prohibited a right hand turn while the WALK light was not in steady red hand STOP mode.

But I still had two lanes to go. For some reason, the bike commuting gods had blocked off the center lane with traffic cones so I actually had a place to stop in the middle of this godforsaken crossing. I was about to stop when I noticed that no cars were coming up the last of the three lanes. I quickly pedaled across it to the safety of the sidewalk beyond. Dang.

I am one lucky mule driver.

I was a lot more attentive on the ride home. Good thing too. The Mount Vernon Trail goes uphill from Jones Point Park to get to South Washington Street in Old Town Alexandria. At South Washington the trail takes a left across South Street and continues along the river. I had a white WALK signal for my left-hand turn. A car was waiting at the red light. I aimed my helmet light at the driver and slowed down. Despite the fact that there were 500 lumens of my headlight beam in her eyes, the driver took a right on red, WALK signal be damned. Dang again.

I yelled at her but my heart really wasn’t into it. There was some kind of bike commuting karma going on today.

Funny thing was, that within a mile I was back in my trance. I rode up a long gradual incline and got that “how did I get here” feeling.

Just lucky I guess.

 

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Bike Me Out to the Protest

Where should I ride today? is a question I ask myself often on the weekends. After riding 150 miles during my workday commutes, I tend to sleep in on Saturdays and Sundays. When I awaken, it’s too late to drive somewhere far for a pleasant ride in the country.

During baseball season, if the schedule permits, I ride to Nationals Park. It’s about 16 flat miles including the first 12 miles of my bike commute. I get to use the bike valet and relax in the sun with a cold beverage and a snack or two. Blissful. (To borrow a word from one of my favorite bloggers.)

Alas, opening day is still more than two months away. For years cynics said that Washington DC could not support a baseball team because it’s favorite sport was politics. In that spirit, I decided to ride to today’s somewhat spontaneous protest of the administrations ban on immigrants from certain predominantly Muslim countries.

After riding to the cellphone store for a tweak to my phone, Deets and I headed for the White House. With temperatures in the mid-40s and sidewinds, the normal weekend mob on the Mount Vernon Trail took the day off. In fact, other than Sunday brunchers in Old Town, I was mostly riding alone. Until I got to within a few blocks of the White House, that is. I was in the 15th Street cycletrack stopped at a red light. There were scores of people coming toward me from Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue. As I progressed up 15th, I could see crowds of people coming toward me on each side street I crossed.

I took a left into the car-free plaza that runs in front of the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue from 15th Street to 17th Street. I could see what looked like a very loud, very large crowd. It was too dense to walk my bike through but it was only about 10,000 people. It looked like a lot more because the people were hemmed in by the temporary fencing protecting the inauguration viewing stand that had yet to be dismantled.

I took a couple of pictures and doubled back to 15th. I duck walked Deets to H Street and then back toward Lafayette Park across the plaza from the White House. Hundreds of people were streaming toward me from all directions. Then I heard a familiar voice call my name. It was Ted, a #bikedc and #fridaycoffeeclub friend. He was standing at the curb trying to get a hold of Jean, his S.O., who was somewhere in the now rapidly growing crowd. We talked for about 15 minutes. He introduced me to his friend Hector who is a photojournalist.

After a brief chat we went our separate ways. I waded into Lafayette Park. It was now on the back side of the protest crowd. The crowd was on the eastern end of the White House plaza having been denied access to the space on the western end (nearest the Oval Office and the president’s residence.) From my vantage point it didn’t seem like the protest was going to further develop so I made my way west through a steady stream of people arriving. As I mounted my bike, I said hi to Joe, another photographer (and author), who was walking toward the festivities with camera in hand.

For a change of pace, I rode home via the Mall and the Memorial Bridge. I took the inland route past the vast Pentagon parking lost which were being treated with brine in advance of tonight’s inclement weather.

The ride home was peaceful. I through in a few hills just to goose my heart rate. When I got home, I checked my phone. I was shocked at how many people I knew were in the crowd only a few yards from me in Lafayette Park. And I was doubly shocked to see how large the crowd grew. I left the White House and marched to the Trump Hotel and then on to the Capitol.

