3.08.2005

today after work

today I tried to get out pretty close to the sound of the whistle
it does not always go that way
today was not bad
actually, today was quite good
early is better.... if not best... but we can not justify leaving work early all the time
try to save the times I leave early for the times when I have to leave early
ontime or a few minutes after are plenty good enough
staying late sucks... it happens.... but it sucks

was able to roll out of work all suited up in all sorts of gortex and polypropylene finding myself out the front door rolling down M Street by 5:15
not quite "out on my brain on the 5:15" although the "streets are suductive"
(check Quadrophenia to explain obscure quotes)

it is tough
in life we do not always have the liberty to hand pick the day do fulfill the various tasks of life
we take the day as it presents itself... optimal weather or not
when you go on a vacation to go skiing.... you hope for snow
when you go on a vacation to go to the beach... you hope for warm sunny days
when you get out of work with only enough time for a 45 minute ride you want it to be.... at least pleasant

it was less than pleasant
sure the wet snow had stopped
in fact... most of the snow had either melted or been blown away
the roads were clear of everything other than madness
the wind was "honking"
not sure of the actual measure of the wind... but if there were any dingys on the water today... the sailors would find themselves stranded ontop of an icy "turtle"

what the heck..... no worries... I was dressed for it
all geared up for a cold wet rainy morning.... so... I pedaled down the road
there was time for a quick 30 to 40 minutes on the bike
bobbing weaving dodging down the road I moved
trying to put myself in the safest place on the road to maintain momentum
trying to anticpate and guage the wind so that it did not blow me into the path of a fast approaching car

expect the unexpected is an old adage that fits here
the stop go of the red lights manage to favor my rhythm over the erratic stop go of the cars

did I run some red lights?
on the bicycle I see it closer to leading than stealing
my slight modification of the red light is no different than the car driver's modifying the speed limit on the shared roads
well... there is one difference.... if I get into an acciedent.. I am the victim.... if the speed car gets into an accident due to their modifications.... well... there may be more victims... hopefully not me

as I enter Georgetown I see a familiar form ahead
nothing more than a silhouette with the combination of distance and the afternoon's setting sun
the height of the setting sun glaring right at eye level of all the drivers and cyclists heading down M Street crossing number streets counting up does not help things... and does not give me confidence of what will happen with the cars around me
the body type along with the low rider front wheel panniers are all contributing to my guess of who the rider ahead may be
a measure of his pace and my potential for momentum left me confident to catch him before he turned off any side street; even with the single speed geared for off road use and the wind hitting me from all directions other than my back
my thought of who this rider is also gave me the reasoning to think that he was staying straight all the way down to Revolution Cycles
which also allowed me to scale my need of pace and momentum
the algorithm with all of its information turned to be correct.... it was SuperDave
sure enough he is headed to Revolutions Cycles... only in Clarendon and not the Georgetown location
immediately Dave had recognized me
my height, my size, and my voice and even my bike were enough to feed him the answer
with helmet, glasses, and balacava making face recognition an absent variable

one of the great things about cycling..... I am just riding
for me my route, pace, and distance can be altered by socializing
distance at fast pace and distance at slow pace can each be a positive experience
only problem... as much as I would love to go to Clarendon.... it is not going to happen today
Clarendon does not take me towards home
I had already altered my dip into Rock Creek at Penn and 28th street to go straight down M to catch Superdave
so going across Key Bridge towards Rosslyn and looping back on the Mt Vernon trail
crossing back into DC on either Memorial Bridge or 14th Street bridge depending on how the mood carries me
before hitting the bridge Superdave starts to brace himself for the wind on the bridge
well...... not just the wind.... but the cold
it is frigid... but the wind is powerful.... powerful and carrying an icy cold bite

we take the right hand side of the bridge
less pedestrians on the right side than the left
so we can free up some concentration on conversation
we try to catch up
but most of our conversation is about the weather and the wind
it is cold
but the wind is intense
not gusty
long consistent powerful thrusts of wind
to stay upright I leaned at nearly a 45 degree angle
trusting the wind could not let up so abruptly to let me drop to the ground
it was absurd
once across the bridge we laughed about the experience
as we waited for the light to change
each thinking it would have made a pretty funny photograph

Dave went to work
I went towards home

once on the Mount Vernon trail I was alone
the streets were mobbed with all sorts of people rushing home via cab, buses, foot, car, bicycle... okay less bicycle and foot than usual
there is some snow on sections of the trail
guess the local users know when not to use the trail
most is ridable at a slow pace
only one section to dismount
again the wind's furry dictates my pace and the angle of my operation
the white caps one the river make the Potomac look more like an ocean than a river
under Memorial then onto 14th street
again the wind nearly blows me over until I grow confident with the 45 degree angle
only this time I have a road cyclist coming towards me
so I get a bit of an idea how absurd I look
he stalls to let me pass
as the path was only wide enough for one cyclist to ride along at a 45 degree angle
I stop
we have a laugh about the conditions
I say something
he says something
we both laugh
neither knowing what the other has said
the wind took the words away before they could be heard
back on the bike opting for cross town rather than any more time along the river

zipping around through traffic was not an option
yet
the power of the wind made each street move like a long steady climb
yet being forced to take the whole lane just the same
there was no choice
the wind was also taking me from side to side

there were a few confrontations
a few moments of anger and frustration

more on this later
need to sip some wine and wind down

okay
there was a moment of road rage
some pretty boy kook in a Range Rover flipped me off as he passed me on 16th Street
well
sure I had juked into the line of traffic and forced them to slow as I took the tunnel route under a traffic circle
but the combination of the wind and the single speed kept me snailing through the tunnel
these were hurricane style winds
weather report style winds
and in the tunnel.... these were wind tunnel style winds
and I was experiencing them in wind tunnel style

so he flipped me off...
ten gets caught at a light
knowing I am somewhat a contributed to his frustration I try not to over respond
the vehicle that he would have been behind is two blocks ahead, not a car between them...
he will be there when the light turns green
yet he still flipped me off
rather than getting angry and flipping him off or spitting on his windshield
I try to turn the other cheek
well.....
I am a slow learner.... Or maybe I should just admit that I am not that bright
in my personal way of exaggerating I close my eyes and give a big kiss with my mick jagger-esque lips to the passenger side door window
his hot yuppie wife is as much of a sprite as he is
they are a really handsome couple
model hot
add the range rover and the hipper than Ikea chair and table in the back of their SUV and we really have something here
so... this pretty couple has moved to Washington DC.... not long enough to even change their plates..... and they are already flipping people off
through the closed window there are words
not sure what they were
but there were words
my words degraded from comical to crude pretty fast
the light turned green and we took off..... it was a bit of a drag race
the wind was not in my favor
there was no way that I could maintain his pace
he was assertive
not in any rush to escape me
he was just racing me
what do I know? I can not read his mind... but that was my thought

my blood boiled....

he pushed my buttons....

it was silly
before I took the sidewalk to battle the combination of the hill on 16th Street and the wind I was already laughing
not sure if I was angry because he gave me the finger
not sure if I was angry because he was from out of town and I am a "local" ... you know I am a CUTTER he is a transcient college boy (only we are all a little older)
not sure if I was angry because he was prettier than I am , cause his car is nicer than mine is, or if it was because he has better taste in lounge chairs than I have
any way you call it....
it is all so silly
as silly as it all was.....I need to start taking things more seriously

avoid the confrontation
ride defensively
if aggressive moves are defensive moves... do it
but
avoid the confrontation
do not treat it like a game
remove ego and attitude from the moment
think with your mind not your ego

part of being a good dad is getting home alive
can;t read anyone a good night story if you are dead

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