post election day...

Election Day can be a stressful day...
exciting, yet stressful
it is as if the fate of the world depends on this one day
and well... in some cases that is the case
personally... I feel that this election was critical

Mitt Romney does not seem to be a good representation of the United States
I just do not see Romney as having the greater good in his vision
then the issue of his strong faith... a faith I am unfamiliar with... a faith that has some oddities and what appears to be some racial tendencies
then on top of that... there seemed to be more thoughts of trying to move backwards than forward

Science and Technology a not to be put in a crate and forgotten
and well... we have taken major strides towards achieving equality
Romney and his campaign did not seem to support the rights and freedom of all
woman and homosexuals would be two groups that come to mind as potential victims of the Romney initiative

enough with this...
I am not that political of a person
but yes... I have opinions, strong opinions
and in my opinion... the world is better off without Romney leading this country
the world is in better hands with Obama leading this country

I went to bed as the votes were still being counted
all the ballots had not been accounted for
yet the media was calling Obama to be the victor
I feared there to be a long delay with the final announcement due to various voter issues
so I went to bed without waiting for a Romney concession speech or an Obama acceptance speech

morning came and I woke to the alarm on my iPhone
up and out of bed at the crack of dawn I got up and started my routine
basic morning stuff
brush teeth... drink coffee... etc... etc... etc...
although I usually do no have time to power up the computer... I powered up the laptop and looked at some headlines

ah... sigh... heavy sign... relief
not elation... relief
I recall the emotion I felt when Gore lost to Bush
that was an emotion I did not want to feel again

with coffee in hand I stepped out of the house with the dog on a leash
the removal of Daylight Savings Time really alters the morning experience
the sun is rising and the world is lit when I walk the dog
days prior this same walk at the same "time" was in complete darkness
the morning walk with the dog needed a Petzel headlamp

sans headlamp I walked
sipping my coffee and giving Didg the Dog some space
periodically I called Didg to my side... gotta keep him in some sort of distance
gotta knock out this little loop and get into work

early in this short 20 minute loop I saw a young buck
slowly and silently the buck moved in between the trees
aware of me and aware of my dog
I called Didg... Didg started my way then heard the snap of a twig and the crushing of some dry leaves

well camouflaged  the buck with its small antlers froze in place
Didg froze... staring intently... tilting his head... trying to make sense of what was hidden in front of him
I called... but Didg was too focused to listen
then the deer moved and Didg moved

knowing calling the dog would not retract his chase
I gave the dog a minute to move after the buck
knowing that the young deer could outrun my dog
crossing my fingers that the chase would be short and without any street crossings

with the dog and the deer headed the opposite direction than my standard morning loop in the woods I started to head towards home... and the direction of my dog
I whistled and I called
all while getting a tad anxious that this little game of chase could not only make me late but also put my young pup at risk

another whistle
another hoot
another holler
then I listened for the sound of Didg's dog tags 

more anxious
as anxious about my need to get to work as the well being of my dog I sent out a few more calls
then I heard him and saw him
winded and smiling

when Didg got back he got a pat on the head and a leash on his collar
I hoped that he managed to take care of his business at some point in this morning adventure
but that was not my concern
I had to get on with my day

at work I hustled about doing my thing... knocking out my tasks
the whistle to my abbreviated work day blew and I slid down the dinosaur
with my road bike in the hall closet I jumped out of my business casual and into my DCMTB kit
out the door and on the bike I was taken a little back by the briskness of the day

it seemed colder at the noon hour than it was in the early am
somehow the day seemed warmer then than now
in knickers with arm warmers I felt a little under dressed
lacking any real motivation I did a short pedal around town with the camera around my neck
not getting any shots I put the camera in the bag and pointed towards the Capital Crescent Trail

in the small ring on the road bike I spun at a decent clip on the paved multi-use bike trail
with the Potomac at one side and the towpath and canal on the other I took in the world around me

it was not far into my ride that my feet were numb
perhaps the one pair of socks was not enough coverage for the temperature of this day
I thought about cyclocross and the barriers
then I thought about cyclocross and the short duration of the race
I decided I would not extend this ride... I would take this loop straight for home

after a little more than an hour on the bike i was back home
sweaty and cold I stripped out of my DCMTB kit, then towel dried myself off and got into some comfy cosy fleece pants
a glance at my watch I made a mental measure of my time before getting my son from school
I called the VW repair place to see if my wife's car was ready for pick up... no dice rock slice
then I got a call... a friend wanted to see if I wanted to do a mellow social ride up the towpath
it seemed absurd... since I had just gotten off the bike
but... it seemed to make sense
I figured I could ride with this friend towards Bethesda... fetching my wife's car with the bike and then driving to get my son from school

I put on some casual clothing that would be comfortable and warm for a mellow pedal
then got on the Surly Karate Monkey with its obnoxiously slow gear and its awesome Ergon pedals
rolled out and met my friend
I was late... which sucks... because I am always grumpy when he is late... yet when ever I go to meet him... I am late

we pedaled on the tow path
periodically I asked that he drop his pace
over spinning the small gear was more than I was looking to do
all I wanted to do was shoot the shit and count turtles

a short ways down the canal and I took a glance at the time then called the VW dealership
it was a bit of a crossroads... do I point back to downtown to get my son from school or continue to Bethesda to get this car?
the car was not ready... so I returned towards home

we looped back
there was all sorts of wild life
beautiful birds... a hawk high in the tree... a massive heron feeding in the canal... a group of cormorants just chilling

hungry as I was... there was no time for lunch
in fact... the timing was such that it made more sense to go straight to my son's school on the bike rather than going home and getting the car
my riding partner took me up an interesting meandering path that zig zagged through the Georgetown neighborhoods
an efficient effort to avoid the slog up Wisconsin Avenue on the single speed

the I got the call... the car was ready
darn... bad timing
had I ridden to Bethesda... had they given me a time frame..
had... had... had...

