another day... another bike ride
another biker and the right thing

today I worked the late shift
(still working the late shift... killing the last minutes of the day with a little BLOG SESSION... racing through a quick read to see if this entry makes any sense)
working the late shift allows me to enter work late
leaving a few hours in the morning to do with as I please

there was talk about driving Dean to school, but Dean failed to comply with my deal to get dressed with some immediacy
once he put on his Spiderman underwear... he morphed into a little superhero and started sprinting around the top floor
rather than argued I accepted it...
entertained Dean and baby Grant till our babysitter arrived
she is always ontime
she is always a welcomed site

once our babysitter arrived to take care of Grant and drop Dean off at school I stepped out the front door
I walked the dogs while drinking my coffee leaving me plenty of time for a pre-work spin
the dogs got their's
I wanted to get mine

having worked the road on the cross bike the day prior I felt that dirt was in order
so I plotted a cross town urban assault
aboard the Surly Karate Monkey I worked the dirt with great pleasure
encountering only one person on my cross town excursion
once out of the woods I looked at my watch and plotted my next move
there was still more time for more spinning on the bike

before I could get any closer to any more riding I saw what appeared to be a homeless man walking his bicycle
he stalled his movement and rotated his front wheel with the front end raised
it looked like a brake issues
I rolled up and asked him if he needed any help
easy enough... he had a flat
I stepped in close then stepped back... the smell was strong
even with the breeze he was unbearable
figuring he had more time than I
I asked if he knew how to use a patch and glue... he did
so I dug through my bag
to assure myself this man did in fact know how to properly use the glue I told him how I had rushed through a flat repair just last week, not waiting long enough for the glue to get tacky
as I told my retorical tale
my stinky santa-esque acquaintance assured me he knew to let the glue sit till it started to "vulcanize"
I passed over two patches, my remaining glue, and a little square of sandpaper then rolled along my way

I pedaled away with my bag feeling a little lighter
or maybe it was just a a breath of fresh air from feeling I had done the "right thing"

without much thought I worked my way through traffic
trying to time lights
trying to dodge cars
trying to have fun.... while trying to stay alive
just trying to get some exercise before I arrive at to work for my 11 o'clock in time
my subconcious guided me to where my time could be spent best
down by Haines Point for a little spin in the spring air with a glorious view of the Cherry Blossoms
this is a spring time spectacle that has a very short window of opportunity
tourists were just starting to gather
shutterless digital cameras were clicking left and right
rental cars were rushing to steal that last vacant parking space

just as I started to circle the golf course at Haines Point I found myself making small talk with a fellow cyclist
we laughed at the idiots and assholes who were speeding past us
a stretch limo passed us very close... nearly clipping an on coming Park Police car in the other lane
we made the turn past the golf course entrance where the road becomes two lanes
more cars passing
some faster and closer than others
all cars moving too fast to soak in the sights that surronded them
this other cyclist had a good outlook
sort of realisticly negative understanding with a smile on her face
judging from her old, not old school, Bridgestone MB6 she has been riding for some time
her Suntour thumb shifters were quite classic
she was somewhat Zen in her understanding that her anger and frustration would not change the car driver's behavior
that after this obnoxious driver there would be another obnoxious driver right behind them
I tried to breath deeply... second nature got the best of me as I flipped off a car driver who did not even exit my lane to pass

as we rode I shared with her the various bike alternative routes and how they interconnected
she knew some of the paths
while she was less familiar with others
with more time I guided her towards the Key Bridge which brought me closer my destination on M Street

we each had to go to work
with a smile and a handshake we went our separate ways
another kindered spirit on the bike

it was a good way to spend my moments before work on a Monday morning
some time with the boys at home in the morning
some time with the dogs in the woods
some time on the bike
and it is only Monday

on my way home minutes after PUBLISHING THIS POST
I passed an older rider with a silver beard

he was walking shoeless with his cycling shoes dangling around his next
his bicycle was along side of him with a flat tire
in a second effort to get a foot in heaven or maybe to at least balance the scales of my wrong doings I stopped for him
went through my bag for a road tube....
sure enough... I had a 26 inch mountain tube, a 29 inch mountain tube, and what appeared to be a road tube....BUT WITH A SCHRADER VALVE
my stopping was not without value
the rider was content to walk his remaining 3 plus miles home
but at the point where we met we were just three blocks from P Street Hardware
which also has a fully functioning bicycle shop
it was after 7 PM, but.... I felt that there was a good chance for it to still be open
it was worth a shot

he thought it was a good idea as well
I thanked him for pointing out the abscence of a road tube and rolled home