Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paul, you had a good idea....

Cherry Blossoms

Yep. I know, I won't let it go to my head. Once in awhile in a marriage a man is right and he needs to hold onto those moments. Such as arguments about whether normal diapers are the same as swim diapers (humurous results ensued in the pool when said 'non-swim' diapers exploded). Then there is yesterdays success.

Daisy, Daisy, tell me your answer do....

Since our flight back didn't leave until almost 6 PM, we stowed our luggage at my brother's swanky goverment office (shared by 4 people) and headed off to see some sites in the rain. We toured the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space in the morning as I slowly dried out from the morning's walking (and purchased a plastic poncho upon the observation of the abysmal failure of my rain jacket). My big plan was to swing by for a peek at the Constitution and then head over to this place called bikethesites (bikethesites.com), that I had found online, to rent a bike.

Me and my First Lady.

Well, the line to see the constitution was an hour long. We had an hour and 15 minutes before we had to Giddyup on over to Ronnie Reagan's international airport to saddle up one o' them wild 737's. We decided a bike ride around the sites would be a much more pleasant way to spend that hour than waiting in line which we may or may not get to the front of.

Jefferson Memorial

Despite the day being mostly rainy they were open. We filled out a form, forked over the card, got a helmet and then we were presented with a nice Trek Tandem with fairly fat tires. Fat is good today as the side paths at the mall are muddy. Then he asks us to take a quick ride around the court yard to make sure things are adjusted OK. Ride around the courtyard.....right.....hmmm, now's the tricky part isn't it.

Me and Washington

Ok, now what did all those guys who successfully introduced their wives to the wonderful world of tandems say about starting out? Hmmm, ok, I remember something about a slower cadence for unexperienced legs since your feet are kind of attached to your partners so to speak. Hmm, I also faintly recall something about constant communication. Oh yeah, take it easy and just enjoy the rides, ride according to your stokers ability and enjoyment. Got it. With a notification about starting to D'Net, off we wobbled.

Hop on Tommie! Don't be such a stony personality.

Since we managed to shakily avoid the posts in the court yard and ride a circle he let us go. Hmm, this is a little tricky to control, yet somehow seriously cool, although I am sure we looked dorky. My wife was wearing my yellow bike jacket so we were extremely visible. Down 12th street we went heading to the national mall. No one honked at us though that might have been perhaps their amusement that stopped them, or perhaps it was their awe at our extremely smooth pedal strokes and ability to coolly slice down the road on a tandem,.... not. I am somewhat proud to say it was not too long before we stopped wobbling though.

My First Lady.

By the time we got onto the mall we were steady enough for me to risk having someone take our picture. We asked the right person because they got it right the first time. I can never take pictures of moving bicycles but she nailed it first time. Of course we weren't going very fast but she still did a good job.

What ya think honey? Can we out drag this bus?

We rode towards the monument for aways and then were forced to take a road once we were down by the monument itself. We stayed on the road until we got down by the Jefferson memorial. D'Net had been snapping pictures all along since she didn't have to steer. Nevertheless we did snap a few pictures while stopped for a view of good old Tom.

Blossoms near the Jefferson Memorial

Next was kind of a funny thing. Somehow we ended up on the cement sidewalk that is the edge of the tidal basin riding under cherry trees in full blossom, ducking a low branch here and there, avoiding falling in, waiting for pedestrians to let us through. The FDR memorial doesn't allow bikes so we were stuck down there until we got passed it.

Cherry Blossoms and Jefferson memorial.

After cruising around the basin it was time to head back. Around now D'Net started commenting on how good an idea this was and commented on how fun it was to ride a tandem, and that next time we visit she wants to rent one and go on one of my rides with me. Sweet!!!

Washington Monument

Back at the rental place a guy and his daughter came up as we were turning stuff in and we highly recommended the tandem experience. Thanks internet tandem oracles! Those tips were awesome. Now all I have to do is find a cheap tandem. Might take awhile to get the budget up though. Anyone got a tandem they'd like to loan or unload on someone?

Riding along the Tidal basin

White House. Kind of pale in comparison to all the spring happening out in front of it.

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