Um. No, No You're Not

Come In, We're OpenMy original plan was to ride from the implosion to Reiter's Scientific and Professional Bookstore on K street. This is the area called the Golden Triangle, which is neither the same Golden Triangle as is in Greenbelt nor the home of the delicious little appetizer you can get at Mandalay Restaurant and Cafe. Reiter's is a great geek book store. Unfortunately, it's not open until 9:30 on Saturday mornings. But, hey, no problem. I'll have no trouble finding somewhere to get a drink and read for the hour and a half until Reiter's opens. This is a major city, after all, and this particular neighborhood has banners proclaiming, "Come In, We're Open!"

Um. No, No you're not open.

At 8 am on Saturday, the Cosi on 19th Street is not open, though it seems to have a breakfast menu. I tried a Starbucks on K Street. It was not open, either. Some place called Java Green on 19th Street was not open. Nothing with seats seemed to be open until I found a Starbucks all the way at the end of the Golden Triangle at Washington Circle. It was open.

I did my shopping at Reiter's and rode my bike north through Rock Creek. The Golden Triangle had put me in the mood for Burmese food, so I decided that I'd finish my Christmas shopping at Borders and reward myself with noodle salad or basil chicken afterward.

Riding the Creek is much nicer on Saturday than on a workday. Parts of Beach Drive are closed to motor vehicles and the traffic in the rest of the park is lighter. It was a beautiful day, though it started off on the very, very cold side (Let's face it: it was 30°F (-1°C)). I was smart enough to layer and even remembered to remove a layer as I started to get overheated. What a good way to end my bicycle riding for 2004, I thought, with a sunny day and Mandalay!

I wandered through Borders, feeling guilty as always. I'd waited too long to order from an independent bookseller. But I piled up on stuff and made my purchases. Then, I walked my bike over to Mandalay for lunch. Did I mention how very much I'd been looking forward to eating at Mandalay?

Mandalay was closed.

A sign on the door proclaimed a gas leak caused the closure and the restaurant would open as soon as it was resolved. I even saw Aung sneaking out the side door and jumping into a van, probably running off to Majorca or something. So, I was stuck with a boring Indian buffet.

After lunch, I rode back to Greenbelt, a trip I had not made before. Once again, I find that bike route recommenders are more averse to traffic than to hills, and I rode along quiet roads with steep hills.

Oh, and remember this little piece of advice: a book store is just about the last place you want to go with a bicycle, especially if you've got a ten mile or so ride home. Books are heavy!

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