Monday, October 8, 2012

Coffeeneuring #2: Getting My Buzz On

It was a cool and gray morning. Global warning was on holiday. And so was I.  Somehow the Congress has managed to mess up again. The law now says that we celebrate Columbus Day on the second Monday in October.  I think the idea is to give the Supreme Court a day off after a hard week's work.

As we all know Columbus discovered the New World or, at least the source of hundreds of Latino baseball players, on October 12, 1492.  Why we can't celebrate the day on the 12th which would be Friday this year.  This would preserve a three-day weekend for all the government workers and Italian Americans who don't get a day off to celebrate any other famous Italian Americans such as Dean Martin, Al Capone, or Annabella Sciorra.

Rather than ride to work in protest, I decided to go get me a cup of coffee.  My first thought was to ride to Bethesda, but that would be 50 miles round trip. The coffee there is simply not half-century-worthy. So I set out looking for a coffee place in confines of Alexandria City.

The Claw!!!  Bye Coal Pile.
I rode the Mount Vernon Trail to the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. Underneath the bridge were four or five kids riding their bikes at the Wilson Bridge Bike Academy. I doubt they learned of it from this blog but it was heartening to see this mass of pavement getting used in a constructive way.  I would have stopped to take a picture but I was enjoying the downhill glide from Washington Street.

On the north end of Old Town, I came upon a sight that I never thought I'd see.  A digger (that's what we called them when I was a kid) was loading the pile of coal used by the power plant into a railroad car.  This is the first overt sign of the power plant being put out of its misery.

Buzz on Slaters Lane
I decided to head for Del Ray where coffeehouses abound.  I never made it though. I stopped at Buzz on Slaters Lane.  Inside I ordered my Americano with room and a chocolate chip cookie. The coffee was not as strong as Perks and the cookie was good not great. There was nowhere to sit indoors so I drank and ate outside in the 50 degree chill.  Coffee shops in Alexandria are way too small.  Of course, it would help if half the seats weren't taken by WiFi squatters.
Cuppa & Cookie

The ride home was uneventful. I took Big Nellie up Fort Hunt Road to see how the new seating position felt on a respectable hill.  It passed the test swimmingly. Well, it wasn't raining so let's just say it done good.

Big Nellie Used the Bike Hitchin' Post
Spiffy New Bike Lane on Slaters Lane
About a half mile from home I heard my front tire go PSSSSH!!!!.  "Dang! A Flat," thought I.  (Riding recumbents inverts your sentence structure sometimes.) I looked down expecting to see my front tire flopping to the side of the rim, but it wasn't so. I saw what looked like white foam oozing out from between the tire and the fender instead.  My brain said unto itself, "WTF", because I've been spending too much time on Twitter lately.

Styrofoam "Puncture"
It turned out to be a styrofoam peanut.  No flat, no foam, just a bizzare piece of harmless road debris.

And so ended my Columbus Day ride for caffeine.  I never actually got comfortable. Dressing for riding in cold weather is a trial and error thing and today was mostly error. I broke out my tights, long fingered gloves, rain jacket, a short sleeve base later, and a lightweight cap for my head.  Even with the fairing on Big Nellie, I was just a little chilled for most of the ride.

But I knocked off my second coffeeneuring ride of the weekend. And that's the important thing, right?


  1. This time of year I always have difficulty in getting the kit right on the bike...either too hot or too cold.
    Nothing worse than being a bit cold on the bike- at least if you are a bit too warm you can usually take something off to cool down a bit.

  2. Yea, chilly weather lately, eh? I wore my headband today along with long underwear, tights, winter biking shoes, and liner gloves. Crazy.

  3. Very fun post to read, glad I found you. Or is it you found me? Or some such.... loved the styrofoam story! My coffee was also outdoors, both cups 1 and 2. Chilly!

    And I'm happy to learn of another DC biking blog. I bought my first 10 speed, a Fuji, there, from a store in Georgetown, on or below M Street, in about 1971! It was the only bike store with Fujis anywhere near my apartment. Which wasin Baltimore then! All good memories.