Monday, October 28, 2013

Focusing Better

I guess what I didn't realize about my eye being improved to 20/20 is that the other eye would still be significantly behind, and that my brain is going to have to adjust its neural pathways!  I did stop by our local optometrist and get a contact lens Rx for the right eye -- which helps, but until the 2nd eye is done, it will be a bit of adjustment.

Still, I saw the surgeon today and he said everything is looking great so he'll schedule the other one when I come for my 4 week check up in November. We're kind of in a hurry to finish since he will be leaving active duty in the spring. That sounds like he'd have time, but in reality, it's not -- usually the last month on active duty is full of required briefings, etc. and he may (probably) will have leave saved up so that he won't have to actually go to work past about January 15 or so...

Today when I drove onto the base (Walter Reed Bethesda National Medical Center), I was behind this truck. For some reason, it made me laugh.

It's a Nebraska farm truck license plate, a UT Longhorns sticker,
and a tiny apple sticker. That's one wired cowboy!

I meant to post photos of the parade the other night but it was ... um ... dark! But as I was driving to our meeting place, I saw some pirates getting proper police escort!

This turned out to be one of the Realty office floats. It was 
really well done.

And a BIG thank you and shout out to Dana at Bug's Eye View, who knitted and sent this lovely scarf! It will definitely get some wear this winter! I so admire people who can do anything with their hands!  Thank you, Dana!

Last, but not least, I have some young friends from church who sent me something to speed my recovery. This is the coolest idea -- it arrived inflated via usps!  It's from a company called

If you look at the message at the bottom, you can tell they have two little boys! This time of year, "eye balls" are very funny!  Thank you, John and Owen!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Laughing in the Twilight

Today was the big day! When they take the patch off tomorrow, I should have perfect 20/20 vision in my left eye -- for the first time in 40+ years. Wow.

There were some things that struck me funny today. First, one of the nurses and I started talking biking. She has a Trek and bikes out of Waldorf, but loves Old Town Alexandria, where my adventure yesterday occurred. We got so "into" talking biking that the other nurse had to interrupt us to get the show on the road. Turns out Dr. W was moving along on his earlier case pretty quickly!

Next, they did my BP and ran an EKG and said my heart was in great shape. And here I thought lawyers didn't have hearts.

Next, the the anesthesia guy was hilarious. We talked about everything and he said it was awful when his patients were healthier than him. His last question was what I do for a living. I told him he didn't want to know. He didn't miss a beat -- trial lawyer.  Well, not for a living, but yeah, that's my training. He was wonderful. Seriously.

The whole time he and I were talking, the guy putting the IV in was working on my left hand. Badda-bing- it was done, and he was GOOD.  Like, no pain or discomfort!  They gave me what they call twilight sedation. I needed to be able to respond when the doc asked me to move my eye a certain direction.

Finally, to get this you have to understand Dr. W.  He's a really nice guy, but not much sense of humor that shows. I saw a glimpse the other day in his office, so I decided to go with it this morning. When they do eye surgery they put this drape over your head with a tiny window that exposes only your eye.  I started laughing (and no, it wasn't the drugs) and said, "I'm in a burka!" I heard a few smirkish laughs.  Then they had some great music on, so every time they asked, 'are you doing okay?" I asked, "is it time to sing yet?"

So, I'm home, no pain, although it's uncomfortable with this huge protective patch. Dr. W told me I was going to hate him when he takes the tape off tomorrow. I ALMOST said, "too late" because he'd strapped my head down and had pulled THAT tape off already, but decided to forego any more sarcasm.  After all, he has access to the scalpels, right?

I'm wondering tomorrow, when they take this off, what it will be like to see clearly. I mean, I haven't seen clearly for quite a while yet. I'd been asking my other doc about this for close to 5 years!

I was hoping, under my burka, that when he finished, before he put the bandage on, that I would get a glimpse of the world in focus, but he's too quick.

And my last point, inside my drape, I realized, I have no idea what it's like to choose that, and live it every day. That means I need to go back to the drawing board with my book I'm writing.  Hmmmm.

Sounds like I need another sip of wine.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Full of Fun Day

Tomorrow is my eye surgery and I'll be off the bike for at least 4 days, so I decided to take full advantage of the day.

The next County over (Arlington) has a program for 55+ cyclists in which they tour around the area each Wednesday. I'm not there yet on age, but they let me come along!  Betty met me there too, and there were some of the other ladies I regularly ride with.

