Thursday, June 4, 2009

Biking Along, Singing a Song

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There wasn't really any singing. Promise. Not that I necessarily think that I'm a bad singer, I just think that it is dangerous to use your vocal chords while attempting to stay upright on two wheels. It just isn't natural and all energy should be put to use to avoid becoming horizontal. In the mud. In front of the airport.

"What the holy nerds are you talking about," you say. Let me tell you, I like to bike.

I like to bike. Not to be confused with, I like to "cycle." Lauren is no cyclist, kids. The BF (boyfriend, meaning my fiance and the future father of my litter of children that I will have to have in a box under the stairs) lets me use his shiny red bike everyday. He is pretty and fast and he is my friend. Torino, as it I call him, takes me to and from work every day. And occassionally to the grocery store, the gym and once in a blue moon to Chinatown. But last weekend it was time to test the limits of my biking abilities. BF was out of town leaving me to my own, albeit insane, devices. What does one do with all of this along time? While I was going to attempt to reconstruct the front yard, I decided that was too constructive for a Sunday afternoon and decided to ride. Just ride, man.

Here in DC we have what is called the Mount Vernon Trail. It is a scenic trail that follows the Potomac River from Washington all the way down to Mt. Vernon, hence the name. This trail is an ambitious undertaking for mere commuter bikers, such as myself. Round trip is 36 miles. You're right, that is a long way.

When I set off on Sunday the plan was to bike to this great park by the airport near the beginning of the trail and catch some rays, read some rag mags and watch the planes take off over head. Cool view, huh?

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Doesn't that sound like a pleasant way to spend the afternoon? Sure does, but that isn't what I did. One thing that you may not know about me is that I'm a bit competitive, usually just with myself. Once I started on the trail, I couldn't find it in my heart to pump the right-hand break and kept on riding past the park. Past the cute families barbequing and playing volleyball. Past the DC girls laying out getting bit my mosquitos. Past the kids fishing for mutated three-eyed fish in the Potomac. Nope, no stopping. Kept riding.

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I can't figure out how to format this properly but can you see how long this blasted trail is? And I didn't even get through to the end! I made it approximately half way to Mt. Vernon. At the time that I turned around I had been riding for an hour and a half and still had to turn around and make it all the way back home! All in all I went something like 22 miles. What a wimp, right? But the trip was not complete without seeing some interesting sites, like this...why?

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Just kidding about that last one. But I would like to see that in real life. The other exciting event while on the trail was my near accident. Just call me "cat-like reflexes Lauren" but that is the only way that I can explain me not breaking my neck.

While coasting down a gentle hill on the old Verny Trail, it seemed like it would be as good a time as any to have a drink from my water bottle. While trying to put said water bottle back into my back packback with my right hand (hand selection is important) the sweet family in front of me begins to slow down. Crap! There is no time to slam on the brakes, especially since my only free hand can pump my front brake which would surely send me over the handle bars and into traction. What do you do? You throw your water bottle into the mud as fly off the path and into a mud hole. A mud hole that grabs your bike while you jump off. Believe it or not, I landed on my feet! Cat-like reflexes, I'm telling you they should bottle this stuff and sell it on QVC. Maybe Suzanne Somers could sell it! She looks cheery right? And sort of felinesque.

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So that is the story of how I went for a nice Sunday afternoon bike ride, nearly made it to Washington's house and nearly killed myself. Don't worry, the BF gets home soon.


Jason said...

Awesome. Maybe you and BF can get one of them tandem bikes and share the workload next time.

Lauren said...

Not a bad idea...We could matching helmets and outfits and throw around high-fives after each successful turn.