Thursday, November 10, 2011

Perfect Commute

Days like today don't happen often enough.  I'm happy for every day on the bike, but today was special.  Everything was perfect!

Weather was perfect... It was in the mid 40's with fairly thick fog.... Thick enough to be interesting, but not thick enough that people can't see my lights and reflective gear.  The weather was visually interesting as well as physically pleasant.

I'd been asked by a friend to stick some of my cold weather gear (mainly my Moose Mitts) in the panniers so that the next time I bump into him he could test fit them on his fixie with bull-horn bars.  Low and behold as I made the turn onto the Custis Trail, I run into said friend and we both had time to stop and see how things fit.   Upping the cool factor, a third guy came along... someone who'd been lurking on the Bike Arlington Forum, but hadn't posted yet.  He'd been wondering about Moose Mitts, but hesitated to buy them without trying them on his bars first.  He stopped, introduced himself and we included him in the impromptu demo of winter gear.  Cool chance to meet someone new.  

After a few minutes the three of us started rolling east.  It wasn't long before a dude on a LOVELY Colnago C50 rolled by.  I admired it.  He hug with us and chatted with each of us for a while as we rolled to the office.  Added a new friend to the list of riding buddies.  

I switched on the video camera to get some footage of a friend riding down some of the serpentine hills that make up my commute. The video ended up being kind of cool... the fog and following the friend through the turns on his fixie was a cool perspective from the cargo bike.  I'll post up a few snippits this weekend.  

It was nice enough that I decided to turn south and ride with friends instead of going directly to the office.  The trail was lovely.  The conversation was interesting.  The morning continued to NOT SUCK!  

My ulterior motive for heading south was to inspect a trail intersection improvement that the National Park Service executed at the intersection of the Mount Vernon Trail and the 14th Street Bridge.  Basically they took an intersection made up of 2 narrow trails meeting and widened it out nicely so that people can travel in all 4 directions in high traffic without smashing into each other.  It will save a lot of headaches and accidents.   I seriously approved of the upgrades and I hope they weather well.  

I'd heard that the DC WWI Memorial had been reopened after a year of painstaking restoration.  It is a monument that I've always loved for its simplicity and beauty, but I've always had to overlook its rundown and overgrown nature.  That is no longer a problem!!!  I think DC kind of felt that having the Memorial to Dr. King across the street might increase the foot traffic to the monument, so they'd better fix it up.  They did a lovely job.  It is like seeing an old friend after a long time apart.  Truly lovely bit of stonework that has withstood the test of time.  One of my favorite things in DC and the foggy morning was great to photograph it.  

I did a loop around the Washington Monument to see if they'd re-opened the grounds around it.  They had not.  The earthquake damage was bad enough that it will be closed for quite some time.  That is quite a shame, because that is a big draw to the DC area.

While I'm gushing about how much I enjoyed my commute, I have to comment on a few other things:

1) I never could have had any of these experiences if I'd been in a car.  I'd be locked in a 3000 pound metal box, isolated from those around me and frustrated to be sitting in a line of cars that were barely moving.  

2) I got to share this joy not only with those with which I rode, but also anyone bored enough to read this blog.  and

3) The attitude totally carried into my day.  I've had a great morning which I really needed.  I've had many breakthroughs on projects that drastically needed to happen.  

This morning didn't suck in any way.  I can't wait to go play in the rain this afternoon!!!!

Here are photos from the whole commute to work:
Hugs and kisses

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