Today's ride was from Arlington into Alexandria, on a tour of Civil War sites. It was so great. The weather was cool, warm, cold, wet, dry, windy ... you name it, we had it. Well, except snow. Dana at The Bug's Eye View got the snow. (Isn't it early, even for Ohio?)

Here are the photos from today's ride.

Virginians ratified the vote for secession on May 23, 1861, and Union troops moved in to occupy Alexandria on May 24. Alexandria was decidedly Southern, and too much of a threat to Washington, DC.  The Union troops immediately set to building a ring of forts around the capital. The only one visible today is Fort Ward.  After the war it became a living space for many of the freed slaves who had flooded the area. It didn't get changed much because they had so little money, so when in the early 20th Century Alexandrians wanted to restore the fort, it wasn't very difficult to purchase the land and identify the fortifications. This is just one of the reconstructed walls of the fort.

Next we rode to the site of Fort Worth. Not that one in Texas, the one in Virginia. However, both places were named for the same man! There's nothing remaining of this one except this historical marker.

 The third stop was the site of the former Fort Ellsworth. It is located right next to the Masonic Temple -- high over the city. Our guide, Rob, told us that if you take the Masonic Temple tour to the top and look out over the grassy field, the greener areas are where the fortifications stood. You also get a great view of Alexandria. Tells you why there was a fort here, yes?

Next we stopped at the National Cemetery in Alexandria. We rode to a section where there were many civil war Union graves, but curiously, four civilians. Their stones said, "CIV EMP, QMD" and they all had the same date of death. It turns out these four men drowned while they participated in the search for John Wilkes Booth. For their service to the nation, they were given the same honor of burial as soldiers.

 Our next stop was the marker for Battery Rodgers. It was the only fortification we visited that was actually inside the city limits. Its job was to guard the Potomac and there was a sister fort over on the Maryland side. There is nothing here but a marker now.

Somewhere on the way to Battery Rodgers we went by the soon-to-be dedicated "Contraband and Freedmen's Cemetery". It's not open yet so we didn't stop, but now I know where it is. You can read more about it HERE.

After lunch we went to the last spot of our tour, but on the way, we traversed Holmes Run, an AWESOME bike path. I can tell you that when I lived in this area 20 years ago, it wasn't as clean and inviting as it is now.

Our last stop was at Cloud's Mill. This was where Thaddeus Lowe showed that balloons could be used effectively for aerial surveillance. Rob told us there was a debate between Lowe and La Mountain about the way to use the balloons. Lowe advocated for balloons tethered at 500 feet, with a telegraph wire to convey what he saw. La Mountain advocated free sailing balloons. Only problem was there was no communication and no control over where the balloon might travel or land.  Learn more about Lowe here.

So then it was a ride back to our starting place and a job well done!

And, as if that wasn't enough, tonight my bike advocacy group was riding in the Vienna Halloween parade. Here is my costume!

What a great day! Tomorrow I begin my quest for perfect vision.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

19th Amendment

The Alleycat race on Saturday was in celebration of the 19th Amendment which was ratified in 1920 and which gave women the right to vote.

I have a grandmother still living who was born in 1916. How odd to think that in her lifetime, women went from being "non persons" in terms of voting to "persons." Then I think of all the other changes she witnessed from the front row of the 20th century and I'm really blown away.

But I digress.

I know I wrote about the Alleycat the other day, but I want to revisit it because it had such fun challenges. These were the mandatory challenges:

1.  Lafayette Square, Northeast Corner (park north of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue).  That address sounds familiar, doesn't it? When we got there, we had to answer a question about women's suffrage. This was the one we got:

Frances Perkins was the first woman to be elevated to a Cabinet Level position. What cabinet position was she appointed to?

2.  Sewall Belmont House -- 144 Constitution NE -- where filled in the blank: Four things that lie here: Dreams, Learning, Inspiration and _____________________.

