John has wanted to try a tandem bicycle experience with me for some time. My response has generally been, "Don’t those things come with divorce papers as a standard accessory?" However, I finally caved and booked us a tandem rental at "Bike the Sites " in DC for this weekend.
Or… I thought I had.
The dude (and I use the term specifically – it’s a highly descriptive term of art in this particular instance) I had booked the reservation with told me to simply e-mail him with my contact information, which I dutifully did. And when we arrived… no bike. He hadn’t taken my credit card information, so they didn’t reserve it. He hadn’t entered my phone number into the system and they stated they couldn’t contact me (they had my e-mail, but… let’s just not go there).
So, we regrouped, rebooked for the weekend after next (for my non-US readers, the National Mall in DC is to be avoided next weekend at all costs ). On our way home on the Metro, weary and hungry, we decided to stop in downtown Rockville for lunch.
This was a very good plan.
Rockville has done one of those downtown revitalization schemes which when done badly makes a downtown into a shopping mall and when done well makes a downtown into a magnet for community. And they’ve done a really nice job of the second type. In addition to making the new main branch of the county library a major feature (a move applauded by our household), they’ve managed to attract a nice selection of mostly non-chain restaurants and shops. They also have created a fountain that is truly designed to be a kid-friendly community water park:
After our Lebanese luncheon, we went home for a nap and a ride on our own bikes. So despite the false start of our morning, quite a good day in the end.