Within days of tipping over and exposing its roots to the world above ground, my neighbor’s maple tree has gone leave-crumbling crispy. Something that had been huge and strong and green and alive turned into something broken and splintered and fragile and dead.

Without its familiar roots burrowing into the same ground and soaking in the same water it has for the past forty years, it is nothing. It couldn’t find another way to take water, or hold on until someone could right it. It simply had no mechanism for adapting to its new circumstances. It is dead.

That’s why I always thought those “What kind of tree would you be?” questions didn’t make much sense – what kind of tree would I be? I wouldn’t – I’d have been dead decades ago.

Today’s mileage: 10.96

2003 mileage: 61.07

Today’s ride was discouraging – I’d set out to make it a regular (the new regular, of course) workout ride, aiming only to complete my usual circuit with a good heart rate going the whole time. Unfortunately, every time I got the heart rate up someone ran up behind me and shoved a pick through my skull and moved it around in sync with my heartbeat. Well, not really, but that’s what it felt like.

Note the jump in the total mileage up there – the Isabel-inspired cancellation of Bike DC last Saturday prompted me to co-opt the Saturday morning of my friends who had planned to spend it on Bike DC. Instead, I led them on Bike NoVA, where we toured the WOD, Custis, Four Mile Run, and Mt. Vernon trails. I hadn’t realized how high the Potomac had risen – 18 feet, I understand. It was so high that the debris had all collected well above the elevation of the bike paths, giving us far less trouble than expected. Of course, faced with less trouble than expected, I was forced to make more for myself – I ended up leading the ride for a little under 25 miles. Paid for that over the rest of the weekend, I did.