Sewall-Belmont House & Museum
One of the premier women's history sites in the country, the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum maintains an extensive collection of suffrage banners, archives and artifacts documenting the continuing effort by women and men of all races, religions and backgrounds to win voting rights and equality for women under the law.
3.  Tubman Elementary School playground. 3101 13th St NW -- On the playground there's a huge US map painted.  We had to jump onto one of the first 5 states to ratify the 19th amendment. Which states could we possibly have chosen?
All other tasks were optional, although there were several that the entire team had to be present to get the points. Some of those:
a. Pick up a soldier at the Vietnam Women's Memorial and drop it off at Clara Barton's secret office
b. At the DC Government Building, as a team, we donned bowler hats and shouted out loud something about being present and riding bikes as women.
c.  At Lincoln Park we met the quizzers at the monument dedicated to Mary McLeod Bethune and answered a question -- I think  how many books she wrote, but I wasn't the team member who answered that so I'm not sure.
d.  Photobooth at Lincoln Park was worth 20 points
e.  Carrying an egg on a spoon and answering a question about women's reproductive rights in DC (Good thing my teammate answered that one!)
f.  Bike anatomy -- I blew this answer but Jo knew it.  Whew!
g. Old Timey Photo Shoot on the House side of the Capitol. I think it had something to do with Nancy Pelosi, but we blasted off after that on our way back to the finish.
The ones that did NOT require checking in, or the entire team (so people could divide and conquer although we didn't as I would have never found my way back)
1. Sound Bike DC -- he rode along - route of the Women's Suffrage Parade, Pennsylvania Ave, playing music. We had to write down one song title we heard. His play list was AWESOME.
2. Find Rosie the Riveter in Mt. Pleasant -- this was a guy dressed in a bandana, who was strolling or biking in an 8 x 1.5 block area.
3. 1370 Park Rd NW - This woman-owned business has how many leaves on door?
4. Team Picture correctly riding the metro rail or bus with your bikes
5. Team picture next to the Women's Suffrage statue in the Capitol Rotunda (no way to do this with security!)
6.  Get a business card of a woman who owns a business
7. Check out one feminist theory book from a DC public library
8.  Collect bras to donate to charity
9.  Pamphlet from National Museum of Women in the Arts
10.  FDR Memorial, Rm 4 -- How many rings is Eleanor wearing on her hands?
11. Mary Church Terrell Home, 325 T St. NW -- What type of padlock is on the fence?
12.  Women's National Democratic Club - on the painted donkey, what are flying around the Washington monument?
13.  Memorial at M St and Rhode Island NW - How many sisters are depicted on the memorial?
14. 15th & Euclid, NW  What year was the Joan of Arc statue dedicated?
15. Betty Friedan's home (2022 Columbia Ave NW) What color are the gates on either side of the front entrance?

So you can see there were a lot of fun things to do -- but the prizes definitely went to those who knew the city best from a cycling point of view. The tourists who watched us were cheering us on -- it was fun to be part of a tourist attraction!
Feel free to google for some of the answers above!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Strange Dreams

At 1:40 this morning, I was having a vivid dream that involved bicycles and crashes (other people) and the scavenger hunt I did on Saturday, and it was all very dynamic. In my dream I heard a strange crash type noise, and immediately woke up.

My heart was racing. Was the sound something crashing into my house, or did I actually HEAR something in my dream?

The only times I recognize I've heard something in my dreams is when I've awoken and rather quickly placed the sound.

This was different. It was like the crashing of a large object against glass -- but our windows aren't that kind of glass and it was 1:40am!

I got up and looked out the back window and I could see a band of light that indicated our motion sensor light was on. It's over by our carport/shed.

MY NEW BIKE! I immediately figured someone was breaking into our shed to steal my bikes!

So, being the sober-minded woman of judgment I am, I woke up my husband.  NOT.  I went downstairs, grabbed a big flashlight (the kind cops use as a baton) and went out to check.

Of course, there wasn't a thing there and then I thought, what if there had been? I'm standing here in my pajama top, jeans, and fluffy slippers. What a threatening presence I am!

Today my husband did the walk-around and nothing. We can't figure it out. Interestingly, my son says he woke up in the middle of the night but doesn't remember a sound or reason.

I guess it's aliens. At least they're not aliens in search of bicycles!

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Those are the kids who are now entering the work force (if they can find jobs).  I’ve been spending some time with them through my biking advocacy, and I’ve observed some things about them.

1.       They are passionate. Whatever they are “into” they are REALLY into. They don’t want jobs in which they just shuffle papers, unless their passion is organizing papers.

2.       They are compassionate. Their hearts bleed for all the ills of the world – from slavery in the world to wanting women to be able to walk down the street without being catcalled.