I had to rethink my afternoon

well... I stuck to my impromptu plan of picking up young Grant with the bike and then walking home from school
I figured we could walk through the National Zoo on our way home
it would be a unique way to get from point A to point B

when the kids came storming out of the school Grant made a face
a little question in my being their without the dog and one bike
one bike? 
just one bike and no dog
I guess I understand his contorted facial expression

Grant approached me and I told him that we would be walking through the National Zoo on the way home
this seemed agreeable to him... as he likes the zoo... lots of kids his age like the zoo
I had Grant put his coat on as I felt that a t-shirt was not enough 
then we pointed towards home

an assessment of our trajectory had me re-think our approach
riding double seemed to make sense
the helmetless double riding is not a good every day idea
but... in this situation with a little extra care and a little extra caution we would be fine

Grant climbed onto the top tube side saddle 
I got on the saddle with my arms around him and we started to coast towards the zoo and then home

Grant was sitting on the top tube... which also had him ontop of the cable for the rear brake
when I pulled the rear brake the cable moved under his but
then held in place
keeping the rear brake in a position that slowed our bike

we rode down the hill and then stopped so I could fix the brake and Grant could get more comfortable
we tried an alternate double riding position
Grant got on my seat... to make this possible i had to put m backpack on my chest
while Grant held onto my waist

neither double riding position was perfect
the backpacks and our mismatched sizes made for an awkward ride
but for the coasting downhill from the boy's school to the zoo it worked fine
across the street from the zoo Grant requested a croissant from Starbucks
not having had lunch I thought we could do better
but there was nothing better on the block
so... we went to Starbucks... Grant got a croissant while I got a coffee and a sandwich

fueled up we continued
I briefed Grant on my fear that the bike was not allowed in the zoo
that he would get to walk to the bottom in the zoo and i would ride the road down if zoo security told me to leave the bike

we crossed into the zoo... we passed some police... then started down the hill
Grant wanted to meander to various parts of the zoo
while i wanted to just walk the main road down the center
seeing what there was to see along the way

we compromised
we went to the side to see the Cheetahs and the Zebras
a zoo volunteer gave us the breakdown
the males in a group... the solitary female
and then the wolf and its pungent urine

the presence of the bike did not throw off the zoo volunteer
I was walking it and not riding it
so there seemed to be no issue
then I saw a sign, the icon was no bikes... but it read NO BICYCLE RIDING
walking the bike seemed within the limits of the law

so... I breathed more easily as we did our walk through the zoo

Grant was excited by our personal tour guide
he liked the extra attention and the extra information
from the Cheetahs and Zebras we moved on down the hill
only to be distracted by one of those penny crushing machines

Grant asked if he could... I told him I did not have three quarters and a penny
but he did
in fact... Grant had enough change for both of us to flatten a penny
I got the Lion and Grant got the Pandas
once done... Grant got them both

pennies in hand i thought... I looked at the downhill road and then I looked at our downhill walk
I offered to Grant that we ride the bike down the hill

Grant was enjoying the double riding
it was something different and unique
he opted for the down hill double riding
sure he would miss the Elephants... Bison... Ibex... Gibbons... and what ever else the zoo had to offer

but Grant also knew he could coast down the hill rather than walk

so... we took to the side saddle position and pointed it down the hill
this time... only using the front brake 
ignoring the rear brake
all the while maintaining a slow rational speed

down the hill and out of the zoo then off the bike to walk it up the hill we marched the final blocks from home
a few minutes home from school and my older son arrived home as well
I gave the boys some tasks... folding some tarps in the backyard, taking out the recycling and trash, and then walking the dog
then I put on some cycling shoes and swapped bikes as I still had to go to Bethesda to get my wife's car

back on the bike
wow... it was like a mini epic
my own Tour de DC
third little ride of the day

on the bike it was starting to get dark and the sky was starting to spit
I had to race the falling sun and the threat of rain

in auto pilot I started a route that seemed less than direct
but I convinced myself that my trajectory was avoiding the hills and the traffic
sure enough... I had fewer cars to deal with
yet I still had a high percentage of assholes swarming in steel cages around me

at the VW repair shop I swiped the credit card and then loaded the bike into the hatch back

it pleased me to be behind the wheel rather than on the bike
I was depleted
my quads could feel the effort

once home I got my older son to get dressed and head off to Karate while my younger son and I walked the dog up to Pho 14 to pick up some carry out for dinner

more walking?
well... it seemed more rational than driving the car
yes... even with my quads burning it made more sense to walk than to drive

nice little mini epic
not a bad day on the bike
time well spent with my son
all in all.... just another day


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