My ankles still felt sort of messed up, but it was time to hit the road. Yesterday, I contacted a potential host, Matt, in Manassas Virgina, and that should be 25-30 miles. Not too bad! I emailed, and he called back within an hour or so to let me know I was welcome to stay on his couch. Awesome! I'm too blessed.
At 7:21pm I was sitting in a booth at the Philadelphia Tavern in downtown Manassas. There were four of us at the table enjoying burgers and wings - today's special. I housed several happy hour beers, and was a bit surprised when Matt picked up the check. No complaints - I would do the same. I would like to note that so far I have spent exactly $1.49 on this trip.
When I stood up to use the john, the Tori Amos song Cornflake Girl was playing on the juke box. I always take notice of this song because Jawbox covered it and made it a hidden track on one of their CDs. And I love it.
Matt invited me on a bicycle ride, and in spite of questionable ankles, I didn't decline. I was feeling good enough, and hoping the pain would simply go away. I have reason to think this. I read a book about a unicycling minister once, and his ankle pain went away naturally on his cross country trip. Nat also experienced disappearing ankle pain on our '07 tour. So maybe it will just go away, and I won't die.
We rode out to the airport and talked about bicycles. He's into Rivendell, and he's starting to work on bicycles. He has an interest in the right stuff. He can appreciate the details of my setup, and seemed genuinely excited to see my bicycle and mentally dissect the component choices. I think he will create something similar - an older pre-suspension mountain bicycle or hybrid set up for camping and goofing around. He wants to ride the C&O Canal path, and I can't recommend that ride highly enough.
We watched a movie called Bikecar, and now that I know about it, I can't recommend that highly enough either. A professional snowboarder built a funny pedal-powered car, and him and some friends rode it to all kinds of mountains to snowboard. That's the spirit. That's the right idea.
Matt was a funny dude, and we had plenty to talk about. I slept well on the couch. Once again, warmshowers.org proves itself to be a great tool for the touring cyclist.