Many moons ago, I was having lunch with The Bicycle Whisperer, a friend of mine who does historical restorations of WW2 bicycles. I mentioned to him that some day I wanted him to make me a custom pink and orange bike. I think I saw him initially cringe, but then he started to really embrace the quirkiness of it. Five years later, Ish came into my life. His name is Ish because he is a 1943(ish) bike. Since I didn’t need a 100% restoration my bike is a hodge podge of various parts. Now, Ish is heavy. He’s nearly 40 pounds, has 2 gears, but he’s gorgeous. In my mind he is a very fabulous 1940s gay man. Yes, I am aware he is an object and not real, but if you met Ish you’d think the exact same thing.
Yesterday, I had a few events in DC. Knowing that parking and safe track are making moving around downtown a pain in the rear .It would take too long to run it all as I had to pick up my food at the farm by 1. I realized that this would be the perfect opportunity for Ish to make his road (and DC) debut.
I parked near Barracks Row and pulled Ish out of the back of the car. (Note to self; I really need to buy one of those bar things for him so he can ride on the bike rack.) I rode the mile to the Team RWB/Team Rubicon Run as One event at Anacostia Park.
Run as One is not about distance or time. It’s about being supportive of each other as a group. That’s the great thing about my military family, we may be dysfunctional at times, but at least we put the FUN in dysfunctional! It was great seeing a bunch of folks again. I broke out my old school InkNBurn pirate pants because as a Navy veteran with more days at sea on a Coast Guard Cutter (who are called “puddle pirates” by the “real” Navy folks) it was funny on many levels.
After the run I hopped back on Ish and rode the 3 miles across town to the National Building Museum to the Cherry Blossom Expo to meet the Altra Running guys (and scope out any awesome sales). Surprisingly, for a girl who has never ridden in DC before, and a girl who hasn’t ridden on the roads since college when my head was bounced off of the pavement after being hit by a car I did ok. There were a couple of scary moments, but being on tank of a bike (and wearing a helmet AND a high visibility jacket) made me feel a little bit better.
The Cherry Blossom 10 miler expo actually had a bike valet. It was really cool, I rode up, they covered my bike seat with a number and then they texted my phone with the number as my claim ticket. As they took Ish away, they said he was definitely the coolest bike they had seen all day. Once at the Expo I made a beeline for the Altra tent. That’s really why I was there anyway. I wanted to meet the local reps. Yeah, yeah, busted and I wanted to see if they had any of the Torin IQs. I stayed a while helping out Ed with the crush of people. When there was finally a lull he offered me a Picky Bar! I will never turn down a Picky Bar. As RoadRage Runner and I have always said, “the true testament to a friendship is whether you are willing to share your Picky Bars or not” (especially if its an Ah. Fudge Nuts!) I guess I must have made Ed’s good side! I made a lap around the expo and headed out to Ish. Then I rode back to Barracks Row. Up Capitol Hill.
Now, one of the biggest lines I remember hearing from a certain spin instructor is “don’t be a pusher.” He liked to say in spin, “there are those people that push their bike up Capitol Hill. Don’t be a pusher, be a rider.” Now, let’s revisit the fact that Ish is 40 pounds and that he only has 2 gears. However, I was DAMMED if I was going to get off of Ish and push him up that hill (which for the record isn’t that big.) Fuck. That. Shit. I used every muscle in my leg, back, and core that I could muster to get both of us up that hill. Reaching Pennsylvania Ave I was very proud of us both. Instead of cutting down 8th to the car I cut down 7th to go right by Biker Barre to say thank you, and to point out to Ish that he could be a sad indoor bike and not a cool outdoor bike. Again, yes, I know he isn’t alive.
Total miles run: 1.5
Total miles ridden: 7
Yep, a brick(Ish) workout.