Now might be a good time to tell you that I'm going on vacation on Thursday and I won't be coming back until October. Not just a vacation from blogging, but a right proper vacation that involves travel and perhaps pancakes at faraway diners, but mostly just not doing the normal home-work-home-work thing. So there will be this post and tomorrow's posts, but then it's going to be more than a week until the next one. Please remember to come back. You can leave a trail of virtual breadcrumbs. We can dustbust them together when I get back. If anyone would like to use the "Tales From The Sharrows" brand to launch his or her own blogging career, I am officially soliciting and welcoming any and all guest posts. Posts can be on any topic, except for pogo stickery, unless it's to denounce the baleful influence of pogo "legalization" on our youth. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard III was willing to give his kingdom for a horse and I would have given at least one horse so as to not have to pick up my car from the auto dealership, where I rested all day after having work done on it for an hour and a half all morning. I'd like to pretend like I'd be able to weave together some sentences that incorporate Lancasters, oil changes, hunchbacks, Tudor/tutor puns, York Peppermint Patties, Prince Hal, HAL 9000, Rafalca, Prii (the plural of Prius), roses, the Spin Doctors (bonus points if you get that right away) and the like, but I think I'll spare myself the trouble of writing it and spare you the considerable burden of reading it. "In many ways, my bike ride to the car dealership was much like the War of Roses" starts the fictitious college application essay that will get me rejected from any and all programs to which I would apply. My bike ride did evoke all of those things and more, but it also involved my riding in the almost rain following the rain that had already come. The rain that came fell hard and it broke branches and shook free leaves and it littered the sides of the road with sticks and twigs and various detritus that I didn't think would be as disruptive to my bike ride as it actually was. When I ride the Cross Check, a cylcocross bike, kindling in the bike lane isn't a warning- it's an invitation. That bike loves riding over crap. I can't help it, even though I've fop-ified the bike with metal fenders and touring tires and racks and panniers and all of the things that make a bike practical and wholly impractical for an athletic competition that requires you to ride through terrible turf and over logs and shit. The little tires on the other bike didn't seem to do as well. I worried. I avoided sticks (and stones, lest, well, you know the saying) and I spent my ride down New Mexico Avenue and up Tunlaw and through Glover Park and eventually Georgetown riding slightly to the left of where I would generally ride and doing the best I could not to fall over. I did not fall over.
New stop sign at W Street NW on 37th. New to me, at least. New since the last time I rode that way.
The Georgetown streetcar track project (which has nothing to do with a streetcar) is now over and the bike lane on 34th is now striped fully from Wisconsin Avenue to Prospect Street. It's also only about 2 feet wide. But it works! There used to be a one block gap and in that one block, even though the one-way street stayed the same width, drivers would drift back over to the right. White paint works! It has limitations, but it works. It's almost the exact definition of better than nothing. But better than nothing is still better than nothing.
I rode into Rosslyn and then got on the MVT and the "time trial" portion of my commute began. It was like a time trial in that I rode by myself and it was unlike a time trial in that I rode very slowly, in spite of the fact that maybe I was trying to do otherwise. It was sort of a Schleck time trial in that way. The trail was wet but it wasn't slick. There were very few bicyclists and the few I saw seemed to be riding in the other direction. No Rootchopper sightings.
Around Gravelly Point, where the wind picked up the point where I think I was briefly riding in reverse, I sensed that a muscular superbiker type was riding up quickly. I sat up, he rode by. And then, like a dolt, I tried to give chase. I did not succeed. In fact, I did not succeed even worse than usual and gave up giving chase within about 10 seconds. I thought that maybe be trying to keep up with him that I could motivate myself to maintain a somewhat reasonable pace for the last mile or two, but that simply didn't happen.
I rode up to the dealership and a young woman outside, an employee on her smoke break, saw me and asked if I was "trading in?" Har har. Maybe I wouldn't trade my car for a horse, but I wasn't looking forward to driving home. It took me a long time and I was in heavy car traffic for most of it. Oh well. At least I don't have to do it again tomorrow.