The Wheels on the Bike Go 'Round and 'Round

You know, this was not supposed to be another one of those whingeing reports about how I can't think straight when the Brunette's away. No, my plan these last two days was to keep a low profile, do a little biking, and generally play it safe while my wife is off on her father-daughter camping trip. I mean, it's two work days. These are days where I generally spend a good deal of time away from her doing work things. Plus, I'm an old man. I survived many years living on my own before getting married. How hard could this really be?

Geez, when the Brunette's away, I can't think straight.

Thursday didn't start off so badly. The weather was great and, with nobody waiting at home, it seemed a good opportunity to get a nice fall bike ride in after work. Sans laptop on my back, it was actually a fairly smooth ride down into Arlington county from the outer reaches of nowhere, Virginia. I still think the W&OD trail has too many stop signs, but I did manage a steady 10 mile per hour average, doing 25 miles in a little over two and a half hours. I think that's pretty good, considering I'm tootling along on my wife's purple hybrid.

Sure, you'd think that being purple wouldn't have anything to do with speed. But when I pull up at one of those cross walks and the other bikers (the road racers with their spandex and the construction workers without helmets) look at me, I just know they're giggling inside. It could be that they're making fun of my business casual biking attire or my helmet with its reflective stripes of orange tape. But I prefer to blame the bike.

I don't care what Lance Armstrong says.

Along about Rosslyn, I decided that I could continue on to Crystal City. I couldn't think of where I wanted to eat dinner in Rosslyn and the bike transfer from Crystal City's Yellow Line to the Green Line on the other side of the river would be much easier than a transfer from Blue/Orange to Green at L'Enfant. I'd hate to have to navigate that in a wheelchair. It's a wicked maze at L'Enfant, moving from elevator to elevator. Recently, I had read good things about Crystal City in this guy's blog. Sadly, I'm a fat, old man, so when I saw that the bikeway along the Potomac (which has a beautful and inspiring view of the Lincoln, Washington and Jefferson holy sites, by the way) curves around Crystal City, my hunger overtook me, and I decided to go to National Airport instead. They have food there, right?

(By the way, to me it will always be National Airport. Not because I hate Reagan or anything; I'm not likely to call BWI Thurgood Marshall, either. I'm just set in my ways. (I have always liked the sound of Friendship International, but I'm not that old.))

Here's a good tip for all you bikers out there who want to fly out of National. The bike racks are on the side of the Metro station opposite the terminal, so if you're coming down from the north, go to the right. Trust me, if you've got a couple of pieces of luggage and a steamer trunk, I imagine you're not going to want to be biking around in circles looking for the bike racks and Metro access. Go right.

Goodness gracious, Taleswapper, you do go on.

Yes, right, so I ate at California Pizza Kitchen and managed to avoid Cinnabon. Oh, but it smelled soooo good. I'd have thought that a guy walking around with metal-studded shoes and a helmet might attract some undue attention at an airport, but it all went smoothly. As I suspected, the transfer from Yellow to Green went flawlessly and I found myself back at the Greenbelt station at 9:20 or so. Sore, sure, but not a bad day all-in-all.

It was at this point I made my mistake. I was weary from the 25 mile trek and decided to take the bus home. But somehow, I got on the wrong bus. I blame the random weirdo, but I guess I should take some responsibility, too. Anyway, I noticed my mistake after the Pearl Express (the two routes are identical up to a block before this). Unfortunately, the next stop isn't until the 7-11 at the intersection of Rhode Island and Greenbelt Road. It was quite dark, but I got off the bus and rode the bike home from there. Not the safest choice, but what are you gonna do?

So, my day's ride total? 28.6 miles. Herndon/Monroe Park & Ride to National Airport + College Park to Greenbelt.

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