I had a meeting at 8:00 this morning. I needed to get out of the house by 6:30 to get there on time. So I thought I'd wake up around 5:30 - 5:45 and be out the door with little trouble. Good plan, except that I woke up at 4:00 and thought, "No problem. Ill pop out of bed at 5:30 easy." The next thing I saw was 5:55 in big illuminated red numbers in the dark on my nighstand. Oops.
Lone Ranger fanfare music...
As usual I got the paper from the end of the driveway, did my back exercises, and watched a few minutes of inexplicable TV with the sound off. I am trying to guess what's going on in the telenovella that airs during my back exercises. Since I don't speak Spanish, having the sound off does not place me at much of a loss in this regard. Suffice it to say, after over a month, I have no idea what Anita is up to. I can tell who the baddies are though. They grimace a lot and dress in sexy clothes while Anita usually dresses like a high school cheerleader, when she's not rocking a teeny bikini at the beach. Go figure.
Into the kitchen to inhale some watered down OJ and Cheerios. I got a pow-pow-powerful good-good- feeling. Please note that the OJ goes in a glass not on the cereal. I would be gag-gag-gaging.
In a rush, I skipped using the sinus wash thing. I went for the Flonase instead. Except the bottle is empty. This probably explains why my sinuses are unhappy as I type this.
It was in the low to mid 30s this morning so, of course, I spent ten minutes getting just the right clothing on. I HATE this. Too many choices and not enough time.
Out the door I went. I hopped on Big Nellie, yelled "Hi Ho, Silver! AWAY!" to the consternation of my sleeping neighbors and wife and headed down the road in the dark.
About 2 miles into my rumbling ride, I spotted two cyclists crossing the road I was on. I caught up to second one and she said "Hi, Rootchopper!"Begorrah. If it wasn't Nancy Duley who I have never actually ridden with but who I see going south as I go north most mornings. She and I tweet a lot about the biking life around these parts. We chatted for a few seconds, just long enough for me to explain that I was running late for my meeting. She mentioned that the other rider was her husband Patrick who had ridden a bit ahead of her. Patrick is a fine Irish name but to me he is forevermore Mr. Nancy Duley. Maybe even with an @ in front.
Mr. Nancy Duley was circling around to join us when we hit a slight downhill. Big Nellie, as recumbents are wont to do, accelerated. A gap opened. I expected the Dual Duleys to catch me on the next incline since recumbents are to uphills what rhinoceroses are to flying. They didn't. In a few minutes the big downhill was upon me.
Time. To. Fly
In a few seconds I was blowing past the 30 mph barrier with a cold wind tearing my eyes up. Can't see. Ayyyyyyyy!!!!!
Into the slalon turns at the base of the hill to Tulane Drive and across the Parkway in a gap in traffic.
No more Duleys. If felt bad. I really wanted to chat some more. Another time.
My momentum carried me onto the Mount Vernon Trail at speed and I chugged along in the dark with the sun just starting to rise. Pretty.
Being early, the line of Catholic SUVs at Saint Mary's School for the Rich and Devout had not yet formed at the end of South Royal Street. I took the short cut down South Royal instead of following the MVT to the river.
The drivers in Old Town were kind enough to wave me through some stop signs (well, that's my alibi, officer) and I waited only 5 seconds at the King Street traffic light. Mid-block near some low income public housing some grade-school kids were waiting on the left side of the road for the school bus. I could see three little ones running toward the street from the housing area on the right. The first one who was shorter than the hood of a sedan never broke stride and ran out in front of me. I anticipated this and slowed. The kids on the left side of the road yelled at her. Good. Next time, yell before she runs out into the street!
I took the bumpy short cut past the power plant and was soon cruising on the MVT at 15 mph. Near National Airport I was passed by a guy on a road bike. He had on a back pack, a t-shirt and some gym shorts. His exposed lower back was bright red.
I saw him again as I rode by the portapotties at Gravelly Point. I think he stopped to thaw out his noo noos. A minute later he blew by me again. I am very careful not to get FNNS when I ride. (FNNS is frozen noo noo syndrome.)
I hit all the lights in Rosslyn for the first time in ages. No cars tried to run me over either. I rolled into the garage at 7:49. Up to the office. I pulled a George Reeves Clark Kent (except I didn't go in the broom closet and jump out the window) and changed superfast. I grabbed a cuppa joe and walked into my meeting one minute late.
P.S. For my hygenic-obsessed reader(s), I should point out that I did shower immediately after the meeting. As did my boss - not with me, of course - who rode his bike to work from Columbia Heights/Mount Pleasant area of DC.