Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Leave the Car at Home

Here's a picture of Desi outside our house, getting ready to head out on a bike ride to DC. This kind of outing is classic Balla, when the car never leaves its parking spot and we tool around the area under our own power (with an assist from Metro).

From our house, we head through the neighborhood about two miles west, to Rock Creek Trail. This is a very scenic path that runs from Lake Needwood down to Georgetown. It's when we get to the trail that Desi can begin to relax and enjoy. She's a mom, so riding on the street and through commercial areas is not her idea of family fun!

Once we get on the trail, Z spends a few minutes drafting off of a dad and daughter riding along at a good pace on a trail-a-bike. He reports back that the dad is trying to shake him...

For a little while, we jump off the trail and bike along Beach Drive. Upside? Smooth pavement, fast riding, kids learn the rules of the road. Downside? Share the pavement with cars, which you know makes Desi happy!

We stop at City Bikes, which is located along the Georgetown Branch Trail in Chevy Chase. Julie desperately needs a new helmet, so we oblige. I get a kick out of watching one of the bike shop workers dump Julie's old helmet into the trash just seconds after Desi has spoken about passing the helmet on to some little girl. In the meantime, Z was not happy with the whole experience, as he was suffering from a sudden case of "new helmet envy."

For lunch, we hit the Bethesda Mamma Lucia. It was us and all of the families picking up pizzas after their Saturday soccer games, judging by the outfits and cleats that every kid in Bethesda seemed to be wearing.

We venture back out into the damp chill for a ride down the Capital Crescent Trail, the last big leg of the ride. We make great time, aided by the downgrade terrain and the threat of rain...

We pedal past the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, World War II Memorial, and Old Executive Office Building (my personal favorite), on our way to Cosi. Time to warm up! Two teas (Julie and me) and two hot chocolates (Desi and Z). Lots of GW students in there. Desi gets stressed out just watching them cram for finals...

Finally, we jump on the Metro, bikes and all, and head home. For some reason, just as Z and I are winging up Weller Road toward home, we decide that KU's "Rock, Chalk, Jayhawk" cheer is both awesome and in need of revision..."Rock, Chalk, Bluehawk." I don't really get it, but on a day like this, it's all about the company, not about making any sense or changing the (hoops) world!

~Steve

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