Riding to Eagles and Beatles

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The weather was perfect for a bike ride. Yay, April. So off I went on Little Nellie to DC. As I passed beneath the Morningside eagle nest I spotted a white head sticking up from the nest. I couldn’t tell if it was an eagle or an opportunistic osprey but it gave me an idea for a destination: the National Arboretum and its bald eagle nest.

I took the Woodrow Wilson Bridge across the Potomac River. The climb away from the river passes the enormous new MGM casino complex. It’s a whole lot of ugly, but you can eat at posh restaurants and see a show and throw away your hard earned dollars there. Go get ’em. I’ll pass.

At the top of the hill, I took a sidewalk (because MDOT hasn’t figured out how to accommodate bicyclist for beans in this area) to Oxon Hill Farm and descended back to the river. You see this climb and descent is required because MDOT couldn’t figure out how to add a trail along the river as there has been in Virginia for over 45 years.

The descent was a little scary because my left hand is messed up from getting jammed in flood debris on my hike yesterday. I think a small piece of wood may be lodged in my left middle finger. So braking is rather difficult.

I rode through Anacostia and made my way to Anacostia Park where there was a big festival. I ran into Nelle and Ursula from WABA. They were busy getting set up for the event.  At an adjacent booth I talked with Carlos (I think that’s his name) who used to work in my local bike shop. He immediately recognized Little Nellie and asked how many miles she had on her (17,500+). Carlos did good work.

After being social for a few minutes I went back into introverted rider bliss mode along the Anacostia River.  Puffy clouds and blue skies were reflected in its calm waters. I crossed over the river on the Benning Road overpass and took busy Benning northeast. Not a lot of fun but it got the job done. No way I would ride this street on a weekday. Two more busy, bike-hostile roads (17th Street and Blandensburg Road) and I was into the Arboretum. I walked by bike past a road block allowing only pedestrians to enter. Alas, further up the road a more restrictive sign appeared. No entry. Period. So I turned around.

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You can check out the bald eagle nest on dceaglecam.org.  There are two very cute eaglets in the nest right now. They seem to be thriving for all I know.

After my eagle fail,  I headed across town to the new REI store where a free beer event was to be held later in the day.  I arrived way too early so instead of drinking beer I went gawked at all the merchandise. It’s a outdoorsy wet dream. Kayaks and bikes and clothing, oh my.

The store is in the renovated Uline Arena, the site of the first Beatles concert in the US. (The place was called the Washington Sports Arena back in 1964.) The store gives a nod to this history (and other events that happened there) by putting replicas of concert posters on the concrete support posts in the store. The Beatles concert occurred a few days before their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show that I watched in my jammies. (I found it utterly incomprehensible. I had three older brothers who, like every other kid in the country, became big fans. As, eventually, did I.)

After being overwhelmed with retail madness I headed home. The traffic on the streets and the trails was quite heavy. Tourists were stopping without warning on their bike share bikes. A couple of Lance Mamilots tried to impress the word with their speedy and agile bike riding on the narrow Mount Vernon Trail. The annoyances were minor.

I made it home to watch the end of the baseball game and to re-lube my chain. Yesterday I removed the clipless pedals from Big Nellie. Today I remove the matching cleats from my biking shoes. I am an old school toe clip dude. Sue me.

Postscript: the piece of wood in my finger popped out while doing dishes tonight. All in one piece. That’s never happened to me before. It looked like a dark brown rice kernel. Ewww

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Osprey and Eagle

I did another ride among the eagle nests today. My ride to Old Town took me past three nests. None had eagles near them. I rode through Old Town and back, mostly to make sure there was no ice on the trail. (There was a big icy section of the Mount Vernon Trail in the shadow of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Jones Point Park last night when I came home. It is all melted now.)

On the ride back south, I spotted what I thought was a bald eagle near the first nest at the Belle Haven Country Club. I took several shots before I realized that it was an osprey. Both birds have white heads but ospreys have white chest feathers and are thinner and smaller.

