Friday, May 11, 2012

Coffee and Eagles

Well, it hasn't been much of a week for bike commuting. I spent Wednesday and Thursday driving to Saratoga Springs NY and back to extract my son from his sophomore year of college. He seems much smarter now than before all this post secondary education. He's a business major. So if you want a really smart, good looking, and charming person for your business, I have just the young man for you.

He also packs a mean car. 

While in the greater Albany area (three words which should never be used together, I might add) I did some driving on back roads.  There is some mighty nice biking to be had up thataways.

We arrived back at the Rootchopper Institute a little after 8 p.m. and I discovered that sitting in a car for 17 hours and sleeping on a forty year old mattress at the family homestead is no way to treat a back, let alone a middle aged one. I could barely stand up when I got out of the car.  After getting all my son's junk into the house, I ate dinner and two Advils and climbed into my Thermarest bed. ZZZZZZZzzzzzzz.......

8 hours later I was stepping into the surprisingly cool morning air which apparently had followed us down from the north country.  I almost had to break out the holey sweater for this commute but instead used a wicking t-shirt under a cotton t-shirt under a vest and added arm warmers.  I was going to wear tights but I was stopping at the Friday Coffee Club get together at Swings Javarama in DC on the way to work and didn't want to look like a wimp.

Sadly, even in shorts I looked like a wimp anyway, maybe because of the lame purple head band I wore.

The Friday Coffee Club is always enjoyable. Attendees are cyclists of various stripes, most of whom seem to be fellow bloggers, friends of fellow bloggers, and/or random ne'er do wells. The line up of bikes outside is pretty impressive. Lots of Brooks saddles (a personal fave) and every kind of bike bag known to civilization.  

It seems weird that whenever I park my Honda Accord in a big parking lot I can always find another that looks just like it.  And sometimes more than one. Unless you're in a bike shop looking at brand new bikes, you'll never find two bikes that look alike. Cyclists always tinker with their bikes. Saddles, pedals, bags, racks, and on and on. Endless customization.

Lauren is a coffee clubber who commutes from DC to Rosslyn. She told me that her preferred route was to take M Street across downtown. I tried it this morning. I flew all the way to Georgetown, catching light after light with very little traffic. Thanks, Lauren. Once in Georgetown, M merges with Pennsylvania Avenue and the fun begins. I felt a little like a ramora among the sharks but I made it through to Key Bridge without damage to life or limb.

The ride home was pretty sweet.  The cool of the morning had given way to a 75 degree evening with a friendly tailwind. It was an effortless ride home, much appreciated by my still tender back.

As I approached the Morningside bald eagle nest along the Mount Vernon Trail, I spotted a man on the side of the trail with a camera with a big white telephoto lens. I stopped and chatted with him. He said the nest has a mating couple with two eaglets. It is incredibly hard to find the nest now that the trees have leaves.   If you want to find the nest, the easiest way is too look for a photographer. They are big, and are not hiding behind leaves and branches and such.

Tomorrow's bike ride is cancelled on account of lacrosse (my daughter's high school team) and other family obligations, but I will be up and out of the house before 6 on Sunday so that I may ride into the city for Bike DC.  I expect to be back home by noon to celebrate Mother's Day with Mrs. Rootchopper and our two fabulous children.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you fetched your son and returned home without incident (except, of course, for the mangled middle-aged back). Enjoy your Sunday ride and wish Mrs. Rootchopper a lovely Mother's Day.