Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Whatever happened to Virginia, Wolfe?
Overall, I'm feeling pretty stoked about this week, seeing as it finds me at a Trek Bicycles fit course. The Trek fit course has four stops this year; the Canadian stop is in Vancouver at the end of April, which is why this week finds me at the Doubletree Inn, Columbia, MD instead, Maryland being a lot easier to get to than BC, not to mention the jet-lag is a lot more manageable.
It's not the jet-lag that has me somewhat disoriented. Sitting here I'm probably only one hundred miles or so as the crow flies from Gloucester Point and Newport News, where I post-doc'd in the late nineties at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS). Even though that was 13 years ago, the license plates and Food Lion grocery stores and the general ecology of the place are familiar enough that I don't look twice, even though I think I should.
Also, for most of the years I was with the Feds, every March or April I would attend the Eastern Fish Health Workshop (EFHW), which was always in a mid-Atlantic state; Virginia (West or Occupied), Pennsylvania or either of the Carolinas. It was an opportunity to catch up with old colleagues from VIMS as well as other Canadian researchers. Plus, organiser Rocco Cipriano, was a bit (well, a lot) of a civil war buff and the EFHW would always have a battlefield tour one evening; Harpers Ferry, Antietam and even Gettysburg. Knowing I was coming to Baltimore in late March I would occasionally catch myself thinking "oh, it'll be great to see Steve again" before realising I wouldn't, unless he's had a career change like mine recently. I think Rocco managed to turn his love of the civil war into a paying proposition after he retired, so it's possible, but unlikely.
I managed to shake some of the disorientation off with a short run after I checked in. I was initially skeptical, thinking I'd probably have a shitty 5km on the road facing oncoming traffic; they don't like sidewalks in this part of the world. I was blown away to find a network of paved cycling trails, in the style of la route verte in Quebec, that snake around the woods in this area.
As I may have said, I'm super-stoked to be doing a fit course; I really enjoy the bike-fit process. I mean who wouldn't? It's science and anatomy and angles and bikes and problem solving! Chicken soup for my sciencey, bikey, nerdy soul I don't know if I'm any good at it, but this will make me better at it.
Preparing to start geeking out in three, two, one....