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I rode about a mile farther south and came upon the nest just past Tulane Drive. It had a bald eagle standing guard.

This is the nest that I saw two eagles at last week.  Unfortunately, this bald eagle was not a cooperative one. It kept its back to me the entire time I was watching it. Most of the time I see eagles around here they are facing the river. Today was the same. The nest is fairly large as you can see (most of it, at least) in the lower right picture.

I continued riding south to the nest at Morningside Lane. This nest, about a half mile from the Tulane nest, looks abandoned. It may have lost part of its structure as it seems asymmetric.

I rode on to the Fort Hunt nest a couple of miles farther south. This nest is across the GW Parkway from the river. It is massive. I have seen one of its residents perched in a tree right above the trail on a few occasions but today was not one of them.

So I went 1 for 4 with an error. Not bad for spring training.

 

 

 

 

It’s Sunday in ‘Merica

Yes, today is a patriotic American Sunday. I bought my tax software yesterday and in about 2 hours finished the first cut at our returns this morning. It looks like we’ll be getting back a little over $300. I think that cuts the withholding to the quick.

After doing taxes, I decided to go for a short bike ride around the Fort Hunt neighborhood. This was a fairly uneventful lolly gag until I worked my way over the the Mount Vernon Trail and started heading north toward Fort Hunt Park. Then I heard a loud screech in the air to my left. I pulled off the trail and looked up and over and saw a bald eagle swooping down into the trees toward the massive Fort Hunt nest. I know of at least four bald eagle nests between Mount Vernon and Old Town and this is by far the biggest. Like all the MVT nests this one is nearly impossible to spot after the trees get their leaves.

My eyes were distracted from the swooping bird by another bald eagle soaring in a tight circle above. I looked back to the nest and spotted the other eagle perched on a large branch in the tree directly behind and above the nest.

The birds were too far away for me to get a picture with my camera phone. So my apologies for not capturing the moment.

The eagles behavior was consistent with this description of mating. So maybe we’ll have some eaglets in a couple of months.

I hopped back on my bike and rode around the Fort Hunt area until my toes became too cold.

I am back home preparing for the Super Bowl. This means taking a shower and carting the beer out to the car for our annual Super Bowl/Paulie’s birthday extravaganza. What better way to celebrate America and the onset of senility than by watching 300 pound men clad in plastic armor smashing into each other.

In concussions we trust.

 

Springtime Meander in A Bicycling Friendly City

After three days off the bike, I took a short ride in the wind to get my legs back.  Before heading out I stopped to check out the flowers and blossoms in my yard. Mrs. Rootchoppers flower garden is going great guns and my lilac bush is blooming. I have to walk past the lilac bushes to get to my bikes. I walk through an invisible wall of lilac fragrance. Love it.

I rode to the Mount Vernon Trail and stopped at the Morningside bald eagle nest. An eagle was perched on a branch in the tree. About a half mile of wind later, I stopped to check out a big nest that seems to be getting bigger on a tiny island in Dyke Marsh about 100 yards from the trail. This area is getting crazy crowded with bald eagles.

I made my way to South Royal Street in Old Town. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge underpass was clear but the part of the trail that swerves around the security barrier on Royal was obstructed by a fallen tree. The League of American Bicyclists designated Alexandria a bicycling friendly city a few years ago. They must not have high standards.

I made my way to a park off the Holmes Run Trail in Alexandria. The trail is an old one, and could use a lot of work. That’s okay, because Alexandria is a bicycling friendly city. The park was the site of Alexandria’s earth day activities. They were over by the time I got there. I headed back home. At one point the bike route was blocked by some construction equipment. Instead of using back streets I was forced to ride on busy Duke Street.  That’s okay because Alexandria is a bicycling friendly city.

