Saturday, January 24, 2009

the past couple few

It's been a good beginning to a new year. A little busier than I'd like with work but better than the alternative. On the horizon looms a road race somewhere in upstate NY, and is the catalyst for getting my ass in gear. Averaging just a ride a week presently has me concerned that I will be in for a long day come April 18th or 20th. I don't even know when that Battenkill race is. Note to self - step it up!
Skipolini and I had a good ride today. A couple hours on the road. Talking, panting, sweating below three plus layers of wool. It was the longest ride of the year for me. The weather has not cooperated for this weekend warrior. Boston has already received it's annual snowfall plus 3 inches. I've made plans with Thom P no less than three times now for a road fixie ride, and every time it's snowed. Tomorrow temps fore casted for 12 degrees Fahrenheit, no snow, I'll be there in seven layers and a face mask Thom P. Just wait every now and then, or draw arrows in the snow at intersections for us slow guys ;-0
So I've decided to buy a new road bike this year. I'm a little hesitant to jump on the carbon bandwagon but from looking around carbon fibre is about the only thing road bikes are made of now a days. Trek, Cannondale, Specialized, Seven? I'm going to NAHBS next month. Maybe I'll be coming home from Indy with a new toy from Calfee, Bilenky or Parlee.
Last weekend Big Pete (dad) and I went to DC for a pre-inauguration visit. The both of us have never been to our nation's capitol, and what better time to visit with two million people to trip over. We got familiar with D.C.'s public transportation system, visited five or six Smithsonian museums (rocked!) and froze our asses off walking around each night with temps near zero.
So, it was Saturday. Cold and windy. We decided to walk the national mall from the Capitol Building earlier in the day after hitting up the Native American Museum, Air and Space Museum and the American History Museum. We were beat, thinking of food, beer, warmth. Passing the Washington Monument and slowly progressing to the Lincoln Memorial...and with the inauguration planned for Tuesday the national Mall was set up for two million spectators, meaning one million pot-o-johns lining the 1.8 mile long grassy field from the Capitol Bldg to the Lincoln Memorial. Strolling Within the WWII memorial and looking at the glowing spire of the Washington Memorial, listening to James Taylor via tall loud speakers that were setup every one hundred yards. The acoustics were amazing. I estimate no less than fifty individual twenty-five foot tower of speakers with their own individual diesel generator every one hundred yards, on both sides of the national mall. The music bouncing off tall marble walls of the many adjacent government buildings. The Lyrics as clear and crisp as your living room. The traffic noise from Constitution Ave was no match for this pre-inauguration soiree'. Every now and then, just for good measure, a tractor trailer truck set-up with a jumbo-tron brightly-lit that would soon show the image of our forty-fourth president with a single hand on Abraham Lincoln's Bible.
Being there was special. Being there BEFORE the crowds more special. But the cold temps keeping people away that night.
Now nearing the tall white columns of the Lincoln Memorial. We could see in the distance that a stage was set in front of the giant statesman for which the memorial stands. The James Taylor song "Carolina in my mind" fades out. A guitar slowly tuning up, and I think, hey that sounds like U2. We look to the stage. 50 or 60 spectators gather as close as we could get to the Lincoln Memorial. Puzzled looks on our faces. Is that Bono? Springsteen and Stevie Wonder on stage talking to each other?
Then confirmation via the Jumbo-Tron. Up came the volume and a small number of us were witness to a private three song concert. Bono is a tough guy wearing no stocking hat despite the frigid temperatures. One thousand seats set up in front of the stage stood empty and were patrolled by security. Our small group grew to about one hundred and ten.
I held the camera on record, out stretched over my head for as long as my freezing hand could stand. I only made half of the song.

video

2 comments:

wraith said...

Sounds like you had a good time w/dad.

Big Bikes said...

Dude, the private U2 concert...
Bono can still sing his ass off, that shit gave me chills. Lucky!

Nice ride sunday, you got a killah spin guy, wait 'til you see the vid-yo.37 MPH in your 66in. gear, nuts.

-t