Rides 1/20: mud

Let's talk about sounds. Listen. 

The whirring of the new tires on the pavement. The low dull hum. 

Pea gravel depressed and then flung and then landing inches away on other undisturbed pea gravel. 

The sound of the tire crunching through the thin layer of ice atop the barely there puddle in the middle of the trail. 

The pulse at your temples. 

Does mud have a sound? It doesn't sound like riding through a puddle, though it's wet like water. It doesn't sound like dirt, whatever dirt sounds like. I don't know the sound it makes, but I had great fun riding through it on the towpath on the way home. Riding through mud is, prima facie, fun. But it was also fun because I have close to no aptitude for it. It was a struggle and I nearly fell down a bunch. But there's something fun about doing something you have no aptitude for (why do you think I keep blogging?) and if nothing else, I'll probably be better at it next time and there's a lot of fun to be had in improvement, even if only marginal. I muddied my bike and pants and coat and put two of those things in the washing machine. I guess I'll find another way to clean off my pants. 

A Secret Service guy told me I couldn't take a picture of the White Houee because I wasn't "allowed" to stop on the Ellipse. Or maybe I was allowed but I would've likely been run over by a driver using the Ellipse. The only people allowed to drive on the Ellipse have to be let in by the Sevret Service, so this guy probably knows the quality of the drivers they let in. Or maybe it had nothing to do with my safety at all and I'm just supposed to keep moving because security state. 

A bunch of other bike commuters and I stormed a fence by the Capitol after no one would answer us about whether we were allowed through. A good test of whether something is restricted access or "restricted access" is whether they stop bicyclists from going through. Because bicyclists will always try to get through. This is the nature of the bicyclist.

Some pictures: 



  1. Hate when they close the plazaJanuary 21, 2015 12:18 PM

    wait, wait, wait - does this mean you made the fabled E St crossing of the Ellipse? I've always wanted to do that but didn't want to be go out of my way just to get rejected...

  2. Regarding the towpath mud, that mud is the worst mud for a bike because of the amount of sand mixed in it. If you value your bike components, clean them soonly.

  3. @hate- so, you can't actually ride on E Street, but you can ride on the sidewalk next to E Street or you can ride in the Ellipse Parking lot. It's a little weird and I'd recommend trying it in the daytime instead of at night and also be aware that the Ellipse is one way east and that kind of complicate things.
    @DE- you're so right about the sand. I spent an inordinate amount of time cleaning the bike when I got home and I wonder if I was worth it.