So the weekend ended. Tomorrow I work from home so that I can let the plumber in. It’s just a coincidence there may be unpleasant conditions for bike commuting.

I wonder if there will be a protest next weekend. It would be nice if there weren’t one but my sense is that this is the new normal. What bizarre times.

 

Feel

This morning’s bike commute, my fifth this week, began with a sense of dread..Last night, for the third night this week, I woke up at 3:30 and couldn’t get back to sleep. My circadian rhythms are not amusing me.

I pulled on my overboots and layers and hat and whatnot. Ugh. I left early and was plodding away on The Mule. About two miles into the ride, my friend Reba blew by me like I was standing still. She made a friendly mocking remark about my utter lack of celerity. I mumbled profanities.dyke-marsh-and-mule

At three miles I stopped to sit on a bench and take a slightly pre-sunrise picture.

Do I have to get back on that bike? Can’t I just sit here and freeze to death?

The merry prankster in me said “Further!” and I mounted my two-wheeled steed. It’s so hard to turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream when you’re on a bike, groggy, and struggling upstream.

My head hung low but I slogged along. Then out of the top of my peripheral vision I saw something. I looked up. A woman was walking her large dog. She was on the right edge of the trail and the dog, on a leash, was on the left edge of the trail. I hit my brakes and the squealed. “Oh!” I shook my head as I passed. “Duh!”

Once I was at work and had switched out of my overboots and layers and hats and whatnot the muscles in my upper back went into spasm. Off and on. All day.

Then my head cold returned.

The first one of you who says “You should try yoga” is gonna get it.

Strangely, once I was back on my bike for the ride home, my back felt fine. The ride home had a tailwind-ish feel. A passing rider even said “sort of a tailwind.”

Riding down from a short bridge just south of Alexandria, my hanging head almost did me in again. The headlights of the oncoming cars on the adjacent parkway were blinding me. Then I saw them: two ninja walkers, dressed in dark clothing, backlit by the headlights. As I was about to go around them, two bike commuters came speeding past. The first one calling out his pass almost too late. The second one didn’t bother.

The rest of the ride was actually pleasant. When I got home I did the back exercises (that Mrs. Rootchopper calls the “Y” word). While in a shoulder stand, my upper back went into spasm. I rolled out of the position, sat, and breathed calmly. Go away spasm. And it did.

And so ends six days of riding 179 miles in January. At age 61. Feeling every year.

 

 

Let There Be Light

The last time I commuted by bike was last Wednesday. Moving just 5 days along the calendar this time of year brings a sweet benefit: daylight. I noticed that I can now see the combination lock to access my bikes without a headlight in the morning. It’s still before sunrise but there is enough emerging light that I can make do.

I start my ride with “be seen” lights. A blinking front and two blinking rear lights allow drivers to see me (if they are looking, more on this below). I arrived at my sunrise spot today just a tad early. The Mule posed for a picture.

mule-before-sunrise

You may notice one peculiarity about The Mule. It’s pedals don’t match. I replaced the left pedal when it disintegrated on my bike tour last summer. I haven’t gotten around to replacing the right one.

After I put my phone away, the sun broke over the horizon. I appreciated it’s brightness all the more because of a string of dreary, gray days.

I wore a holey wool sweater under my wind breaker shell in the morning. The bright sun warmed things up considerably on the ride in.

I left work before sunset with March-like temperatures just below 60 degrees. The wool sweater was in the bottom of one of my panniers. I know this warmth was only for one day but did it ever feel good.

The ride homeward went off without a hitch until I had an all too close encounter in Old Town. I stopped at a stop sign. (No lie.) A big black SUV had its turn signal on and turned left across my path. I started pedaling. A red SUV was behind the black one. It did not have its turn signal on. It did not stop at its stop sign. Instead it started turning right at me! For a split second my brain didn’t process what was about to happen, then I yelled WHOA! WHOA! I veered to my right and looked left so that my helmet-mounted headlight would shine in the driver’s eyes. As far as I can tell the red SUV never slowed. The driver never saw me. He just missed taking me out.

