Towing the Line

Despite my move to the new building, I still have to go down to the old area both to work out at Gold’s Gym and to make it possible to get on the Metro.  

As I think I have explained before, I ride only one way. It is 17 miles from my house to the my old USIA building by the route I have to take on my bike to avoid traffic. I used to ride both ways, but 34 miles a day is a lot and it is daunting to have to ride home after a long day’s work. Maybe I have just become wimpier in my old age, but I enjoy the ride to work most days, while the ride back was just a chore. I have developed several rationalizations, the foremost of which is that the one-way trip extends my biking season because I don’t have to worry about darkness in spring and fall.  I also don’t worry so much about the weather.  If it is not raining in the morning I am okay.  I don’t have to worry about late afternoon storms.  Finally, it is fairly comfortable in the early morning, but often enervatingly hot by the afternoon.

Besides all that, I think my Metro-bike combo helped get me promoted. I cannot get on the train with my bike until after 7pm, so I used to hang around work until then waiting.  Sometimes I actually did some useful work, but probably as importantly I was SEEN to be at work. I always told the truth; I told people that I was merely waiting for the train, but they didn’t believe me, so I got points for consistently “working” late.

Now I generally leave work around 6:30, which give me plenty of time for a leisurely ride along the Smithsonian Mall and my vigorous but short workout at Gold’s Gym. You can see the Smithsonian with the shades of evening on the longest day of the year.  Along the way I have observed traffic enforcement.  Cars can park along the main streets during non-rush hours and lots of people evidently don’t know when that period ends.   When rush-hour starts, tow trucks fan out to ticket the cars and pull them off the road and onto the grassy verges.  It must come as a bit of a surprise to hapless tourists. It is a little hard on the grass.  The tow truck below, BTW, is NOT doing the grass towing. I don’t think it is ever legal to park on that part of 14th Street and we all pity the fool who parked there just before rush hour. His vehicle is going to a public impound in DC, from which it may never emerge.

BTW – my title “tow the line” is a variation on the saying, “toe the line.” I know the difference. The latter saying is based on conforming to a military line. The former is just wrong, but it does create an image that could make sense. A tow truck, I suppose, could tow a line.