Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wile E Coyote

Yesterday marked my longest bike ride to date: a bit more than 6 miles round trip. I needed a bike pump and once again my pal Ben came to the rescue. Well, sort of. He had a Wile E Coyote-style pump that he was willing to loan me, but I would need to come pick it up. I could ride over. Or take the bus, he suggested. (I know a gauntlet toss when I see one.) He assured me there were no hills between my place in Columbia Heights and his place in Van Ness. I mapped out a route. Ah, I thought, Rock Creek has bike lanes, right? I was going in the middle of the afternoon, so there shouldn't be many cars, right? There are no hills, right?? Oh. Oh, no.

No crashes and only two near emotional meltdowns. Good old Sheldon was there with me through it all: disappearing/reappearing bike lanes, hills, snow flurries, traffic. Somehow polishing his wheel rims when we returned to the apartment seemed like a paltry thank you. Now, I am not so proud that I will not walk my bike on occasion, but some of those hills were ridiculous. I took a different route back, to be sure. (Yochi, THANK YOU for the suggestion of rerouting through Adams Morgan -- safer and convenient for me to stop off at City Bikes to check on my functional-but-still-squeaky brakes.) In fact, I rather enjoyed the ride back, as the weather had turned clear and sunny (and maybe also partly because I was no longer subject to the hills that lurk around so many corners of this fair city like my personal sword of Damocles). This is progress.

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