After something like this happens, the adrenaline feeds the squirrels in my brain. The next couple of miles were rather un-trance-like. Once I cleared Old Town and its dance with death I fell back into a trance for about a mile. Then I noticed cars backed up heading in my direction on the GW Parkway to my right. This could mean only one thing: a big crash. Sure enough, at the sweeping turn near the fishing hole (really just a popular river bank fishing spot) I could see one small car all bashed in with no windshield. Friend of the blog Nancy who lives down my way said the accident also involved a motorcycle. Ugh. I didn’t stop to gawk because this was obviously a serious situation and the emergency responders didn’t need me getting in the way.

I put The Mule away. Inside my house I started walking down the stairs when my left leg gave way. I somehow managed to strain my  left iliotibial band, the thin muscle that runs from the outside of the hip to the outside of my knee. Lucky for me I bought some vitamin I today with an added sedative. Zzzzzz.

 

 

Well at Least It Didn’t Snow

It seems as if January 23 is Precipitation Day in the DMV. Last year we were pounded with snow. This year it rained. A lot. There were warnings of gale force winds. So I didn’t ride my bike to work.

Ha. Ha. Fooled you.

The Mule and I started out into a strong, gusting headwind and light rain. And that’s how it went for 15 miles. It was in the mid 40s so it wasn’t an entirely miserable experience. I wanted to take a picture of the sunrise at my usual spot in Dyke Marsh but the sun was taking the day off. Gloom. Gray. Ugh.

I kept my head down and plowed along into the wind as hit me from 1 o’clock. When I rode under the Wilson Bridge the structure seemed to cause the wind to intensify. I struggled to stay upright and forged ahead.

In Old Town, the scofflaw parker at 420 North Union Street was blocking the bike lane again. I rode a half mile before finding sufficient shelter to call it in to the authorities. When I tried to get underway again, the wind was blowing straight at me. It took serious effort to launch The Mule.

I kept my head down to keep my glasses dry. I could only see a few feet ahead. Not enough to avoid a big tree limb that had fallen across the trail. So The Mule and I rode over it. The Mule abides.

I made it to work late but in one piece. Later in the day I learned that a large tree had fallen across the trail near the 14th Street Bridge. That is always my biggest concern. As comedian Ron White says, “It’s not that the wind is blowing; it’s what the wind is blowing.” When the ground gets saturated from heavy rain, tree roots lose their hold and the wind does the rest.

The ride home began in daylight. Sort of. Gloom. Gray.

I made it to the trail and had a nice strong tailwind. Yay, storms!

The Mule and I cruised down river toward the downed tree. No tree’s gonna stop us! And we were right. The National Park Service had come out and cleared it away.

The rest of the ride was pretty effortless. The streets of Old Town along the river showed some signs of flooding but Union Street was passable. We passed.

South of the Beltway, we cruised along, at one point going through deep water where the river had overflowed its banks. Along another, drier section of the trail I had fallen into my bike trance when we were joined by a rather fearless bunny. Instead of darting off the trail as we approached, the bunny bounded down the trail ahead of us. After a full minute, the bunny banged a right and disappeared into wet scrub brush.

We get more of this fun tomorrow morning.

Only 69 days until opening day.

 

A Million People, Give or Take, and Some Kindness

Hillary Clinton was my daughter’s high school graduation speaker. Her speech was not political; it was funny and eloquent and inspiring. They shook hands immediately after my daughter received her diploma.  I know exactly how my daughter, who can now vote, felt on election night. I was an eight year old Irish Catholic, an altar boy, when JFK was shot. Dreams die hard.

So last night, I considered my options for today. I could go on a solo hike or I could accompany Mrs. Rootchopper to the Women’s March in Washington DC. I chose the latter.

We arrived in DC at 8 am, parked the car, and walked across the National Mall to meet a friend at the Woolly Mammoth ThDSCN5733.JPGeater Company. The folks there had opened their doors for restrooms and refreshments. What an act of kindness. You can be sure we will be checking out their productions in the future.