3.       The young men are amazing – they are not threatened by strong women! They celebrate those women in their lives who are strong and capable, without losing any of their masculinity in the process.

4.       They are open minded. They may disagree vehemently with a position on an issue, but they are largely willing to listen to someone with a different viewpoint, as long as they can share theirs as well.

5.       They are not traditionalists. They love to dress in a hipster style, live in the city, ride bikes without helmets, and work/play in a way that just takes care of their immediate needs. They are open to piercings, tattoos, gender bending, and mismatched clothing. Their causes tend to be liberal, and their inclusion is refreshing. I mean really, when a 50-something woman shows up to a bike scavenger hunt in which the only other woman near my age is immediately teamed up with me, clearly they know we are out of our element. But their greeting to us was genuine and they were truly pleased we participated!

In sum, these kids are very much like what we would have been had we been brave enough to break out of traditional structure. I think that what has enabled them to do so is that each generation from the 60’s on has rejected a little more the intense structured life of their parents, and certainly their grandparents. The millenials are the beneficiaries of "mission-creep" if you will -- each generation getting a little more liberal in their thinking. (Don't worry, I'm not giving up my conservative ideas -- they come from the benefit of hindsight).

Still, I wish I'd had the courage at their age that I do now. The ability to say, "I'm going to do things my way because the traditional way isn't right for me." I made a small statement once when I announced I wasn't going to college and I thought my mother would have a heart attack right there in the Hallmark Store. I really DID want to go to college; I just didn't want everyone assuming that I wanted to do so.

In difference, these kids don’t seem to have much anger about the position they find themselves in vis a vis jobs and future. We seemed to need an anger to fuel our break outs from the mold. They take it as it comes and just press on. And while they’re pressing on if they happen to see a broken person along the way, these kids actually SEE that person, and try to help. I see it within and outside the Christian community, and it is beautiful to behold.

I think the world is in good hands. Sure, there are things that aren’t working so well, but these young people reflect an energy and joy that makes them fun to be around.

If they only didn’t ride so fast on their bikes, I could be around them more often.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Alleycat, alleycat

Boy did I have fun today trying something new. I participated in the 19th Amendment Alleycat Race. Alleycats are a different breed of bike racing. Alleycat races were started by bike messengers.  You can read more about them HERE.

This one was women-only because it was designed to celebrate the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex

I first drove to the metro station in neighboring town with my bike on the back. Then I rode my bike the 15 miles into DC, only getting lost once.

On my way to the meet up point, I saw these two works of art.

Next, I met up with some amazing young women who organized this whole thing. Then I found two teammates, Jo and Julia.

And then we were off -- on a scavenger hunt using bikes in DC -- all over Capitol Hill.  After we finished, I caught the metro home and then drove from Vienna.  Just think -- next year, I'll be able to bike in and metro almost all the way home since the new stations will be open in my town!  Woo-hoo!

Here are some photos of the day. I'm too tired to be much more creative!
Jo in Pennsylvania Ave bike lane

Jo, Julia and Stephanie, who rode with us for a short
while but who is younger and much faster!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Not Stepping Forward

What do you do with a kid who is really smart, but who totally rejects the "game playing" of modern academics. Can't motivate this child through traditional means. When the child presents in class on something he cares about, teachers later tell mom, "Wow, I didn't realize he was so smart."  ARGH.

My kid is really smart. He thinks deeply. He thinks so deeply that if what the "system" is serving up is horse hockey, he will state that to be true. That runs up against teachers who have all this training designed to support and maintain the system.


Then he talks about being president some day.  I wouldn't wish that on anyone I love.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Back to School

I went back to our local university again so I could help with some pop-up advocacy. I met my friend Pete there. He had ridden his bike, pulling a trailer, about 20 miles. On the way he stopped to help someone who had crashed. Pete's a good guy. I drove halfway today and then rode to the campus. Bike parking is easy and cheap - car parking, not so much. Less than 3 miles each way, but fresh air and some exercise. I was pacing myself, and needed to get home for a webinar this afternoon.

While I was waiting for Pete, I took these photos of benches around the campus quad. They made me smile. There's a certain energy about a college campus that is alternately scary and joyful.  Must be the hormones.

 Mariposas Mentoring Project
Dare to Make A Difference

Veteran Society

Table for Two at GMU (google them)

Mason Young Life

 My favorite - the one that caught my eye
and caused me to walk over there!

up close -- isn't that beautiful?

