20121028-094846.jpgI saw Nick’s bike leaning against the fence this morning and it was as if it were calling to me: “Take me for a ride” it pleaded. How strange it feels not to ride each day. Comparable, I would say to finding one’s self naked in public. And so, I went for a ride.

Weee! The first thing I noticed is that a regular road bike is so much more nimble than a tandem with panniers. Like a Corvette compared to a school bus. I had trouble keeping it under 30. The miles quickly added up.

I rode along the Mt. Vernon Bike Trail which is sandwiched between the Potomac River and the George Washington Parkway. The river was high since I caught it at high tide and the storm surge from Hurricane Sandy is now influencing this area. Fallen leaves covered the trail in areas, ankle-deep and crunchy-dry. The sky was dark with hurricane clouds and the wind was rising. I had forgotten how charming the ambiance can be in the D.C. area around Halloween (I lived here in ’73-’74.) The stultifying heat of summer is gone and the dreary dampness of winter is yet to come. Soon enough the piles of crunchy-dry leaves will become sodden masses and the high winds will strip the brilliant foliage from the trees.

Quite a few joggers were on the bike trail getting one last run in before the expected storm unleashes its fury. The whole scene had the feeling of busied expectation like the last shopping day before Christmas.

I told myself I would turn around and head home at the first sign of rain. I felt a few drops about five miles along the trail where it crosses the Parkway. The hour’s ride was enough to raise a slight sweat and make me feel “normal” again. Once home I parked the bike and patted it on the seat. “Good bicycle” I cooed. “Good bike.”