After hanging out for a while we headed across the Mall on 7th Street. The crowds were already getting big. Signs were everywhere. Traffic cops wore Statue of Liberty crowns. We moved down the Mall to 4th Street and finally came to a stop at Jefferson, near the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian. The crowd grew and grew. We could only see about 50 yards in any direction but all we could see were people. People on the edges of ledges on the museum. People on traffic signals. People in trees.

There we stood, unable to move without massive effort amid the deDSCN5752.JPGnse throng. I was apparently starting to show signs of discomfort when a woman of a certain age walked past. She looked at me and said “Breathe” and calmly inhaled through her nose. She told me she was a Buddhist as she walked past. Another act of kindness. A group of college aged protesters started to get vocal. They were joined by some drummers. A drum/dance circle formed. Party!

The circle broke up. We stood and got jostled around waiting for the march to begin. The start time came and went. Another hour passed. Our knees and backs were starting to lock up from standing in the same spot for so long.

Finally we noticed that people behind us were no longer waiting for the march which was supposed to go down Independence Avenue toward the White House. Instead these people were taking a parallel route down the Mall. We waited until we started hearing that the march had been cancelled because the crowd was so big. So the crowd just started to flow down the Mall. And we went with it.

A young woman was perched on her boyfriend’s shoulders taking pictures. I handed her my camera.

dscn5763

They did this over and over. At one point, the man slowly rotated so she could get a 360 degree shot with another marcher’s camera. Still another act of kindness.

After another 30 or 40 minutes we came to a standstill at 7th Street. Mrs. RC and I decided to leave. we had been there for about 7 hours. The crowd was heading north and we needed to go south. Suffice it to say, we would make excellent salmon.

Many blocks from the Mall we were still going against the flow, this time of people just arriving at the march. It was about 3 pm. It made me wonder if this thing would ever end.

After leaving we made our way to a diner in Arlington across the river from DC. All the customers had come from the march. I check my phone which could now get service and saw the pictures from New York, Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Paris, Tucson, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Saint Petersburg, Berlin, Paris, and Antarctica. Unreal.

I can’t say we had a good time at the march. Mostly we just stood around frozen in place by people. I was disappointed that I didn’t see anybody I knew even though there were probably 50 friends of mine in attendance. But I am glad I went. To add another dot in the crowd shots. To send a message. And to witness how a million people can get along with a few million acts of kindness.

I would be remiss if I did not thank all the police and EMTs who did their jobs with calm professionalism today.

Here are some photos.

How to Survive the Inauguration without a Rant – Fail

I hate politics. To my bones. I hate hatred and bigotry more. Today was a difficult day.

So how did I cope from my perch in the sprawling DC suburbs?

I kept the TV off.

I slept in.

I read the paper and did the puzzles. (Got the Sudoku and the crossword.)

Ate too much.

Took a long nap with an eye mask and a ear plugs.

Rode Big Nellie in the basement while reading a book about electronic stock trading. (We’re havin’ fun now!)

Woke up and checked social media for interesting things. Saw a neo-nazi get cold cocked by an anarchist. Read tweets mocking the 10 year old son of Trump. (Pro tip: leave the kid alone. I don’t care what anybody said about the Carter, Bush, Clinton or Obama kids. Just leave him alone.)

Saw pictures of #bikedc’s Nelle, Michelle, and Rachel being awesome in DC. One was protesting. One held her nose as she took her mom to the inauguration. One went to work downtown. If you are in despair about the future, you should meet them. It’s going to be okay.

I thought about posting a long political rant and thought better of it. I thought it was very creepy that the Mall was so empty today and the stands along the inaugural route were too. I felt anger at the idiots who were rioting downtown. (Another pro tip: the small business people whose property you damaged are just trying to get by. They don’t need this crap.) There are big political disagreements in this country. That’s okay. That’s democracy. My objections to Trump aren’t political; they are personal. He lost me at mocking the disabled reporter. I am a father of a daughter who shook Hillary Clinton’s hand at her high school graduation.  She, like so many young women I know, was shattered by Trump’s election just as I, an eight-year-old Irish American altar boy, was at JFK’s assassination. Whatever Trump accomplishes, the ends do not justify the means. We are all better than this. Suffice it to say, a much better future will be delivered by my daughter, by the Nelles, Michelles, and Rachels and hoards of other motivated women who will come of age and say “Never again.”