Dead End

After getting back on course, I decided to check out the southern end of Payne Street. It dead ends at the underbelly of the US 1/I 95 concrete circus. There’s a paved trail at the end of the street. A sign warns that the trail dead ends in 1/4 mile. It occurred to me that only an idiot would build a trail to nowhere so I had to verify that it did, indeed, go nowhere. Sure enough it does. But that’s okay because Alexandria is a bicycling friendly city.

I rode home slowly with a nice strong bicycle friendly tailwind.

Check out my pix on my Flickr page.

Could It Really Be Spring?

The weather report called for temperatures in the low seventies. I prepared by taking yesterday off the bike, mowing the lawn and doing a number of chores. I waited until I saw a 5 and a 0 on the digital thermometer in our house.

Off I rode on Little Nellie and felt very strong. It was obvious that I had a tailwind. About three miles from home, I passed the Morningside nest and spotted a white head. Hopefully, we’ll have some eaglets soon (if we don’t have them already). A mile further on I looked left as I crossed the Dyke Marsh boardwalk.  The pair of geese I saw earlier in the week were still waddling about. It was a bit troubling that papa goose was on the far side of the Parkway. It would suck if he became roadkill.  (My wife and I once saw a black SUV mow down a mama duck and a few of her ducklings as they tried to cross the Parkway. The surviving ducklings were a sad sight, waddling around in a panic.)

The Mount Vernon Trail was very crowded, which is typical of a warm, sunny weekend day. The tailwind made passing easy. I cruised to the city with surprisingly little difficulty. At Gravelly Point, a plane came in for a landing. A man transfixed by the plane wandered directly in front of me looking up. “YO!” He came back to reality and hopped out of the way.

The tailwind became obvious when the trail curved along the river bank. Little Nellie was a happy camper.

I turned to ride up the ramp to the 14th Street Bridge. Now with the wind in my face, it was time to work a little. Bikes were coming down the ramp in a long line. There was a fence on the left and a highway ramp on the right. There were three bikes in front of me. They stopped. No warning. The two women in front were having a conversation. The guy in the back said nothing. I veered to the left (thankfully there was a little room) and stopped with my front wheel next to his rear wheel. For some reason I blurted out “What the fuck are you doing?” It was louder than intended, perhaps because my expectations of a smooth ride to DC had been dashed. The guy turns to me, objects to my remark and starts explaining the situation (as if it wasn’t self-evident) . While he’s jabbering, I look up and two cyclists are coming down the hill, passing the long line of bikes, straight at me. I turn to my new personal friend and yell, “Move your god damned bike NOW!”

I think this blows my chances at the Cherry Blossom Festival Mr.Congeniality award. And I am sure he thought I am a total asshole. He has a point. I don’t care. Safety comes first.

On the DC side of the bridge, chaos. I weaved through the buses and tourists. I could see that the trees along the Tidal Basin were nowhere near full bloom so I headed for East Potomac Park. Into the wind.

I saw a few nice trees but the whole experience left me frustrated. If I hadn’t lived here for decades I’d swear that this whole cherry blossom thing is a hoax.

A Lonely Bloomer on Hains Point

I rode upriver to the Lincoln Memorial, crossing Constitution Avenue through one epic traffic jam. I spotted a Park Service employee helping people cross the street. He just laughed. It was so bad that there’s nothing he could do.

I back tracked on the opposite side of the Mall and past the White House. Pennsylvania Avenue was not very crowded. Cherry Blossoms, even disappointing ones, trump the leader of the free world.

I don’t much like cycletracks but on this sunny day it seemed like the most civilized way to ride through town. All but one turning car yielded to me so I felt safe. At Meridian Hill Park, here were no drums to be heard and no acroyogis or hula hoopers to watch so I plodded up the hill and kept on keeping on. The cycletrack dies out at 16th Street so I took for a ways. At a four way stop, a car behind me went through the intersection out of turn. The car that had been slighted laid on his horn and followed the offender up 16th, passing me. He stayed on his horn for a block until he pulled up next to the offenders who were obviously lost. They exchanged words. The offenders turned onto a side street out of which came a DC police cruiser. The cop pulled over the SUV driver, apparently for making a public nuisance out of himself. I felt bad for him. He won’t win Mr. Congeniality either.

