this afternoon my boss let me off a few minutes early....I love when that happens
and boss is pretty cool and it happens fairly often, although not often enough, yet still often.
so what do I do with a few extra minutes before Lisa gets home from picking up Dean from school after a her full days work?
well there is the deck project...
the basement is a mess....
that side project for the business cards....
yard work, okay now I am getting silly
yes, you guessed it
I went for a ride
it was not even quarter of 5 and I was already suited up and peddling down M Street into Georgetown
unsure of my path I weighed my options...
M Street to Key Bridge? over the Potomac and onto the Mt Vernon trail towards the airport? (the trail itself goes to George Washington's house, he is not home, but it is a nice ride along the river, passing Bell Haven Marina where Bennett and I use to kayak and swim on summer nights at sunset after we closed the Big Wheel shop in Old Town Alexandria)
or drop down to the C&O canal towards Cumberland? it is a hundred and eighty-six miles, I did it in a sucked...but I did it
but not sure if it will happen was one of the worst sensations of my life...and dreadfully boring at times (the rain and mud made it ultra painful)
or ride with the commuters on the Capitol crescent trail towards Bethesda?
okay...I am on the Karate Monkey single speed
none of those stated options appeal to me
so I turn up 28th street passing my friend Andrew's childhood home above Shiffely's Market, then on up to Dumbarton Oaks, pass the cemetry, down the brick path, past a few sun bathers in bikinis, and into the woods along side of the gardens
yes I know bikes are not on the guest list
it is early...people are still at work
it is dry
and I am friendly and full of smiles
okay, I will not justify one asks the car driver to justify their ignoring that the speed limit sign says 25 MPH
okay, I am not trying to rationalize my skoff law ways
the car modifies that law that says that no car should go over 25
and I modify that law that says no bike should go down this path
I will break this law courtesously and without putting anyone at risk, well no one else but myself
the greenery has grown since the last time I was in here
the path is beaten and clear
but the grass is high
not the pleasure of a frozen winter day, but the bikinis make up for it
I do a loop through one section, I do not encounter any hikers (bikers/horses/police/workers/kids/....anone for that matter)
after that loop I shoot towards a winding climb, but I can see a women with a newborn in a baby bjorn so I opt to take a less familiar trail
giving her space
as I climb there are logs and obstacles I can not clear
I dismount
several times
then once back on the bike with a little rhythm
and then I hit an off camber log and my bike slides out from under me
still in the clips I fall into the brush along side of the trail
a large stick the diameter of making a circle with your index finger with your thumb jams into my neck
slows my fall
luckily it is brittle enough to snap
amazing how strong the human neck is
I check
no blood
no piercing
sure there is pain
and almost a little panic
I am a little shaken up
with the sign of the cross I shake my head
thank god and thank my lucky stars
I could have been bleeding to death gasping for air
rolling on the ground and quoting Nancy Karrigan with "why me?,,,why me?,,,,why me?"
but instead I am back on my bike and rolling further up the hill
the trail ends at a small clearing with pile of trash
well, trash to you or me, but some bags, some long pieces of tin, and other random stuff
obviously the dream home of some homeless resident
must be male, as it is a work in progress
I turn the bike around and head back down the hill
again it is more dismount and remount, dismount and remount
then on the bike
and out of Dumbarton Oaks and right into Rock Creek
still on dirt
with more time before lisa and the crew will be home I continue to pedal
even with a sore neck I have a window of opportunity
so I use it
from the dirt path I am on a bike path
through a tunnel on the sidewalk
and then along side of the National Zoo
no time to see the pandas
especially since that is one no bikes sign that I can clearly see
then in moments I am up a curb and climbing a fireroad towards Klingle Mansion
a spot where DC's own Keystone Cops searched aimlessly for Chandra Levy's body
rather than going all the way to the mansion which is used as Department of Interior Park Services offices I turn down some single track and get back onto the bike path
a few minutes of spinning and I am on the bike path
and convinced that I am too tired and lacking the technical touch for the woods
as non-technical as they may be
opting not to climb the hills on ross road, not much of a hill, but up just the same
I head down Beach Drive
the single speed is not the machine of choice in traffic
even maxing this machine out I am going slow enough to force the cars to pass aggressively on these thin winding roads
a few miles into it
just past the Park Police office
I am tired of the commuter traffic passing me too close too fast
so I dip into the woods
not rationalizing things
just getting my wheels and my body to some place where I feel a tad safer
this trail is wide and smooth
sure it is just a path
but it is a dirt path without cars
I sprint through having to wheelie through a number of mud puddles
a mile or two of this same type of trail and I am headed up over water bars and getting closer to some roller coaster single track
the only other trail users I have encountered have been leashless dog walkers
again I am struggling with some technical spots and the climbs are more than I can muscle
I do a little rogue maintenacne
clear a fallen tree
try to add some logs to make a tall fallen log ridable
I try to test it
I crash as I tenatively raise my front wheel onto the first log
with no shame I turn my bike around
and start getting a rhythm on the dirt
I slow and stop for another leashless dog
this one did not chase me like the last two
rolling fast
I look forward to the two drop offs
the first drop off is sweet
the second is taken at such speed that I feel air around me
before my rear wheel touches down first
I zip up a side path and skretch to a halt before a fallen log too high to even dream about clearing
as I disount I glance at my watch
and plot my course for home
back out of the single track
onto the wide smooth flat fire road
veto the option to take the alternate single track back
and get back onto the road
it is more of the same
battling the commuter car traffic
so many cars passing so fast and so close
some on cell phones others trying to teach me a lesson and still others too stupid to know that they are putting my life at risk while others still just don't care
up Park Road and heading home
as I pass my own house
cars pass me
still too close and too fast
my ride never ends at my house
I take my bike around back
and I always take my bike to the top of the hill
since I do not ride often or long enough
I try not to cheat myself of this hill
sometimes I do it several times before I put the bike into the basement
I get home
and hang with lisa grant and dean
plug the iPod into the auxilary slot
and before I know it Lisa and Dean are dancing in the center of the room
it was fun
I hike the dogs
we order some thai food
lev comes over to fix the dinning room light
I finish that business card job
put the last of my laundry into the wash
blow off recharging my light
pour myself a glass of Absynthe
and turn on the tube and start to blog

but I think I had another objective
this blog may not have circled to the point i was seeking
the intro becmae the full tale