So, I guess I ranted. My bad.

 

 

Winter Moments

Many years ago I taught at a college in Newport Rhode Island. The academic building was located on the cliff walk next to the famous summer “cottage” of the Vanderbilts known as The Breakers. Many times I would arrive just after sunrise and the entire school and all the mansions would be completely socked in by fog. A fog horn moaned in the distance.

This morning as I rolled out of my driveway I had a flashback to my Newport days. I can’t remember it ever being so foggy here in DC. I could not make out the main road that is only 50 yards from my driveway. I stopped to take a picture.

fog2

The pickup truck is parked at the corner. The illuminated street light is on the opposite side of the main road.

I forged onward totally paranoid that the car drivers would not be able to see me. To add to the peril, the fog condensed on my glasses making it even more difficult for me to see. Fortunately, they were being careful and my route for the most part is on quiet side streets.

I figured by the time I reached the river the fog would have lifted. I figured wrong. Readers of this blog will know that I take sunrise pictures from a bump out in the wooden bridge that carries the Mount Vernon Trail over Dyke Marsh. Here’s today’s sunrise.

fog1

Dang.

The ride to work along the trail was safe but spooky. The regulars were out. The hoppy runner. The mom pushing what must now be a 1 1/2 year old in a jogging stroller. If she keeps this up, she’ll be She Hulk in a few years.

I looked to see if there were bald eagles in the tree at the Belle Haven nest. I couldn’t see the tree.

Once I made it through Old Town the fog began to lift, only to be replaced by a persistent, annoying headwind. It was the kind of headwind that made me check my brakes to see if they were sticking against the rim. I stopped briefly to report the scofflaw parker blocking the bike lane at 420 N. Union Street. Again. (Apparently last night’s call didn’t result in a ticket. We should all be treated with such forbearance by the police.)

I was really looking forward to the ride home because the temperature was in the high 50s. That’s pretty sweet for January in DC. Then I rolled out of the garage and was treated to a nice surprise. Sunlight. It was still light out. Are you kidding me? Yes!

And it stayed light out for 15 minutes.

Bike commuting in winter does have its moments.

Intentionally Outdoors

I have been sick on and off for the last three weeks. Nothing major, just a cold that seems to be wandering around my body disrupting things. Mostly, it makes me tired. So I thought I would use this weekend to just lie around in my jammies and rest.

I did pretty well. I watched some football, something I don’t usually do without my son’s insightful and amusing play by play. He is 12 hours away so I went solo.

Knowing I was going full coach potato during the games, I intentionally hopped on Deets yesterday for an easy bike jaunt. I decided to ride the tour of Arlington (a bike trail circuit around the county) in a counter clockwise direction. I also planned to throw in a quick ride to Hains Point in DC because it’s what #bikedc people do.

On my way past the airport I ran into Ryan, master planner of our No Wrong Plan bike tour in 2015. He was riding from Bethesda to buy a used seat post for the Frankenroadbike he is building. During our discussion he gave me the idea to switch my route to a ride up Rock Creek Park. Once I left, I reconsidered. I was already tired and a clothing experiment I was trying was not working out leaving me chilled.

So it was down to Hains Point then back across the Memorial Bridge. The city is teeming with tourists who think it’s perfectly okay to walk four and five abreast on sidewalks. I refrained from giving them a good talking to hoping they’d scurry back to Peoria in due time.

Around the foot of Arlington Memorial Cemetery where the white gravestones are still adorned with a Christmas wreath. I could tell my body was not having fun when I climbed the hill near the Netherlands Carillon. The fun lessened as I rode the hilly Custis Trail, all the while thinking, “What crackpot thought this route up?” (Er, that would be me.)

I reached the turnaround at the W&OD and its gradual downward decline toward home. I arrived at home super tired after my 40 mile rest ride and realized I had a splitting sinus headache. I went to use my sinus irrigation gizmo but it was broken. I took drugs, watched the Steelers win, and went to sleep.