And the funniest one of all:

And here's Pete doing advocacy:

I rushed home for the webinar -- it was on Twitter 101. I needed it. (shamefaced). It was put on by League of American Bicyclists and was actually quite interesting!

Then, the reason I paced myself earlier, after dinner I headed out for our FABB (bike advocacy) meeting in the next town over. I was meeting one of the regulars and we rode bikes on the trail.

While I was waiting for him, I took this photo. It isn't great quality, but I love it. Moon over the trail peeking through clouds.

Just before we get to the library where we meet there's a crossing light that takes F.O.R.E.V.E.R.  There was a guy there, probably a service worker, spoke no English and he had no lights on his bike.  I had just picked up some froggy lights (they look like frogs and wrap around your handlebars and tubes) from the university today, so I took them off my bike and put them on his. The light was so long I even had time to show him how to put them on.  I then said, "Cuidado" (caution) and he grinned and said, "Bueno!" (Good!) I hope they keep him safe.

After the meeting on our way home, Mike and I scared up several deer, but they didn't stick around to have their picture taken, and I wasn't stopping! So that ride was another 15 -- so with the 6 earlier, I think I did justice to my riding today. And I used my Bianchi, the old faithful so it was hard work!

p.s. The photo yesterday -- it was a GYM! Can you believe that? And you couldn't see the huge pool with slides and toys off to the left.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Lovely Weather Revisited

Rode to our in-city university today for a meeting.  The day started foggy -- if I'd been smart I would have taken a photo for you. But instead, I dressed smart. I had on a neon yellow long sleeve shirt, a neon orange lightweight jacket (same from my Wild Goose Chase ride) and some biking capris (padded) that have neon green lightning bolts. When I got hot and took the sleeves off my orange jacket, I looked like a neon freak show.  But I WAS visible, and that was my goal!

It was 12ish miles down there and I discovered that one of the roads along the way, "Random Hills", isn't so random but is definitely HILLS.  Still, my sweet bike handled the journey.

On my way back I saw this.  I love watching these guys work.  If I hadn't needed to get back for tutoring, I would have stayed a lot longer.

See those little bitty lumps in the tree?

Yeah, guys who are much braver than I am!

After tutoring (my exchange student from Finland and he totally gets the character of Abigail in "The Crucible", which amazes and impresses me. I mean, the guy doesn't have sisters!), I ate a quick dinner and then headed out for a meeting tonight at National Wildlife Federation. Their headquarters are here and they were have an event to promote Eco-Schools. Well, what's more eco-friendly than getting kids to bike?

It was fun talking with people and winning door prizes. On my way home I stopped to snap this photo.

What do YOU think it is?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Wild Goose Chase 2013

After three days of drenching rain, my riding partner, Betty, and I were ready to ride anything anywhere. So when the forecast said only 40% chance of precipitation, we decided to go ahead with our Sunday plan to ride in the Wild Goose Chase.

The Wild Goose Chase is an annual bicycle event for women. A fundraiser for the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland,the Chase brings women in from all over. Enough of them travel a long enough distance that over the years, the ride has evolved into an entire weekend. Last year my riding partner then (Brenda) and I went down the night before. However, the local volunteer rescue squad's siren erupted with enough regularity and volume that I felt like I hadn't slept at all. Based on that experience, Betty and I decided to meet at her house and leave by 6am.  I figured if I was going to lose sleep, I'd do it by getting up early rather than paying for a hotel room in which sleep was impossible.

When I awoke at 5, it was not an auspicious beginning to the day. It was still very dark and ... rainy. Still, I grabbed my breakfast, my bag (with several different riding clothes combos so I could be ready for whatever we encountered), loaded my bike and went to Betty's house.

We were on the road in no time and had a nice drive down there. By the time we got there, it was about 8:15 ... but NO RAIN. It was still very overcast, so we both dithered a little over what to wear. I decided against my Babes on Bikes jersey, but you can see Betty represented us quite well!

The Refuge is administered by the National Park you know what that means in terms of the first rest stop. Right, it was closed. Many of the women who plan to do this ride arrive on Friday night so they can do some short rides with a guide in the refuge area. There are also kayak tours. Of course, the partial government shut down cancelled all that.

In addition,the rains and the wind had been so severe in the area that the two longer bike routes had to be changed. This map shows how an entire loop had to be cut off. Instead we doubled back on the part where you see the double orange line.

