Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Maiden Voyage

You are looking at a woman who just rode her FANTASTIC NEW DONATED by SUSIETM BIKE home from work for the first time, in the dark, using directions cobbled together from the internets, in 46F, and who did not fall off (it was close), get run over, mauled by an errant post or fireplug in the middle of the freakin' sidewalk, or gored by a "deer with horns," as one kind driver rolled down her window to tell me was awaiting me up ahead on the sidewalk of the six-lane highway I had to ride on for about 1/4 mile. That's when I started singing "I Whistle a Happy Tune, So No One Will Suspect I'm Afraid."

It was a BLAST.

Riding through nearly deserted (car-deserted, anyways) darkened neighborhoods, with the wind blowing, the leaves rustling, the smell of fall in the air, the sights and sounds coming from cozily lit houses along the way—where all the normal people live. Ya don't get that in a car!

In fact, it really starts to pain me when I think of how many years I've spent killing this planet by driving when I could have been riding.

I followed this map, which came with directions and which I read by the light of my bike lamp. What was tough to read were the street signs. The route went through many back streets, except for that 1/4 mile of hell where the deer, antelope, and insane drivers roam. It was so fantastic being out in the cold, with my makeshift bike clothes and my new bike pedals thank you aj. I was toasty warm.

Here's the route I followed from downtown Bethesda to my home sweet home.

If there are any Bethesda riders out there who can tell me how to avoid Old Georgetown Road to get to Montgomery Mall, without ending up on Democracy Blvd., I'm all ears. Tonight I took this route only to Old Georgetown, where I diverted and rode up Old Georgetown, past the Giant and up and over 270.

But whatever. I can't wait to do it again. But there are a few precautions I'm going to have to take such as learning how to change a flat and carrying all that crap with me.

Oh, and trying to retain feeling in my butt would be nice too.


eileen said...

Let me go on the record: I am opposed to this newest venture. Also, did you publish a map with directions to your house? I mean I know we are all good, honest people but ANYONE could be reading this! Druids included!

jeanne said...

no no, not a map to my house! no worries.

i'm not invincible, but i'll be careful, i promise! i was on the sidewalk for the scary part, mom!

Laurie said...

Awww, your mom comments on your blog.

Well done, lady. Keep up the good work!

LBTEPA said...

Oooh so fun! I'm really happy for you!
I rode my bike today too so I've got my adrenaline abuzzin' :)
so many questions!
how far was it? how often are you planning to ride? You look cool and really SERIOUS!
Did you think this would happen when you started blogging?

Dori said...

I'm impressed. Do you know about Motion Based? It's software that lets people upload their route information and can be viewed on the Internet. You can search for Georgetown, Washington D.C. and see what comes up. A lot of it is free and you don't even have to log in. You may be able to find a better way to and from work.

21stCenturyMom said...

It looks suspiciously like you rode in a circle there for a bit. I'm pretty sure you didn't.

Good going with that ride! There is another site called 'map my ride' that might have some route info, too. See if any of these help:

You look like a bitchin' biker chick in that get up. Go Jeanne!

Rae said...

Way to go!!! Is that really your mom commenting? that is so sweet!

m said...

You are so HOT in that outfit!

a.maria said...

lol. i'm so proud of you!!!!! as for the "crap to carry it in".. you need an under-the-saddle velco jobber. pretty standard. your LBS will have them in all shapes and sizes. you can put everything you need in there.

tip: put your tube in an old sock so that it doesn't get punctured while you ride. also, the sock will serve as a good wipe-yours-hands-off towel!


Susan said...

Jeanne, this is fantastic!

You inspire me. Really.

IHateToast said...

why do i have this sudden urge to cross a road to get to school?

David said...

Your outfit looks officiously outrageous. I would not hit you. Promise.

I am having flashbacks to 6th grade when I rode my bike to St. Cloud Elementary where the girls enjoyed the sport of ripping fruit loop loops off the back of my button down shirts.

The bike ride home got drafty if the girls ripped the back of the shirt out. It happened. Promise. Long story.

Anita said...

Okay, so let me get this straight.

You went out in public dressed like that? A very safe if not somewhat space alien look for you Jeanne.

Trust me. They'll notice you and in noticing you, you will not become a bug on someone's windshield...even if you look like one.

Good for you on yet another sporty endeavor. When you get to bungie jumping please include photos.

Just12Finish said...

LOL - am I the only one who noticed that you searched the internetS?

Oh Jeanne, you getting closer to the dark side in that get-up.

peter said...

Oh Jeanne, I tagged you.

Vickie said...

Crazy is as crazy does.

Deirdre said...

I like the BIKE Vest! I want you to wear it to work :)