I turned off 16th and found 14th with a bike lane. It ended at a T on Aspen Street. A left turn and soon I was cruising down a series of S curves into Rock Creek Park. This road is part of the 50 States Ride so I have ridden it several times. It is the bestest.

At the bottom of the hill I turned right and headed for Chevy Chase (the neighborhood not the actor). I spent a few minutes on Rock Creek Trestle The creek is way down there.

Reversing course, I made for Bethesda Row and its fine array of eateries. After crossing a busy street the trail makes a hard left turn. The woman cyclist in front of me was wearing the full bike rider kit (matching lycra top and bottom). She clipped into her pedals and seemed to be going at a snail’s pace. As I was about to pass her, she waved me by with her left hand. In her hand was a lit cigarette. Carbon makes bikes go faster, or so they say.

I ate at Bethesda Bagels because it’s good and I am boring. I always eat there when I bike to Bethesda.

Instead of dealing with the Capital Crescent Trail crowds I headed out on the quiet side streets of Bethesda. A right hand turn put me on Bradley Boulevard, normally a busy road but not I had PEDs in my pedals. After passing through Avenel I picked up Falls Road. A left on MacArthur Boulevard had me descending through the woods of Great Falls Park, The windy road is flawed only slightly by the bumpy pavement, otherwise this one rivals the downhill into Rock Creek Park.

I was headed into the wind but the descent made me unaware. At the Old Anglers Inn, I jumped on the C & O Canal towpath for the ride back to DC. Now that I had slowed down, the headwind was annoying. Little Nellie’s short wheel base does not make for a comfortable ride on rough surfaces. I bounced along slaloming among the walkers and runners. I spotted a big great blue heron standing still on a log over the canal. Even with the bumps, the ride on the C & O Canal is a thing of beauty, Except for the gnats swarms. For about four miles I encountered clouds of flying black bugs They don’t bite but they get into everything, your mouth, eyes, hair, ears.  And your whole body gets covered in them. Ick.

After switching over to the paved Capital Crescent Trail, I looked at the Seussian Cormorants perched in the trees along the Potomac. They do this every year, feeding on the fish swimming up river to spawn.

Back in the city, I decided to avoid the cherry blossom scene and the Mount Vernon Trail, I took the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge to the MVT for about a mile then crossed over to the Pentagon. With a stifling headwind, I followed roads past the vast Pentagon parking lots and Long Bridge Park, through Crystal City and Potomac Yards. In Old Town Alexandria I followed Columbus Street, several blocks from the touristy madness. After waiting at a stop light, I started pedaling when it turned green. The car opposite me starting coming through the intersection too. A green taxi coming from the cross street blew through the light. I think the light must have been back lit for the driver. If I had had a tailwind instead of a headwind, I’d have been roadkill. The taxi missed us both.

South of Alexandria, the Mount Vernon Trail wasn’t crowded so I hopped on it and slogged into the wind.

At home, I took inventory: my hands hurt. my back hurt. my arms hurt. my knees hurt. My face and thighs burned.

Spring is here.

For some pix check out my Flickr page here.

Overrated

It’s the first day of spring, or so I am told.  On went the shorts, then the wind pants, the base layer, the holey sweater, the wind breaker, the thick wool socks, the overboots, the watch cap, the buff, the glove liners and the mittens. Not exactly tanning weather.

I haven’t ridden to work in a few days. Sunday’s ride aboard Little Nellie strained my lower back and my left knee. I am starting to worry that my left knee may be crying out for medical intervention. I hurt it playing volleyball over 25 years ago and have managed to avoid the knife. Let’s hope this is only the strain of a hilly ride at the end of a 190-mile week.

All bundled up, I hopped on Big Nellie and headed out. I had my headlight on but only for a couple of miles. Soon I can put it in the bottom of my panniers for 6 months.

