What a salesman! I took off, expecting to see them around every curve. It was not to be, however. I sorta convinced myself that no human-powered vehicle could catch the furious juggernaut that was a whimmydiddle-and-chickenhat-led ride. Later I figured out that they stopped for a polar bear encounter, which I missed. I don't have much experience riding around the Ag Center but after a few poor choices I managed to put together a really fun ride. I did end up coming back the way I came in, like a lollipop loop. I was trying to figure out whether I should return to the bike shop or go straight home (and also, thinking about a way to go home that would avoid an unpleasant spot on a trail Google had suggested) when my back tire blew. The one with the new tube. My last tube, of course. I think we all knew this was going to happen, but I was about two miles from the Greenbelt Metro station at that point so I went with option C. Pushed my bike there, got to Takoma Park, and stopped by a bike store on the walk home to pick up a couple of tubes. He wanted to sell me Sunlite tubes but I have had two defective tubes already from them and insisted that he find something else, which he was happy to do. You can tell I've had a good day when I fork over $20 for two bicycle tubes and I'm still smiling.
Pretty much everything went wrong but nothing terrible happened and I got to ride a bike. Win!
*Crazy mostly because it's a fab old bike I can't manage. I have to leave the chain on a middle cog in back and rely on switching between the two front gears or the chain pops off. Suboptimal.