like a pro

yesterday I put aside the novelty of the 30 year old colnago fixed gear and pulled out the old jamis nova cross bike
green for pink
not for cross riding
just for the commute
the ride to work was nearly direct
while the ride home offered a little more

the sensation of a freewheel/cassette/free hub felt un-natural
a few weeks on a fixed gear had changed my sense of how a bike should feel
in the initial moments of the ride I felt as if the bike were broken
my legs felt un-natural as they were not forced to circle with the speed of the rear wheel
I was allowed to coast
I was allowed to back pedal
I actually dismounted and took a look at my rear wheel for what could be causing this sensation
everything seemed to be in working order
a little gritty... but working fine

a few moments in traffic
across the key street bridge
then onto the mount vernon trail towards the airport
there was not much time to fit in a ride between the boys bedtime and my working late
but I most certainly was going to try

the variety of gears and the varying speed was fun for me
the confidence cornering felt good
the abiltity to ride no handed was a novelty

with the monuments of washington including the washington monument just across the potomac river to my left I worked my way through the post work traffic on the multi-use trail
bicycle commuters moved in both directions
I passed a few riders going the same direction as myself
I yelled "joker" into the face of all the cyclist that played chicken with me as they passed the trail users in their way
I had to slow for them.... they should have stopped for me
there were runners, joggers, and walkers
daylights savings time had given us more light in the evening
but that light was nearly gone
most of these runners would certainly be moving in the dark before they got home
the geese were not blocking the trail

it was the standard multi-use trail experience
not the best place for riding fast
certianly not the place for a racer to do their training
but... a great place for a bicycle commuter to move without contending with traffic
I may have been going too fast in some situations
but not as fast as some others
and more safely then some of those that were moving more slowly

the ride went without much hardship
I pedaled past the airport to the wooden boardwalk that fed into old town alexandria
made a turn around
passed head on all the cyclist that I passed on the way up
got to see the front of the runners who I had previously seen the rear
nothing worth mentioning
nothing worth a second look

I felt good on the bike
the legs were not complaining neither were the lungs
maybe I was not pushing it hard enough
as I rolled along I checked my watch
as I calculated my time on the bike I started to stress about the season ahead
thoughts of lack of long miles irked me
thoughts of time away from dirt caused more stress
the thought of my first race of the season at the end of the month seemed daunting
I pedaled on

as I approached the park by the airport filled with gapping tourists I slowed my pace
the movement of these people lacks all logic and basic sensibilities
people stand on the bike path when there are football fields after football fields of open space
as I anticipated the movement of the idiots ahead I noticed something on the ground
cyclists see and find many things in their travels
I slowed then looked back to see that it was clear before I made my turn around
I made my U-Turn button hook on the grass then went back for the money

I could see that it was a twenty
well, worth turning around for
in my mind I had hoped that it was a wad of a cash
maybe a cab driver had dropped it as they went to use one of these Porta-Johns in the park
like Charlie reaching for a the candy bar anticipating the golden ticket I went for the bill
just as I went to grab the money a cyclist who I had just passed passed me
sure I was in the middle of the trail
sure he thought I was an idiot or an asshole
there was money involved
it made sense to stop

it was just a single twenty
I slipped the money under my shorts, clipped back into the pedals, then continued riding

great when I go riding and come home richer than when I left
like I had been paid to ride

got home and stripped out of my sweaty yet not soaked gear
the money fell to the ground
a smile took over my face as I was reminded of my score
money for nothing
gotta love that!

blogging about such a simple experience definitely makes me a fred

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