What were YOU doing instead of getting heat stroke?

at a water stop.

Thoughts I had while biking the Mt. Vernon trail from Crystal City to almost-Mt. Vernon this weekend in record-high temperatures (Mr. B abstained from joining me, for some reason):

  • Mile 1: I’m going to get skin cancer, despite the fact that I have so many layers of SPF 45 sunblock on that I might as well be wearing  hijab.   If I get skin cancer, will my insurance cover it, even if it was kind of intentional.  I really, really wanted to not sit around the house.  I wonder if I get skin cancer,  whether I will have to have a face transplant, like John Travolta in Face/Off and Mr. B won’t recognize me, leading to awkward situations around the house.  If I don’t get skin cancer, I’m going to get skin poisoning from the lotion.
  • Mile 2: I have to remember to hydrate frequently. Lots of people die in the desert, just like that.  One minute, you’re freaking Lawrence of Arabia, the next, you’re down in the sand with rattlesnakes eating your intestines.  I take a huge swig from my water bottle.  Although the Mt. Vernon trail is incredibly shady, with lots of trees and not lots of direct sunlight, you can never be too careful.  The sun is a tricky bastard.
  • Mile 4: Holy crap. There are other people biking out in this weather.  Lots of other people. And they are way more intense than me.  They have special bicycles and special jerseys and are gunning at alarming rates.  Which leads me to believe that I’m not working out hard enough.  So I peddle harder.
  • Mile 7: Back to my normal speed.  Afraid of heatstroke/heartburn/sweat. The things we hypochondriacs have to deal with. I think being a hypochondriac is a disease.
  • Mile 8: I’m going to put this song on loop for the next mile, because I can’t get it out of my head:
  • Mile 9: Time to switch up the music.  I’m feeling a little too much like I’m at Golden Gates, the premier Russian restaurant in Philadelphia, where, on more than one occasion, I’ve left, gone to sleep, woke up two days later, and still felt like  Adamir Mugu was diligently pounding away in my skull.  Speaking of which.  Time to reserve Golden Gates for my birthday!
  • Mile 11:  How the hell do these crazy bikers keep passing me? They must be more hydrated than me. Or maybe they are doing speed. Either.
  • Mile 11: What? Why is this path suddenly going uphill?  It’s like I’m on Stage 5 of the Tour de France or whatever.
  • Mile 12: Only three miles left until Mt. Vernon!  I can hold out, I think.  On second thought, if I pass out in two miles, Mr. B will have to come get me, and there’s no room for a bike in his Civic, (much less my new leg muscles) so I’m going to do him a favor and turn around.  You’re welcome, Mr. B, and you don’t even know it yet.
  • Mile 13: On my way back to the bike rental shop.  Biking through beautiful Old Town Alexandria, the Potomac to my right, the Capitol and monuments ahead of me.  This is beautiful. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, and I’m so lucky to be alive and be able to bike.  I love everything about living in this area and being able to bike by old houses with pretty flowers and people leisurely walking with drooping Golden Retrievers.
  • Mile 15: Back to worrying about melanoma.
  • Mile 18: Almost there.  I call Mr. B to pick me up…literally.  I can’t move my legs.
  • Mile 21: I’m at Reagan Airport, which means I only have a mile to go.  I wish I could fly back to the bike shop.
  • Mile 22: I’m back!   The bike shop people: Your face looks red!  Me: Like melanoma red, dehydration red, or just exercising red?

Can’t wait to go again.




7 thoughts on “What were YOU doing instead of getting heat stroke?

  1. I am glad you survive ! And you are welcome. I know, you wonder why. For teaching you how to to bike. And not letting go when you were saying ” Mom, I don’t want to do it ” and then ” I am afraid to fall ” and then ” I am tired and want to go home” and then “I want to eat and watch TV”.
    You most likely don’t remember this. You were 6 years old.

      1. What a downer. I wanted everyone to think that I knew how to ride a bike when I was born, kind of like Hercules.

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