Monday, August 27, 2007

Day 186 - 08/25/2007

I hit the open road for what I was hoping would be another 20 miler, but I wound up only getting in about half of that. I got another flat. This time it was my fault. I thought I had replaced the tube properly, but, as it turns out, I hadn't. I was heading down a trail off of Stringfellow and came across a few (somewhat) dry stream crossings. The last one I crossed had some (e.g., 1/2" or so) running water. Due to the other ones being fairly simple to cross, I didn't hesitate on this one.


As I rode across, my front wheel skidded to the right and then my back wheel skidded out from under me as well. This wasn't an intermittent stream, but a year-round stream. Or at least a stream that's fairly wet most of the time. Wet enough for a covering of algae to grow on the cement of the crossing. Fortunately I was able to recover and didn't test out my new helmet. Unfortunately, the torque of the skid, coupled with the correction caused my tube to be pinched between the rim and it ruptured.

I found a place to fix my flat and this time I did it the right way (wait for the glue to dry before applying the patch). As I was sitting there, a woman drove into the driveway of the house I was working in front of and asked me:

"Do you have to do that here?"

Uh?!? Do I have to do this here? Well, no, but...

"Yeah, I'm just fixing the flat I got."

I thought that she wasn't too happy that I was working on my bike in front of her house based on her initial question. I turned out to be wrong, however, when she followed up her first question with:

"Can I get you anything?"

Wow, I guess I was wrong about that!

"Thanks, but I've got everything I need."

"Alright, well, if there's anything you need, let me know."

And with that, she went inside.

Later on my ride, after fixing the flat, I saw her up at Fair Lakes. She was coming out of Target and saw me riding down the road. She waved and said she was happy that I was able to fix it and wished me luck on the rest of my ride.

Wow, I thought, that sure didn't end like I thought it would based on the way it started!"

After returning from my bike ride, I mowed the yard. For some reason I decided to raise the blade and after I was done, I regretted it. While it looked nice and neat, it still looked like it needed to be cut again. Oh well, lesson learned. Next time I'll put it back to the previous length.

We had originally planned on hitting the Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center this afternoon with D's aunt and uncle, however, he wasn't feeling up to snuff, so D dropped the kids and I off and we went by ourselves. I've never been, so I was looking forward to going. Of course, I knew going in that I wouldn't be able to take everything in (e.g., read everything like I like to do when I visit museums), so my expectations were met when the kids wouldn't let me stop for more than 30 seconds at any one display.

I tried to make it fun for them and tried to explain the theory behind flying, as well as how an engine works. I don't think either one of them got it (especially N), but I couldn't just not share my enthusiasm for aviation with them!

D picked us up and we wound our way through Herndon before heading back home. The kids wanted to do a drive-by at Dulles, so I decided I wanted to do a detour through Herndon.

The Craigs were hosting a party tonight where the guest of honor was the candidate running for state delegate in our district. He seemed pretty young and when he presented his three main campaign issues (education, transportation and immigration), the ideas he espoused as solutions were quickly shot down by those in attendance. I spoke with him at length, trying to be supportive and offering ideas he should look at (smaller, lower cost solutions vs. trying to put all the funds toward fewer large scale solutions). He seemed pretty interested in hearing what I had to say, but in the end, I don't think it will matter. If what he said to us is truly what he thinks will win, he's not going to be very effective if he does win.

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