This was one of those days when everything that blooms was shooting pollen in the air. We had just enough rain yesterday to cause everything to pop. Whew…
I took the Metro to DC today to help with a Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) event with the National Park Service. I was going to help lead a family ride to celebrate National Parks, but no one showed up to bike! So I helped table the event and chatted with the other WABA folks.
The Metro getting there was horrible. I’m the last person to jump on the bandwagon criticizing Metro, but today was pretty bad. The Silver Line ended at Ballston, so everyone had to get off and wait for an Orange Line train to come along. Unfortunately, the station platform at Ballston is quite narrow, and since people were all riding the Metro trying to get to a Nationals game it got more and more and more crowded. Two interim Silver Line trains came in and dumped their passengers before another Orange showed up.
Of course, when the train came, people were not happy about me being on there with my bike. I was entertained by a kindergartner who is visiting DC with her family from Washington State. We chatted about bikes and trains and then she started telling me about her kitchen adventures. All of a sudden her eyes lit up and she said, “And one time I got up in the middle of the night to cook some mashed potatoes and … ” Her dad put his hand over her mouth.
I don’t know what she was going to say, but just in case, he was censoring it. It made me laugh. Kids that age have no filters. They got off at the Smithsonian stop (big surprise).
I finally bailed out at Shaw but that meant I had to ride up 15th…ugh. Hills are good. Hills are good. Hills make us stronger.
There were two scary moments on the ride home. First in Georgetown going up M street. If you’ve ridden there in traffic, you know what I mean. Add all the tourists and yikes.
The second was when a kid darted onto the trail on his bike across a grass berm near Falls Church. He was looking back over his shoulder and his bike was following his movement (as they do naturally). I yelled and he jerked back into his lane. He was about 12, and it was a totally normal thing to do.
It made me think though … a kid that age is conditioned to NOT do that going into car traffic because his parents have told him that all his life. But darting onto a very busy bike commuter trail the same thing – it’s jumping into traffic. And today was UBER busy. Lots of folks out walking, biking, roller blading, and numerous people doing family biking with trailers, tag-a-longs, and escorting kids on training wheels.
I was wearing my WABA instructor shirt today so I was on my best behavior. You’re welcome, WABA.
Despite the hills and the traffic, the ride was only 22 miles. It felt farther! I can confidently say the Arlington/Falls Church/Reston hills are getting easier. I must be getting stronger. I can also confidently say I need to get that second water bottle holder on the bike and carry more water!
The goals this week: