Rides 11/14: Cheerios and Milk: an homage

Well, it's really November now. No use pretending otherwise. Not that you would. No one really keeps their calendar a few months back or leaves up their Labor Day decorations (am I the only one with an inflatable lawn Gompers?) or tries to pretend that the month is a month other than the one it is. Instead, you savor the unseasonably warmness (or coolness in the hot months) for as long as it lasts and then, when it all snaps back to normal, you put your inflate lawn Gompers back in the garage and take out your inflate lawn Rudolph, who also tells an interesting story about the history of labor relations. Anyway, it's winter enough now, but not depressingly so. It was actually quite nice and I was pleased the steadfast coffeeneurs at Swings sat outside to sip rather than cram in the shop.

From coffee I rode with Rudi through Foggy Bottom and up and through Georgetown and then I continued on alone through Glover Park and Cathedral Heights. I did not stop for coffee at the top of the hill, but soon they're'll be a coffee shop of the grounds of the National Cathedral. Talk about Good News! I am quite excited for this because sometimes between drinking coffee at home and after riding to coffee and getting coffee as soon as you get to work, sometimes you just need a place to stop for a cup along the way. Pretty sure that's what Henry VIII was more or less thinking.

After work, grabbed drinks in Tenleytown and rode home down Wisconsin, mostly in the space between the parked cars and the white strips that denote the next lane. It was very dark and colder than I wanted it to be, but the night was clear and I wasn't too upset to be out in it. Massachusetts to 23rd and on 23rd the wails of an ambulance brought out curious responses from the nearby drivers, some desperately trying to pull over to yield the way, others desperately trying to outrun it, as if the sirens are something not applicable so long as they can stay in front. It's a weird kind of plausible deniability. "Oh, that ambulance? The one behind me? How was I even supposed to know?" The funny thing about the sorting is that there's really no way for me on my bike to know which driver will slam on the brakes and angle toward the curb and which driver will smash the gas pedal and peel out towards the now open road. Whatever modicum of safety exists for bicyclists mixed in traffic exists in its predictability and when that's all done, it's like surfing, but the wave is made of sharks and razor blades and sulfuric acid.* It turned out ok. I found the right lane and progressed slowly and deliberately until I could stop behind a driver who had pulled over and then the ambulance went by a dozens and seconds later and we all set off again and order, such as it is, descended once more.

L Street, 15th Street and past the White House plaza, where there was a school group in neon green shirts and maybe there were two school groups in neon green shirts and two school chaperones pissed and trying to untangle which gawky 12 year old belongs to which XXXX Middle School 'home of the tigers'. Neon green is, unfortunately, the camouflage of the middle school tourist set, which is why you should dress middle schoolers exclusively in camouflage, unless you're bringing them to the forest or desert, assuming your school's bake sale only raised enough money to purchase surplus desert camouflage instead of the quality green stuff.

I must've ridden Pennsylvania Avenue, for am I home now and that's how I tend to go, but I don't have the faintest recollection of it. There might have been some other people on bikes there and one might have had smurf blue bar tape, but the night was dark and while the air was clear, my memory is foggy. And that's sort of an insignificant detail that doesn't drive the narrative forward in any way. But nor pointing that out.

I remember feeling good riding up the hill. Things were clicking and they weren't my knees. East Capitol went by quickly enough and then it was home the weekend. Today, we listened to six and a half episodes of Serial. Yesterday, we went for beer at Three Stars. Get the Desolation. It's very good. These are superfluous weekend details that aren't about the ride at all, but I figure if you've made it this far, I owe you something at least vaguely interesting.

*professional writer


  1. I would really like an inflatable Gompers! And other lawn labor leaders - a Reuther, perhaps. Seated.

  2. oh gosh I was at Three Stars on Saturday and Desolation was phenomenal. They wouldn't let me buy a growler for later, so instead I bought an empty growler and a pint of Desolation and, after fashioning a crude funnel from a plastic cup, made a bit of a mess but was mostly successful. Then I drank it last night and was sad that it isn't more available.