The Mount Vernon Trail was deserted. I think people are staying inside to protest the cold weather. I plodded along with my knee yelling at me. “Oh, shut up, I’m going to get another 60,000 miles out of you.”

A bald eagle, all puffed up, stood guard over the Belle Haven nest. I crossed the creek bridge near Porto Vecchio and saw something make a splash in the water below. I wonder if it’s a jumping fish or a snapping turtle. It happens whenever the water is at a certain level.

The ride in was uneventful. As the sun rose, I could feel its warmth on the right side of my body. Bring it on.

After 8 hours of working for the man, I headed back the way I came. I passed Bob (Don’t Call Me Rachel) Cannon and he gave me the peace sign. I gave him one back but it looked like a “How!” with my mittens on.

Later a tall brunette woman jogged past and gave me a wave and a big smile. I think she was on a bike the other day and did the same thing. She probably has the hots for all middle aged men dressed like a hobo riding a lawn chair. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Later a cyclists rode passed me and said “Hi, John.” I have no idea who it was. I was in my trance. Pedal, pedal, Om.

People seemed awfully cheery tonight. The evening temperature was a touch above 50 degrees. I actually unzipped my jacket to cool off.  I was riding into a headwind the whole way home. Planes should have been taking off in my direction but they were going the opposite way. I must have imagined the headwind.  After Gravelly Point , a biggish passenger jet, probably an Airbus of some sort, took from the secondary runway right over the trail and the parkway. Dang,

As I made my way south of Old Town, I spotted a big osprey in a tree next to the river. He was facing away from the river, toward the trail. He looked like he had just swallowed something that didn’t agree with him. Do ospreys eat Tums?

After that profound thought, I faded into another trance and om’ed my way home. It was still light out when I arrived.

And so passed the first day of Spring. It supposed to be 90 in San Antonio on Saturday. I’ll be there with my daughter. Enough of this nonsense. Let’s get some heat!

Big Nellie Turns 32,000

I hadn’t planned on riding at all today but the weather was so nice, I couldn’t help myself. I took Big Nellie, my Tour East recumbent, down to Mount Vernon with a quick loop around Fort Hunt Park. In my travels I got a good bead on the Fort Hunt bald eagle nest. It’s easily the biggest one around.

On the way back home, I stopped to take a picture.

Big Nellie Turns 32

Big Nellie finally made it. Now she’s only 400 or so miles behind The Mule, my Specialized Sequoia.

Friday on My MInd

Can you say “It’s Friday” and not smile? I can’t.

I headed out in the dark aboard Big Nellie. I made the Park Terrace descent at high speed and crossed the Parkway without having to stop for the second day in a row. I hit the Mount Vernon Trail at 17 miles per hour with a smile on my face.

I was hoping to see bald eagles, because they tend to be out and about at sunrise.  I was rewarded for my early departure with two eagles. The first was perched on a branch above the Belle Haven nest.  I am pretty sure it was a male, because he looked very big. The second was on the wing near Daingerfield Island between Old Town and National Airport.  This is an unusual place to see eagles so it was an extra bonus. Riding a recumbent is advantageous in this regard, because of the heads-up riding position.

Just before the second bald eagle, I had a Nancy Duley siting. Normally we pass on Union Street, but my early departure moved today’s passing to the beaver marsh north of Slaters Lane. She later said that I made her think she was late.  I like to mess with people’s minds. I saw French Braid Rider, one of my regulars, well north of our normal passing point. She had a concerned look on her face. I’ll bet she thought she was late too.

A light tailwind made the ride honest, but workaday, which is appropriate because it is a work day after all.  I came off the second fly over bridge at the airport with an impressive head of steam, maxing out at 25 miles per hour. I passed the airport fence where it juts out into the trail and there was a small executive jet right above me. It was coming in for a landing on the secondary runway. It’s creepy how they seem to appear out of nowhere.

