Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tech Day: Winter Weekend Riding

Must say that Todd getting me out of the apartment for a ride to the Tech Day started a whole weekend of pleasant events, beginning with the Tech Day itself. Many thanks for the hospitality, donuts, coffee, and CHILI!

Sunday I heard from an old motorcycling companion who knew he could rely on me for a day of riding. Okay, sometimes it's okay to ride Starbucks to Starbucks. Sunday night, following him up George Washington Parkway as the last of the day’s rays were fading to gray and all the colors darkening, it was just spectacular: Memorial Bridge in front of the lights of Kennedy Center and the silhouette of the National Cathedral behind it and the whole Potomac a sheet of gray with no apparent Ripples. The late fall foliage of Roosevelt Island and then the trees of the parkway as I eventually passed it... those deep burnt umber reds that we don't always see each fall. There are timeless moments of beauty in life that are their own rewards--moments we inherit simply because we had the complete dumb good fortune to be there when they happened--and this weekend they stood like bookends at the beginning and end of these two days.

Because of the expenses of the trip to Vegas for my father's funeral (you don't get the promotional rates even for bereavement if you have to book at the last minute), I had put off my 42K maintenance and had resigned to no riding for a while. I'm grateful for Todd not letting that stand. So what if I end up a couple thousand over on maintenance? The inertia of his natural enthusiasm for riding carried over and I was ready to ride Sunday morning when Walter's phone call woke me.

Seeing the BMWBMW club working to help each other made me grateful for the life that I've found, here among the cities of the East, however much the visit West made me yearn for a return. After the ride up GW Parkway, Walter led me to the Harp and Spoon, in Bethesda. Flanagan’s had to move and took up a new name with the move. We ordered a couple of cokes (Walter has always been a good influence in that respect) then Walter invited me to a tour of the kitchen where I found another old chum, who had fallen on hard times after being the personal chef for the owner of the Redskins (who I'm told did not take kindly to the wearing of a NY Giants ball cap), is now the chief chef. His potato and leek soup with truffles and pistachio nuts would have been a treat even if somebody else had cooked it, but to be able to enjoy his cooking was a major surprise. ...and then there was the band, a woman that I will be going back to listen to when I can stay until 2:00 A.M. All that to say that I think I've found a future RTE destination at the end of the weekend.

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