Sunday, December 11, 2016

In Praise of My Pashley Princess Sovereign and Big Hills

Riding my bicycle up Wisconsin Avenue each night has helped by quiet the din while turning me into a stronger rider than I thought possible.  My bike of choice remains a #pashleyprincesssovereign - that clunky but gorgeous steel-framed bike that exceeds 50 lbs with the wicker panniers full of my work junk.

I started to give up and turn to my century bike, but it was so lightweight I felt like I was cheating someone or something somewhere.  My head didn't fill with the same great thoughts, and my legal did not get the workout I wanted, and I got too many nods from spandex gear guys whom I prefer to pass on my Pashley.

After six months of this ride I can run faster and ride easier than I thought possible.  All thanks to my little old English Lady - that sturdy Judi Dench/Barbara Woodhouse of a bike.

As I crank up the hill through the side streets of Georgetown my brain fills with random thoughts.

Daily: Why can't DC put one more bike lane on Wisconsin?

When listening to music (rare): Does Gweneth Paltrow fall in love with Christ Martin all over again  every time she hears the strings strike up in Viva la Vida?  Does Yo-Yo Ma feel like the King of the World?  What was the Menken quote about a confederacy of dunces?  I am afraid that, one day, Matt Groening will die, and then the planet will never be the same.

One time recently:  Is that guy really doing that in his car where people can see him?

Almost every night:  Why is that harsh looking woman in the Porsche 911 so hostile to bicycles?  Does she always have to force me off the bike mid-hill where I lose all momentum?

Every night:  What will we look like as a country when this phase is over?  Will we still be true to our values?  Do we even have shared values?  If so, what are they anymore?  Can we at least agree on the lanes?

So, if I see you in the bike lane, or on a side street, and you are cranking along without letting the weirdos and the angry people get to you, let's be smug.  Especially if you are on a heavy, clunky, strong bike that can endure political vicissitudes.

Elisa P.

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