After I passed under the flight path to the main runway, a 737 landed. A few seconds later a black duck flew from the river into the plane’s air wake. He went haywire, looking as if he had hit an invisible wall. It was like something out of a cartoon. He somehow gathered himself midair, turned, and hightailed it back to the river where the air was calm.

On the way to Friday Coffee Club, I nearly clipped the concrete base of a wrought iron fence at 15th and Constitution. I had to rein in Big Nellie. Whoa, Nellie. I met up with famous local blogger, bike commuter, and curmudgeon Brian in front of the White House. We chatted until we tied up our steeds outside Swings Coffee Saloon.

Friday Coffee Club was crowded, mostly with people I don’t know.  Even so, I had lively conversations with seven or eight people. When warm weather comes, we will definitely have to  move the group outside.

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(Please note that WordPress refused to embed the photo of the Friday Coffee Club, even when I used html. What lovely software.)

After FCC, I rode past the wooden elks at the Kennedy Center and across the TR Bridge to Rosslyn. The trip up Lynn Street through the Rosslyn Circle of Death was a challenge. At the I-66 off ramp, a white SUV trying to make a right turn on red blocked my access to the crosswalk.  I yelled to get the driver’s attention since she was looking away from me to see if she could turn. She didn’t hear me. So then I really hollered.  She looked at me from her perch behind the wheel with derision as I rolled in front of her grill. I yelled “Get out of the crosswalk” to her and she honked at me. I’m just trying to keep you from putting me in the ER or the grave, you incompetent, scofflaw dipstick.

A block later I watched as two cars coming down Lee Highway ran the red light on Lynn Street to get onto the I-66 ramp. Don’t mind the rest of us. Getting to the office one minute quicker is far more important than anybody else’s lives.

Another block later at 19th Street, a shuttle with a U.S. Forest Service decal on the side, pulled into the crosswalk on red.  I yelled at the driver who was looking the other way. He couldn’t hear me. Rather than take a chance that he would execute his turn while I was in the crosswalk in front of him,  I stopped. Instead of turning, he waited for the green light. Better safe than roadkill. Still four dangerous driving incidents in a quarter mile is ridiculous.

Once I reached the far side of 19th Street, I encountered the Vamoose bus crowd. Arlington lets intercity bus operators to use the corner of Lynn and 19th as a bus terminal. The Vamoose employee had his back to me when he waved the soon-to-be passengers across the sidewalk in front of me. I duck walked through the crowd. Yabba dabba do.

When I got to the parking garage, I knelt and kissed the ground. I cheated Rosslyn once more.

I rode home into a headwind. I won. No one tried to run me over. I won again.

Tomorrow I rest. Sunday I ride for soup. It’s a Swedish thing.

Blow Me Down

Har. The wind she was a blowin’, My timbers were shivering. Big Nellie was squawking. We rode to work anyway.

I could tell the headwind was bad when I rode down the Park Terrace hill and could barely make 30 miles per hour. I mean, cars were gaining on me!  It was humiliating.  I timed my arrival at the GW Parkway crossing perfectly and made it to the Mount Vernon Trail without slowing. (Technically this is illegal, but it’s definitely safer than waiting around for a speeding car to run me over.)

The ride in had little wildlife other than Nancy Duley who appeared on Union Street in Old Town.  More than half the time I encounter her is in a two block section of Union Street. I am begining to think she is tracjing me with GPS or something.

I fought the wind and the wind won. I fought the wind and the wind won.

Across from the Washington Monument a bald eagle cruised over my head.  It was positively ‘merican, I tell you.

I was hoping for a tailwind on the way home. I got a swirling, whirling vortex instead. Just getting out of Rosslyn took serious skill.  I’d get hit head on with a gust, then from the side, then the rear. I was worried I’d get yanked into the path of a car. The taxis blocking the bike lane didn’t help at all. I yelled at one as I passed just to make sure he saw me.