Today I slept in. (The drugs were good.)  I needed to get a new sinus gizmo and a book to read since I was nearly through with The Arm. Mindful of my intention to rest, I rode to the Barnes and Noble in Potomac Yard, because that is the only bookstore anywhere near my hours. Ten miles away. On the way I noticed a stalker in Dyke Marsh. A great blue heron that was sticking around for winter.

Heron at Dyke Marsh 2.jpg

I bought Michael Lewis’s Flash Boys at the bookstore and turned around for home. It was surprisingly nice out, especially for mid January. (We will pay for this in a week or two.)

Just before I reached home, I stopped at a drug store and bought a neti pot. It was time to go old school. I used it when I got home and felt quite a bit better.

In two days of rest, I rode 60 miles. It was good to be outdoors again. I only work Wednesday and Thursday this week. I am hoping the weather is good for inauguration day so that I can ignore the festivities hiking somewhere. For those of you who want to save time, here’s what will happen. The big wigs assemble at the Capitol. They swear the new guy in. He makes a lame speech. There’s a parade.

Go outside. It’ll be huge.

 

 

Basement Droppings

  • I skipped bike commuting for two days this week. One was freakishly warm, of course. The other was about 10 degrees warmer than normal.
  • One of those days I went to a happy hour for a departing co-worker, a volunteer event at my kids’ high school, and a happy hour for my local bike association.
  • I gave a friend a ride home. As he was warning me about a red light camera, I idiotically rolled into the crosswalk and set off the camera. Doh! Car driving is hard. I’m going to ride a bike instead.
  • Last night I went to a happy hour for Ultrarunnergirl. Today is her birthday. She somehow turned 28. Again. We met either on Twitter or at Friday Coffee Club. I haven’t seen her ages so it was great to see her and her husband Tom, and a gaggle of chatty friends. Many of them had drinks that were red and bubbled and steamed. I had one beer and two club sodas. I am too old for drinking these days, I guess.
  • I am happy to report that Washington’s much maligned subway system worked just fine last night. There were no fires, no breakdowns, and no derailments.
  • Pretty soon I am going to buy a Capital Bikeshare membership. This is our local bike sharing system that I have never used. Their bikes rarely burn up, breakdown, or derail.
  • Right now the weather is looking very good for inauguration day. I don’t plan on watching let alone going. (I haven’t gone to one yet and this is my ninth since I moved to DC.) I hope to either do a hike or ride my bike a long way.
  • Today was cold and rainy. So I rode in the basement. I am still reading “The Arm.” It’s about the epidemic of Tommy John surgeries in baseball. I will have to close my eyes to watch Nats pitchers next year. It sure is strange that you don’t hear much about torn rotator cuffs anymore, except for Ultrarunnergirl’s Tom who is rehabbing his. I am afraid his days as a long reliever are over. My father had two torn rotator cuffs. His doctor said this is not uncommon among the elderly. I think I tore my right rotator cuff a few summers ago when throwing a kick ball. My upper right arm exploded in pain. It felt like someone had stuck me with a knife.
  • I could throw pretty hard in grade school but I was terrified of hurting someone. I pitched to one batter in little league. I walked him on four pitches. I was banished to the outfield for life.
  • I am watching (sort of) the NFL playoffs. Mostly to keep track of my friends’ teams. My team is the Patriots because I lived withing 30 miles of Foxboro for 11 years. Of course, they were mediocre when I lived there. Here’s the rest of the affiliations.
    • My wife is pulling for the Steelers because one of the players played with my son in high school.
    • The Steelers beat the Dolphins who are the team of my friend Rocky.
    • My 50 States Ride buddy Emilia is rooting for Seattle. She’s a bit of fanatic. She has a number 12 jersey.
    • My grad school friend Rich roots for Detroit. His team is eliminated.
    • My friend Klarence is a rabid Packers fan. Which is weird because as a vegan she hate cheese.
    • My friend Kristen roots for Ed Hochuli because she thinks he has a hot bod. (I am not making this up.) She can be excused because she is from Buffalo and well their football history is rather sad.
  • I plan on watching the Patriots game for at least the first two concussions and debilitating knee injuries.