ah... the frankenbakfiet

there is the bike
there is the frankenbike

there is the bakfiet
there is the frankenbakfiet

gwadzilla mention of the bakfiet

yes... IT IS ALIVE!

that is Adam...
the Dr. Frankenstein to that Franken-bakfiet
quite a Franken-bike!

that image with the wicker chairs on the long two wheeled rig is my friend Adam
I have known Adam a few days short of forever
it was Adam that helped me build my wheelbarrow bike

Adam is part artist and part handyman!

Adam on the page

after a trip to Amsterdam a few years ago Adam decided to cut a few bikes up and weld them together to make himself a bakfiet
it sounded like a crazy idea
he did... he rode it for years... since then he has upgraded to this wonderful machine
as well as assisting in the creation of the wheel barrow bike

earlier this week was my birthday
my birthday and the boys' first day of school all in the same week
I was scheduled to work these days
but had to decline... had to drop the kids off at school
and then... had to celebrate my birthday

my birthday came with no great plans
no great plan other than a bike ride in between the standard routine of drop off and pick up of the kids
the boys were dropped off at school without their bikes
as I thought that a post school trip to the pool would be a better idea
after all... it is the tail end of summer and soon swimming will be less of an option

with the boys at school I headed home and fueled up with a little more coffee than got on the bike
suited up in the DCMTB white and red
threw my leg over the black and red Trek 2.3 road machine
directed the bike down the standard route
the standard road

the ride as not long... the ride was not intense... the ride did not involve the camera
although the camera was on my back in my backpack

I rode out Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park out past the Mormon Temple
turned around early... did not go to its end... as I was short on time and wanted to get downtown to snap a few snaps and to grab a bite for lunch
then maybe stop by Woven History to visit Mehmet or maybe check to see if my buddy Adam is home

my trajectory took me down the Capital Crescent Trail feeding me into Georgetown
off the multiuse trail I bisected the city and headed straight to Capitol Hill not stopping with the camera
there were cyclists and potential photographs yet I pedaled onward
my stomach was growling
and I knew I was on a schedule that did not offer too much dilly dallying

this was not a hammer fest
this was a causal ride in the park
a casual ride in the park... on the bike path... and on the city streets

across town and then I found myself on The Hill... Capitol Hill
at Adam's I was happy to see he was around but was bummed to learn he had already had lunch
Adam had a minute so we caught up
we talked bikes and bakfiets... I got a chance to ride his BIG RIG

I snapped a few shots... then threw my leg over this big rig and took a spin up and down the block

short on time we put the bike back and then we left out... I walked my bike as Adam walked his dog

just a few blocks from Adam's house on Capital Hill we heard it
we heard it and we felt it
but we had no clue what it was
we saw the windows shake on the row houses to our side

each of us thought that the roof had collapsed on the old run down row house that was being held up by the two beautiful houses one each side
people ran from the building to check to see things from the outside

I did not think it was a terrorist attack
I just thought that a house that was in sad shape had finally given in
it all seemed pretty local to where we were
I saw the windows shake and I heard the noise... it all seemed to have been a right there in front of me
then a person walking by said it was an earthquake
which had me realizing... any house I was looking at would have trembled and shake
I just happened to be looking at that house
an earthquake made more sense

hearing this Adam turned back for home to check on his house and family
and I got back on my bike and pointed for home

as I pedaled closer to Capital Hill proper I saw people coming out of the buildings and filling up the sidewalks
as I approached Union Station I could hear a voice over a loud speaker, "EVACUATE THE BUILDING"
there was no warning not to panic
there was no more instruction
just the plain and simple order to Evacuate the Building

as I got out of the residential area into the business district more and more people filled the sidewalks
people were not panicked
they gathered as if they were standing on the sidewalk waiting for a parade to pass by

more smiles than panic

I chatted up other cyclists as I rode
trying to piece it together
enjoying the exchange of where were you? what did you experience? what did you feel?
the energy was uniquely positive
people seemed supportive and united

I stopped a few times and snapped some shots as I rolled across town
while trying to maintain my momentum
thinking that there may be the need to get the boys early from school
I tried making a call to see that things were okay with my wife lisa but there was no cell service

when home before I could pick up the phone it rang
it was the school... a ROBO CALL from the new principal
everyone was fine... school would let out at the regular time
I called lisa on the land line... she too was okay

I scanned the internet for information on what had happened
sure enough... there had been an earthquake just south of Washington DC
5.8 or something like that
pretty major for us on the East Coast

an earthquake on my birthday
does that make it a BIRTHQUAKE?

I left out to get the boys a few minutes early
there was a good deal of car chaos
people were in anarchy mode
there was no fluidity to the effort
people illogically blocked the box and inhibited flow.... the 10-15 crosstown drive took roughly 45 minutes

when I got the boys the whole school was a buzz
everyone was quizing everyone on Where they Were and What they experienced?

although I had intended to take the kids the pool
that did not happen
they boys wanted to go the park and I did not want to deal with the post earthquake traffic
so we went to the local park

the boys played as if it business as usual... which is was
then when it reached time to go I decided to alter our trajectory home
stopping at the National Cathedral to check on things
the kids were all talking about how "three of the towers" fell off the Cathedral
I wanted to verify for myself

sure enough... not as dramatic as we had expected
but there was clearly damage to three of the small spires

wow.... a birthday to remember
an earthquake to remember
my first and hopefully my last Birth-Quake!

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