The first few miles on the Mount Vernon Trail went by fast, except for the brif slowdown to get through a gaggle of lethargic geese. I rang my bell and one goose just wasn’t interested in getting out of the way. Then it turned and flapped its wings once and waddled out of the way. I wonder if it was an expectant momma goose. 

The rest of the ride was ride of the mill. A few geese here and there. A mallard or two.

Normally, I use this blog to vent my spleen about jerks on the trail or on the street, but other than the taxis in Rosslyn, today was jerk free. In fact, more than half of the people passing me this morning said “hello”. 

Two young women separately riding upright bikes gave me big smiles as they passed me from the front. They must have been taken my raw sex appeal and innate charm.  Or, possibly, they thought I looked exceptionally stupid dressed like a hobo, riding a faired recumbent that was being blown all over the trail. 

 

So Much to See

After yesterday’s long ride, my eyes were bloodshot and glassy. I don’t really know what was going on, but I decided to take some Nyquil and hit the hay early at 9. I woke up at 5:59 less than a minute before the alarm was set to go off. Not bad.

I expected my legs to be dead during the ride on aboard Big Nellie, but the tailwind gods were with me. I decided to check out the Morningside nest. On the way there, cars were suspiciously rolling slowly behind me. One was driven by Nancy Duley, who I normally see biking on the Mount Vernon Trail. I guess she prefers to bike commute in the rain and cold. No problem. We’ll serve some up for you tomorrow, Nancy.

There was no eagle action to be seen at the Morningside nest, so I took advantage of the winding downhill and let Big Nellie do her street luge thing. Several spots on the trail were covered with debris or water. The river had gone over its banks overnight thanks to snow melt, rain and high tide.

I had hope of spotting a bald eagle at the Belle Haven nest and I got a bonus. A pair of bald eagles, one big, the other small were in the tree with the nest. I hope it’s a mating pair.  Other than more evidence of flooding including a few rather deep sections of standing water the ride in was routine. A tall man on a Tern (a brand of folding bike, not a seagoing bird) had the audacity to pass me. He must have been getting a bigger push from the wind.  And he was going downhill. Or, maybe, I’m old, fat and slow.

The weatherman was even handed, giving me a headwind for the ride home. No worries. As I turned onto the MVT, I saw Ryan from Friday Coffee Club. At least, I think that’s his name. I suck at putting names to faces. (If you are reading this, let me know if I am right. Thanks.) As I approached the Memorial Bridge, I was passed by Chris, another FCCer. Chris was coming toward me with the tailwind and he was flying. Go, dude. Near the Humpback Bridge I was passed by Eric, an attorney at my old office. Eric was enjoying the tailwind too. Maybe I should turn around.

Seeing three people I know in quick succession rarely happens during my commute. I forged ahead into the wind. Near Daingerfield Island, I spotted an osprey overhead. He was shopping for his dinner, I am sure. Ospreys look impressive when they are overhead, but when you see one along side a bald eagle they look rather small. I once saw an osprey attack a bald eagle in Dyke Marsh. Dumb osprey.

As I approached Old Town near the south end of the power plant, I saw a woman cycling toward me. She was waving at me. I recognized her face, but I couldn’t put a name to it. (If you read this, please let me know. It’s going to drive me nuts.) She looked like she was enjoying the tailwind too.  

As I rode through Belle Haven Park, I came to realize that something was missing; the huge flocks of Canada geese from two weeks ago have thinned out considerably. We are left with the normal number of geese, and some mallards and cormorants.

I shouldn’t complain. I know where some geese nest along the MVT at Dyke Marsh. I should be seeing some goslings pretty soon. Another reason for not complaining is the fact that I saw, out of the corner of my eye, a black swoosh in the sky. I through the trees along the river and there it was, another bald eagle.  It was probably leaving the Morningside nest.

As much as I enjoyed the ride home and seeing all those familiar faces and birds, I have to admit the best party of the ride was not being blinded by headlights. Daylight Savings Time is the best. Except when it rains like a bitch. But that is a tale for the morrow.