Move, b*tch! Get out the way!
Get out the way, b*tch, get out the way!
Ludacris and I don't have a lot in common, but you'd be hard pressed to tell us apart if you rode in a car with us blindfolded. (Actually, Ludacris exudes a certain herbal aroma, so let's pretend you're noseblinded as well.)
These lines from "Move B*tch," which was Ludacris's first top ten single, could have been written to describe the way my friends and I drove when we were young and stupid and in a hurry to get back from Galena, Kansas after drinking 35-cent quarts of 3.2% beer all evening:
I'm doin' a hundred on the highway
So if you do the speed limit
Get the f*ck outta my way!
Get the f*ck outta my way!
I'm D-U-I, hardly ever caught sober
And you about to get ran the f*ck over!
The way I ride my bike on paved bike trails is more than a little reminiscent of the way I negotiated Route 66 back in the day. Unlike my Galena evenings, when I'm on a bike I wait to start pounding down the beers until my journey is over.
But now that I'm a grumpy old man, I don't need alcohol to fuel my road rage. All it takes is some clueless mom pushing a double-wide stroller right down the middle of the trail while yakking on her cell phone. Move b*tch! Get out the way!
A few weeks ago, I took a ride on the Washington & Old Dominion rail-trail while on the way to Dulles airport to pick up my 18-year-old son, who was returning home from a bachelor party in Chicago.
The bachelor party was for my 29-year-old son, and included six other guys his age and my youngest -- who is his older sibling's best man.
The fellas had a great time. They hit the Billy Goat Tavern, the dive that was the model for the John Belushi "Olympic Diner" skit on Saturday Night Live -- "Cheezborger, cheezborger, cheezborger. No Coke, Pepsi."
They saw a Second City improv show. (Second City alumni include John Belushi, John Candy, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Martin Short, Dave Thomas, Harold Ramis, Catherine O'Hara, James Belushi, George Wendt, Mike Myers, Chris Farley, Steven Colbert, Tina Fey, and Steve Carrell.)
|"Second City" alumni|
They went to Gibson's, a classic Chicago steakhouse where you might encounter a sleazy local politician or one of da Bears as you dig into a nice rare steak that's about three inches thick:
I'm not sure what the older guys did after sending my 18-year-old back to the hotel at night. (Actually, that's not true -- I have a pretty good idea.)
Anyway . . . back to the bike ride.
The W&OD runs all the way from Arlington, VA, to Purcellville, VA -- almost 45 miles. Like most rail-trails, it's somewhat lacking in curves and hills:
I hit the trail at mile 20, near the old Herndon, VA, train station:
That old train station is now a museum. There's an obsolete semaphore signal mounted on its roof. I think it's displaying the signal to proceed:
There's a nice old W&OD caboose just off the trail near the mile 20 marker:
Shortly thereafter, I saw this sign:
Obviously, that sign makes no sense. How can you pass someone if you slow down? You have to speed up to pass!
I have no objection to this sign:
To comply with that sign requires only a brief blast of the Ludacris lyrics quoted above.
But I was distressed by this sign:
As I read it, this sign says that bikers and pedestrians yield the right of way to horseback riders, and bikers yield to pedestrians. So who the hell yields the right of way to bikers?
Actually, EVERYONE does, if you ask me. Move, b*tch! Get out the way!
I turned around at mile 27 (and I can prove it):
I had hoped to combine my ride with a visit to my favorite Mexican restaurant in the area -- the Tortilla Factory in Herndon.
I probably ate at the Tortilla Factory at least a hundred times over the years, and I always had the same thing -- cheese enchiladas, rice and beans (plus a couple of baskets of chips and a couple of bowls of salsa, of course).
I ate there very rarely in the last decade -- it's simply too far from my home, and I didn't find myself in the neighborhood very often. But it occupies a very special place in my heart (not to mention my stomach and lower intestine).
The Tortilla Factory was the only restaurant I ever went to where you hoped that it was so busy that you had to wait to be seated. That's because they would bring out complimentary platters of nachos and bowls of guacamole to pacify the waiting customers.
I earned this Tortilla Factory 10% discount card almost 30 years ago. Every time I used it, the owner of the restaurant thanked me -- and thanked me loudly and sincerely. You gotta love a place like that.
The owners used to grow jalapenos in the brightly-colored raised garden beds outside the restaurant:
Here's "Move B*tch":
Click here to buy the song from Amazon: