An email today inspired the following memory of a bike ride I did recently with my friend Jen. It was just us two out there, with only each other and our bikes for company. (Which makes it sound a lot more ominous than it was. I mean, we were in Montgomery County for godsakes, not out running the Western States course.)
Editor's Note: An important piece of background information for understanding a couple of parts of this story is that I was once lost on Georgia Avenue. Hopelessly, horribly, lost. Except that I wasn't actually lost, I just thought I was lost and far, far away from where I should be. Nothing looked familiar. I couldn't make heads or tails of which direction I was running, which way the Capitol was, where the Armory was, and I panicked. It made absolutely no sense to panic though, because I was in fact in the middle of a RACE. All I had to do was keep following the *thousands* of people in front of me and I'd get back to my car. And I think that is a good place to start this story about another time I was so happy to see my car.
These are the bikes that we rode. This story is the longest caption ever.
Sometimes when you are out riding with Jen, it's all fun and good times and you stop for coffee and you are trying to decide what to do next and she's like, "Oh! I have an idea," and "Just follow me!" and you are all, "Well, it IS the #yearofGeorge," and "Jen's a pretty reliable person" so you do, and then the next thing you know, you are on a highway and you beg her not to make you take the entrance ramp to 270 and you DON'T, thank god, but there's a MALL and still you are on this highway and you are riding as fast as you can and you miss a light and there she goes, getting smaller and smaller up a giant hill and good bye Jen! and you aren't sure where you are, but it's NOT Georgia Avenue at least and thank goodness Jimmy recommended that 12-27 and all of the sudden, boom, you are crossing Rockville Pike and look! there's Beach Drive! but, not so fast, because she turns LEFT to go up the enormous hill towards the Mormon Temple and gosh, at least it will be fun to go back down the hill! but no, she makes you take a scary windy backroad somewhere and you are lost again and thankful it's still not Georgia Avenue, and poof! you are back on Beach Drive, but now you are regretting not going pee when you were at Starbucks so you whine a little bit and decide the best course of action is to hammer back down Beach Drive towards Rock Creek Park and some bathrooms and finally you find a bathroom and it's one of the best sights on earth but after she's all, "OK, NOW we'll climb another giant hill and it will be fun," and it IS fun, but gosh it's kind of hard and you are getting pretty tired and then she's all, "Just go down Nebraska and at some point you will know where you are and then your car will be like right there. Simple." and that's that and you part ways and don't realize that her directions were sort of an understatement and you finally realize that you've bonked because you have severly underestimated the number of calories you've burned and you find yourself standing there on Connecticut Avenue wondering if it might be best to just go find the Red Line and see if maybe Amanda might give you a ride back, but then some douchebag guys honk at you and wave and you are like, "Stuff it douchebags, I'm a hard core biker," and you pound some black cherry shot blox, drop into the small ring and keep climbing. and then, finally, like a mirage in the desert, you see the sign for the bank on MacArthur blvd, and you've never in your life been so happy to see that bank, and you make it back to your car and you are alive and you are Just Fine and you think, "Wow - probably that was one of the best bike rides I've been on in a long time," and "When can I do that again?"