The DC summer is fully upon us, hot and humid has become the norm. I believe it has been above 90 degrees for most of the month, with humidity levels that say don’t even bother with that flat-iron to straighten my hair in the morning. I have lived here long enough to realize, there is no getting around it, just accept it. I have to admit, I have become a baby about bike commuting in this weather, and therefore have not done it a single day this month. I have limited my rides to doing errands around Arlington.
Just last night I rode to Trader Joes in Clarendon to get my usuals….burritos, various cheeses, spinach, strawberries and a few other items I could probably live without but I just don’t want to. On my way up to Clarendon I rode behind a bike commuter, likely on his way home from work. We both came to a stop at a red light, when some woman blew past us and through the red. Now I am a law-abiding citizen and do my best to follow all traffic laws, especially on a bike, I like to consider it self-preservation. Being a cyclist and blowing through a red light is just the same as if you did in a car, it’s illegal. She made it safely through the intersection, but this caused the gentleman I was behind, go off on a tirade. In essence, he loudly commented (I am assuming to me, because everyone else around us was nicely packaged in their air-conditioned autos), about her blatant disregard for traffic laws giving cyclists a bad name; I had to agree with him. Besides, I commented how I didn’t want the image of said woman becoming the hood ornament on some BMW or SUV.
Now, this is going to serve as a lesson learned, and I hope the rest of you take note…do not donate blood then go riding your bike (not even for a couple of miles) in 95 degree heat. I donated blood last week, something I try to do every eight weeks or so. After my donation I was given a stern warning to not do any physical exercise for the remainder of the day, and to make sure I hydrated properly. Well, thinking I was in decent enough shape, and I was only going up the road about a mile for some pizza that it should be fine. My first indication was the unusual amount of effort it took for me to climb the hill out of my neighborhood. Given the extra required exertion, I did make it to the my favorite pizza place just fine. it was not until I sat down at the bar that the unusual sweating started and the tunnel vision occurred. I must have looked bad because it prompted the bartender to come over and ask if I was OK. After several minutes and a couple of glasses of water, I got my act together, without passing out. I even was able to bike home without incident, although the ride home is a nice steady downhill. Never again! I will heed the advice of the blood taking lady not to exert myself on blood donation day.
Not a lot of bike riding, but there has been a lot of pie making. I created an especially delicious peach pie with a crumb topping, made with peaches from the local farmer’s market. I even pulled off a key lime pie, made from the juice I squeezed from little key limes; lots of work juicing those little suckers, but worth the effort. I’ll post the pictures soon, got to get them off my phone.
Soon I will get back into bike commuting, just need to stop being such a baby about the hot weather.