People don’t appreciate the little things. Take air conditioning, for instance. Go five days without air conditioning during a heat wave in Washington DC. It builds a hell of a lot more character than playing football. Actually, that’s not true; it just makes you miserable, which come to think of it is exactly what football practice did for me back in high school.
Yesterday afternoon, the power was restored at the Rootchopper Institute by some utility workers from Illinois. I guess they have this derecho thing figured out west of the Appalachians, but the DC area has a power grid on a par with Havana. I kept checking the temperature on our digital thermostat. It took 3 hours for our air conditioning unit to lower the house temperature from 88 to 87 degrees. Ruh roh! Between the still rising temperatures outside and the oppressive humidity, the air conditioner was doing everything it could just to stay even. It’s sort of like the summer time version of shoveling snow in a blizzard. You can kill yourself just keeping even with the snowfall. After several hours, the temperature outside and inside started to fall and I was able to sleep in my own bed for the first time in almost a week.
For several days, I have had a craving for cereal and cold milk. I eat cereal and cold milk for breakfast about 300 times a year. It’s not a coincidence that the word “crack” appears in Cracklin Oat Bran. After eating a bowl this morning, I felt like Ewan MacGregor after he shot up in Trainspotting. I fell back in ecstasy and passed out. When I came to, I jumped on Little Nellie and headed out into the swampy air for my bike commute.
As long as I didn’t stop everything was copacetic. I had to stop in Belle Haven Park, though, to document the geese herd. This was no gaggle. It was a gaggle of gaggles. A metagaggle. Gagglegeddon. Soon they will have to close the park to clear all the geese poo. Ick.
|I wonder if they are planning a takeover.|
|Bollards on Southern Side of Bridge|
When I arrived at the Wilson Bridge Bollard farm, I stopped to take some pictures of the recent improvements. They painted lines to direct trail users through the bollards and put a yellow reflective band around the top of the bollards. It was good that these bollards were in place because any southbound truck bomber had easy access to the underside of the bridge because the barrier gates were still not in place. (I am not giving away any secret info to evil doers because the underside of the bridge has been unprotected since about 1960.)
|Bollards on Northern Side of Bridge|
As I rode through the north end of Old Town Alexandria, I heard a screech of tires. I looked to the intersection just ahead of me and there was a young man on a motor scooter who decided that it would be a good idea to come to a stop at a stop sign when the crosswalk was occupied by two elderly men walking and a third in a wheelchair. If I had Mr. Fantastic’s powers, I would have used my stretchy arms to smack him upside the head. (Motor scooter boy, not wheelchair man.) Alas, instead I have the looks of the Thing and the only stretchy part of my anatomy is my waistline. I could have jumped off my bike and whacked him with my belly but I thought better of it. (I wonder if his helmet would have saved him.)
The rest of the ride in was blissfully uneventful. There were not all that many people on the trail, but there were some Park Service folks cleaning up the debris left behind by the fireworks watchers. I have to say that people seem to be getting much better at carrying out their trash.
The ride home began with yet another saddle tweak. It looks like my back likes the saddle level so that’s where it’s going to be set. Once out of the garage at work I entered the blast furnace of this heat wave. Dang. Fortunately the winds were tail and my legs were fresh so Little Nellie rolled smartly down river.
There was one incident that made my ride home remarkable. Just beyond the beltway, the Mount Vernon Trail runs right next to the George Washington Memorial Parkway. At one point it crosses an access for a condominium called Porto Vecchio. There is a traffic light for bikes at this point and I had the green. A car heading south on the Parkway to my right made a turn into Porto Vecchio directly across my path. He also had a green light. I am pretty sure I had the right of way in this situation and I am also pretty sure the laws of physics were in his favor. I hit the brakes hard and yielded to the car.
Beyond Porto Vecchio my bike and I were treated to a loverly ride in the shade. I hardly noticed the heat until I pulled into my yard and stopped. Dang.