Anyway, I woke up Friday feeling like I was coming down with something. I'm more than a little paranoid about getting sick. I haven't been sick since my surgery, and the fact that they gave me a pneumonia shot (normally recommended only for those 65 and older) makes me feel that getting sick is a bad idea. Truth be told, I wasn't really feeling very social either - which I recognize as being part of the persistent poor mental state I've been keeping myself in lately (based on my non-stop obsessing over my health). So, I cancelled out of the trip. Missing trips is also not good for my mental state - when I miss a trip I usually spend the whole time grousing about how I should be on the trip. Still, it was for the best.
Unfortunately, all of Suzanne's other paddling partners for Friday cancelled on her too (Cat slept in, Rob was late getting down that way) and she wound up frsutrated at not being able to paddle. She emailed that I should have given her more notice because she left early in the morning expecting to paddle with me. Like I wasn't already feeling bad for missing out on a long-planned trip and needed guilt from her. In case I hadn't gotten the message, she emailed me again later in the day to once again chide me for not having given her enough notice when I cancelled. She might have done it a third time as well.
By Saturday I had decided that whatever I was feeling wasn't anything serious and decided to join in a party/movie showing at Sarah Bee's house (note: "Sarah Bee" is her forum name, not her real name. Though the "bee" thing must be something she uses consistently, since her house has any number of bee-themed accents. Now, when you go to a cycling event you pretty much have to arrive by bicycle. However, Sarah lives near College Park, which is a healthy ride from home: about 16 miles each way. Now, I would have had no problem riding that kind of distance on the way there, but I was a little worried about riding it again going home in the dark after the event. Some folks were convoying from Gravelly Point (closer in in Arlington) but I knew they'd be traveling too fast for me - and that if I did ride with them the ride home would take me back to Gravelly Point, leaving me wit the problem of getting home from there at the end of the night. So, I cheated a little bit. I took Metro to Federal Center and biked from there. Instead of taking the most direct route I detoured to match the route the convoy would be taking and timed it so that (according to my best estimate) I would intersect with them around the Navy Yard Metro stop. This was a chancy approach since if I didn't meet them I would have to find my way to Sarah's solo, which I had a good but not perfect idea of how to do.
I got to Navy Yard and joined the path I expected the convoy to be taking - marveling at the fact that I was biking solo through Southeast DC, which at one time would have been a suicide mission. The convoy must have gotten a later start than I expected, since I was about 3 1/2 miles past Navy Yard when they finally caught me. They caught up with me at a perfect time: the bulk of the ride is on the Anacostia River Trail, which is pretty easy to follow. There's only one part that's a little confusing as there's a discontinuity in the trail and you have to ride through the streets for a few blocks. I was stopped on the street puzzling about whether I had gone the right way or not when suddenly they came into view. I started pedaling and joined the group as it flew by.
And "flew by" it did. If you look at a plot of speed vs. time for the trip you'll see my speed suddenly jump up almost 5 MPH from my meandering solo speed to the bullet train convoy speed. I had to really work to keep up - but the thing is, I did it, which helped me realize that my typically slow riding is at least in part me just not being motivated to push myself. I rode about 12 miles.
|Guest and hostess (Sarah is on the right)|
The main feature of the evening was watching the cycling movie "Slaying the Badger" about Greg LeMond's entry into the Tour de France and the help (and putative double cross) he received from team captain Bernard Hinault. I enjoyed the movie, though I sensed I would have enjoyed it even more if I had the slightest idea of how bike racing works.
At the end of the party we all stumbled over each other getting our bikes out of the two little bedrooms and then went on our way. I certainly didn't want to try to keep up with the convoy in the dark on twisty, wet leaf covered trails, so I didn't join them. Fortunately, I knew that some people were planning to Metro home so I biked with a few people over to the College Park Metro stop (only a mile and change from Sarah's house). We all rode the Green line together. Jeanne and Bettina continued on Green, while Karen W and I switched to the Orange line. Eventually it was just me left, and I made it home to EFC and did the short ride from the Metro to home without incident.
|Waiting for the Metro heading home|
Quite an adventure - my first ride on the (relatively new) Anacostia River trail!