Ok!  So!

I came to the realization that sitting in the house all day, day after day, was making me go absolutely insane.  I didn’t plant a vegetable garden this year, so there was no garden to spend time in and the flower garden is designed to be a weed-and-hands-free affair.  I do spend time on the deck, and that helps.  But it wasn’t leaving the house.

We hit upon a horrible, terrible, truly dark idea:

Get the bikes out.

Back before Kate when we lived in Germantown, MD, we bought very expensive mountain bikes for the trails.  We loaded them up on one of the tiny Tonka Trucks we drove at the time and took them out to the C&O Canal trails west of Frederick.  We road all the trails all over Montgomery County — several of which I was prepared to die on since they were straight down steep hills.

When we moved to Laurel, we hung them on a nice rack in the back of the garage and never touched them again.  We just got busy.

Here we are in the pandemic.  We can’t really go anywhere on vacation.  We can’t do any of the things we’d normally do this summer.  But we have the bikes, and it is bike trail city around here in Maryland.

Much to our surprise, hanging them in the back of a nice, clean, dark garage off the ground was the best possible thing for them.  The bikes are in excellent shape.  Sure, they had flat tires, and my gear shift is a little wonky, but otherwise, the bikes are rideable.  We can ride the bikes.

But… it’s been 15 years since we rode the bikes anywhere, and what we don’t have is any gear.  We have no idea where our helmets went.  The last pack of tubes is 15 years old.

So we went to REI.

That was weird.

REI itself isn’t weird.  Waiting in line with masks in the 92 degree heat to get into REI was weird.  The social distancing in REI was weird.  The protocol around trying on helmets was weird.  Everything was weird.

Everyone was friendly about it.  No one seemed to mind much waiting in line to get into the store.  Everyone stood on their little social distancing circle while waiting in line to check out.  100% people wore masks.  No one was mask-angry.  No one protested the rules.  People working there were nice and apologetic about the weirdness.  But this is the New Normal, and if we want all the stores to reopen, this is what it is.

We’re now fully equipped with Bike Gear.  (Any old bike gear found will go into the bin.)  New helmets, bike shorts, a clamp for my phone.  We’ll see if we have tire issues if the tires deflate overnight or not.  Tomorrow morning, we’re going to try going up to the park back behind the elementary school with the GoPro.

(Also we bought a mask from Keen.  Wearing it makes Eric look like SubZero.  FINISH HIM.)

The pandemic is so weird.  I’ve gotten more exercise a day during the pandemic than I think I’ve gotten since maybe Grad School.   My normal exercise regime is already 45 minutes a day and now I’m going to add some bike rides to it for variety and adventure.

I’m going to try an app called Strava to record walks and bike rides, and see how that works out and see if it’s any better than Apple’s workout app.

I’m wearing shorts — I hate shorts but it is 92 degrees out — that were pretty tight last time I wore them and are rather comfortable now.

I guess with all the exercise I can make all the breads and brownies.


  • 34,213,497 completed tests.
  • 2,765,919 positive test results.  This grew by 53K in the last 24 hours.
  • 131,199 deaths.  This had gotten as low as 250 a day but now it’s over 650 a day and rising.
  • 69,026 cases in MD with  3,303 dead.  Our rate of growth in the last two weeks has gone flat.  Flat flat flat.  It’s not dropping, it’s not rising.  It’s flat.
  • 1 in 124 people have it in Howard County.

It’s all very strange.  The outbreak was here and now we are experiencing everything like our REI visit.  It’s still here but it’s not growing anymore.

Although rt.live is something else.  A bunch of states are in full on exponential growth.