Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tour de Petworth

Every ride home is a race.

I usually leave myself no more than 15 minutes to get home from work on my bicycle, yet our in-home childcare provider (nanny, I guess) should not be kept from leaving at the appointed hour. These days, we always have hot weather. And regardless of the season, I always have to contend with The Hill: the escarpment that separates lower DC from upper DC. (It was once the bank of the primordial Potomac!)

I fight my way out of traffic and get as far east as I can before I tackled The Hill. At 13th Street and 15th Street it's at its steepest, and west of there is too congested. (14th Street is a saddle that is not so steep, but it carries a lot of traffic too.) 10th Street (Sherman) is pretty gradual, but 11th Street has a bike lane and not too many cars. So I try to make every light -- give or take the occasional red -- and boogie up 11th.

And then I just keep spinning.

It's around this time that I usually invoke the name of Lance Armstrong, or lately Floyd Landis. What's impressive to me about bike racing is that the riders set a pace that makes their legs scream...and hold it. Up mountains. During heat. Through sheer force of will. Ultimately, you race against yourself. (And everyone loses except the winner.)

Update: Floyd Landis is suspected of doping because he has high testosterone levels. (Duh! He just won the Tour de France!)


At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But you would remember that not stopping for red lights could be dangerous, and that the sitter would really be held up leaving if you didn't make it at all, right?


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