Wake up and whoa. Too much Imperial Pizza and Community Beer Works at last night’s Slow Roll. This is no Sal Paradise. I relay an approximate fifteen minute delay on the proposed 6:45am departure. Chad is driving; picking me up first. Then Kara. We drive to Pittsburgh. Then we drop his vehicle and jump in Fred’s Jeep truck and boogie down to DC. It’s a whole lot of not bicycling before the bicycling. Probably still less harmful to the environment than the airplane to took to start my Southern Tier. I dunno anymore. I can’t keep up on the worst ways to destroy the environment.
Anyway, it’s lots of time traveling 70-80 mph, barreling toward the 100° heat in our nation’s Capitol. A place that should be a state. On last summer’s ride, I was able to put a specific finger on display for the old white guy in the White House. This years it’s a new old white guy in residence, but the same trail, the same heat and the same motherfucking finger. Clowns to left, jokers on the right.
But PA and MD must come before DC. Pennsylvania rest stops still have the water fountains out of order. Multiple rest stops and the state welcome center, all keeping me from replenishing 77% of my physical composition. Total pandemic induced nonsense. Survive a virus, die of dehydration. The first stop has only that lukewarm single faucet in the bathroom sinks. I forgo it for now, because we’re still in a car and I’m only marginally dehydrated from my third cup of coffee. Finally one stop’s bathroom sink has a cold-water-only faucet and I fill up my bottles further highlighting how utterly dumb this continued water fountain lock out is.
Nonetheless, we are all “tremendously excited with life”, a modern day trio of bike beatniks cruising along on Interstate 70 while Fred, an avid cycling tourist and geology nerd, points out rock-type-stuff from hundreds of thousands of years ago. The display on his Jeep pick up truck indicates it’s 94° outside as we cross into Maryland, though the blaring AC has me feeling a bit chilly. That will soon end, I suppose. Fred goes back and forth between geology and history. Limestone. John Brown. Erosion. The Civil War. I’m getting hungry. I’m so ready to ride. I doze off somewhere outside of DC.