Heading out wasn't so bad. We picked up a little bit of cross wind as we rode on Golden Hill Road. It's a portion where there's open water on both sides of the roadway. This is what it looks like.

When we reached the first rest stop, they had yummy sandwiches, fruit, and chocolate. If I had known what was ahead, I would have eaten more chocolate!

Heading back up Golden Hill Rd, we encountered a wicked headwind.  Our average of 14mph dropped to about 10.  Betty's sinuses were bothering her, and she was apprehensive about the wind gusts throwing her into the drink so she unclipped. That slowed her down further.  I just hunkered down and gave myself a mental picture of pushing from the very back of my hip joints. I stayed clipped, too.  At any rate, I was soon far ahead so when I reached the parking lot shown above, I pulled off to wait for her.

In this parking lot was a wonderful older gentleman whose joy it is to watch the bald eagles in the area. He had a telescope set up on a tripod and was offering to let us see what he was watching.  There are several nesting pairs that live in the area, and his telescope showed them to us up close and personal. One was in the trees on this island.

While I was watching, he took flight and soared around. The winds were so gusty he merely twitched a feather here and there and demonstrated no real effort as he let the winds move him. He landed on a nearby utility pole.  By then Betty had joined me, and three other women rode up. The eagle just hung out as if to say, "I know I'm the show."  It was so cool. Betty and I also asked the other women to take a photo of us together.

We paused at the small bridge across the causeway where we had seen men crabbing earlier. It was a good place to pause again and collect our breath. This is what they showed us.

They said this one was a little small, so they'd be tossing it back in. They were using nothing more than a chicken leg bone tied with a string.

That nasty headwind stayed with us more or less for the remainder of the ride. When we left the open water part of the refuge, it backed off a little.  We passed a Historical Marker dedicated to Harriet Tubman. This was the area from which she originally hailed. Betty and I looked around the landscape and tried to imagine traversing it at night in bad weather.  It gave us a new appreciation for the risk Harriet Tubman took for others' freedom. The historical marker said she made 13 trips back to Maryland to free others.

When we finished the ride, we had done just short of 40 rather than 42.8, but Betty was DONE due to the wind.  I thought I could have gone longer.  LOVE this new bike. In fact, I was having so much fun that I took some "selfie" photos while riding.  

There was a little vendor fair with a great cycling clothing company. They design for real women, not just those who wear lycra, and for commuting and shopping.  AND  they manufacture in the USA.  They're called aerotechdesigns and you can look at their products HERE.

And finally, there was a Cub Scout troop selling smoked turkey and smoked beef sandwiches. We had seen the dads putting them on the smoker as we headed out and yummmm.  They were worth the small donation they asked. Oh my, they were good.

When I got home I rinsed my bike really well with fresh water -- especially important when you've been in a salt water environment, and called it a day. I was tired, but pleasantly so.

Today I awoke energized to take on another project, so I've spent the morning painting the inside of a closet that we had to empty so our contractor friend could get up into the lower attic's space to replace a radon fan.  The paint job is far from professional but it IS finished. I used up some old paint and supplies, and cleaning the closet out forced us to go through the clothes and shoes to decide what we really "need" vs. "keep around because it's too much trouble to decide what to do with it."  WIN!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Fantastic Fun on the Trail

Yesterday was International Walk to School Day.  I was part of organizing a challenge between the Vienna schools and Reston schools.  Eight elementary schools in each community were involved. We still don't have the final numbers, but the bottom line is that the kids won.

I was out on the trail, which is a direct access route for one of the schools in Vienna, so I got some photos.

There were at least 2000 kids who walked/biked/scootered to school yesterday in these two communities. Research shows that kids who walk or bike to school focus better and do better on tests. Why? They get the wigglies out! All that fresh air counts for waking up brain cells.

This was organized and promoted by the National Safe Routes to School Partnership -- linking hundreds of community groups with state organizers. Even if you don't have kids in the school system, you have a vested interest in promoting this for the kids in your community -- it's better for them, and ultimately, it's better for all of us.  Get more details HERE

After the kids finished, my riding buddy Betty and I rode out west and then returned. By the time I stopped at my doorway, I'd ridden 30 miles and could have done more. This new bike is fantastic. I'm looking forward to our ride this weekend at the Wild Goose Chase.