Today is the Harley Owner’s Group’s “Million Mile Monday” where members are encouraged to ride — and ride alot — then enter their mileage on-line so that HOG can demonstrate how many miles members rode in one day. My chapter is sponsoring an exceptionally long ride today. Because I was out of the office almost all last week on travel, I couldn’t take a day off today for fun. Plus, riding over 400 miles in a day is not something I realistically can handle. My bike could handle it fine. My body could not. I know my limits. Plus, after a weekend of skydiving and floor laying, I am sore in places of my body that I didn’t know I had!
As I rolled my Harley out of the garage, I was seriously debating contributing some more miles than my usual daily ride in recognition of HOG’s MMM by riding to work. I usually ride to the local Metro station and hop on the train to get to work. Metro has reopened the entire red line, which I use, and thus I would be able to get to work using it. However… I among many still have residual uncomfortable feelings about Metro’s safety. But I also know that now more than ever, they are being exceptionally careful.
So I sat on my bike out in the driveway, watching the sun rise, and was having this big debate with myself. Do I want to try to find a place to park in the city? Would it be safe? Am I willing to deal with the traffic hassles, especially on my return commute? Should I show Metro support, and return to using it right away? Should I confront my anxiety head-on and return to my usual routine?
Well, I did the latter… and rode to the station, parked the bike, locked it up six ways from Sunday, covered it, and then walked to the platform.
I would say there were the usual number of riders. But none in the first car. I got on the second car, which was a 1,000-series train — the most notorious for being the oldest and least safe in the fleet. I began debating again, deciding whether I should switch cars, when that familiar recorded voice declared, “step back, doors are closing!” I took a seat, and began to read the daily free rag to see what the Resnubrikans were railing about today. (One of the daily free rags is ultra-conservative. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on what they’re saying.)
The train slowly crawled out of the station, and moved more slow than usual down the tracks. I was facing forward, and could see that there were no passengers in the first car. Throughout the trip, I didn’t see anyone get on the first car.
As the train passed by the location where the wreck occurred a week ago today, it stopped, then crawled ever-so-slowly through the area, then picked up a little more speed and continued on its way.
I arrived safely at Union Station. But I have to admit that it felt weird. Should I have ridden the bike to work? Well, I made a different choice: face up to my apprehensions and try to return to my usual routine. So HOG will get only five miles from me for MMM today. That’s okay, I’m sure many others will make up much more of the difference.
Life is short: face your fears.