3/2/11

Ride Home 3/2

I really have to get to the bike shop to do those adjustments. My chain is skipping all over the place. It's not so much dangerous as it is just jarring and annoying. It's probably not good for the bike either, but I'm not really qualified to say. I'll clean and lube the chain tomorrow before work to see if that helps, but I'm guessing that they'll need to fiddle (technical term) with the rear derailer.
Skateboarder in the 34th Street bike lane. She was wearing brown Robin Hood tights, a leopard print short fur jacket, a red flannel shirt, sunglasses propped up on her forehead and had the same haircut as, let's say, Jason Schwartzman in this picture.  To make things more interesting, she decided to race me after I passed her. She couldn't/didn't stop at one of the stop signs and then when her path was blocked by a turning car, passed me, couldn't make maneuver herself onto the sidewalk and subsequently hit a rough patch causing her to loose her balance and had to take 3 or 4 steps to regain it after being catapulted off. Teenagers!
In Arlington, I saw a parked car with a World of Warcraft license plate holder.
Big meeting about bike lanes on New Mexico tonight. I'm not going to make it- I don't know if they would let me in since I'm don't live in ANC 3D or DC even, but as one of the few people who bikes up and down New Mexico almost every day, I feel qualified to say the following:
Ladies and Gentlemen of ANC 3D
Having a bike lane (a painted white stripe with sometimes pictures of bicycles) on the uphill side of New Mexico Avenue, NW would be a very nice accommodation for cyclists. I guarantee that this white stripe will do no harm to your car's engine or paint job or your windshield wipers or any part of your vehicle really. If you accidentally run over it, it won't cause a flat tire. If you want to park in an available space, you'll be able to drive over it. It's not scary- in fact, you're probably familiar with other painted stripes on the roadway and appreciate their usefulness.  The double yellow lines come to mind- they help divide the roadway to make sure that drivers don't crash their cars into each other. In short, painting stuff on the road is generally useful to road users and at minimal cost. 
While it's only a painted white stripe, that white stripe can make a world of difference to my safety and well-being. The white stripe is just one more reminder to motorists that they should be aware that cyclists might be around and that caution should be exhibited (whether or not the bike lane is there, I will continue biking up New Mexico Avenue and would genuinely enjoy your caution). Rather than cause confusion, like all road markings, this stripe will help obviate it. 
I promise that bicyclists aren't trying to ruin your life or hinder your driving or break your car or have any malicious intentions really. We're also not the ones causing traffic, but that's a different story. I'm just trying to get to work and, frankly, I don't pay you much attention. I just assume that you're going to work or dropping kids off at school or maybe going to pick up a pizza (I like pizza too- we have so much in common!). I just want to get there and home safely and I think that adding some paint to the road will help that. 
If you ever want to go biking on New Mexico, I'd love to go with you. It's quite a hill (we should go down it rather than up, but it's your call). If you don't want to go, that's ok- you might be concerned about your safety. But I think experiencing it first hand (foot?) on a bicycle would be a useful exercise (no pun intended). Then maybe you'll see the difference that a stripe can make. 
Love,
Brian 

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