Amanda Buy the Bike Already – and Other Thoughts

  • Amanda works with me. She keeps talking about getting a bike. I just can’t seem to get her from talk to action. On the way home from work, I took a picture from the Dyke Marsh bridge on the Mount Vernon Trail.

Image may contain: tree, sky, outdoor, nature and water

Amanda was really surprised. I keep telling her my bike commute rocks! I haven’t told her about having incoming jets fly right over my head as the land on the second runway at National Airport. Or the dozens of downy egrets in the river. Or the morning glories in bloom in the wetlands north of Old Town. Or the opera singer. Or…..

  • I have confession to make. I feel like a jerk. I am short changing some friends who are asking for donations connected to one charity bicycling event or another. A month ago I gave money to support Mike who is doing the Bike to the Beach ride. Proceeds go to autism support and research. Today, Emilia announced she is doing the ride too. I gave money when Katie said she was doing a Climate Ride. About two months later another Katie announced that she was doing another Climate Ride. Then Grace announced that she was doing a Climate Ride. How do you manage all these donations? You can’t budget for them. You feel bad if you give different amounts to each of your friends. Can you tell I was raised Catholic?
  • Watching one friend stress out over raising money made me decide to drop doing a charity ride this fall. It’s a good event for a good cause, cancer. I feel bad not doing it because so many people in my family have had cancer. (My father, my mother, a sister, a brother, my wife, three aunts, two uncles. Sorry kids, the gene pool’s a complete mess.) I want to focus on preparing for my tour to Key West and making sure I am ready to ride to the Pacific next summer. My aging body probably has only one shot at making it. Spending my summer stressing out over fundraising just didn’t float my boat.
  • There are two things to do if you are in DC this weekend.
    • You should go to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. The water lilies and lotuses are in bloom. I’ve never been there and the pictures I am seeing online are driving me nuts.
    • And then there is the Tour de Fat. It’s a party put on by New Belgium Brewing to raise money for local bike charities. There will be live music and cold beer. I volunteered to work in the beer tent again.
  • And finally a note about the #bikedc DL. Dave just got cleared to get back on a bike after breaking his leg doing an Arte Johnson. A day or two ago, Alex collided with a salmoning cyclist. (When you ride against the flow of traffic, you are salmoning.) She broke her jaw. So Dave and Alex, be patient. You’ll be back to (your abnormal version of) normal in no time. The Rootchopper Institute sends you its thoughts and prayers (because we are waaay to lazy and cheap to bring you a beer.)
Advertisements

Bike Commuter Thanks Scientists

There seems to be a lot of people in this country who don’t like science. I for one am not one of them. After all if it weren’t for the discovery of anesthetics, my back surgery would have been rather unpleasant. Or take the fact that I (ironically the son of an ophthalmologist) have had six eye surgeries and see better at 61 than I did at 16.

I woke up yesterday sore all over. My head ached. My lungs were full of gunk. I was having fits of coughing. At 3 pm I saw my doctor. After a thorough examination he sent me off to the pharmacy for three little pills. Antibiotics. I took one at about 5 pm.

By 9 pm I was feeling considerably better. I was still coughing but my headache had eased and my body aches too. I awoke this morning feeling nearly human. What a difference 24 hours and one little pill made!

Aware that I was not quite 100 percent, I decided that the promise of a bike commute in warm weather compelled me to try to ride to work. It felt like I was riding with one lung. I huffed and puffed and coughed and spit but I pedaled on.

The passing of four days since my last bike commute made a noticeable difference in the sunrise. The sun was well above the horizon. The Mule posed for a picture:

sunrise-feb-7-2017-edit

When I tried to get underway, I realized that my balance was not so good. After nearly careening off the wooden bridge, I got my act together and pedaled slowly onward. The running mom (with kid in jogging stroller) gave me a big smile. Did she know I was sick?

I made it rather deliberately to the climb from the river to Rosslyn. Ugh. I think I can. I think I can. I can. Boy were my lungs burning.

After a shower and a cup of coffee (and some danish provided by our Chief Data Officer for reasons unknown) I felt wonderful.

From time to time I would feel light headed but I was shocked that I was feeling better with each passing hour. My hat’s off to Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin in 1928.

The ride home featured a strong headwind. This did not upset me one bit. It was 72 degrees out in February. I was in shorts. I had a smile on my face for 15 miles, despite the fact that the warm weather had released Lance Mamilots and clueless bicycle hipsters (earbuds in, passed without warning within inches, must not kill) upon the trail. This was all thanks to Svante Arrhenius, the Swedish scientist who first proposed that fossil fuel consumption would result in global warming and climate change. He figured this out in, wait for it, 1896.

So I owe today’s bike commute to two scientists,  one who has saved countless lives already, another whose discovery may one day save all of us.

Ain’t science great?