There are some days that I like riding with other people around me, other days not so much. I wouldn't say that this latter urge is brought out by misanthropy, but maybe it is. It's just nice to ride somewhere quiet and unpeopled rather than jockey with drivers or cyclists or pedestrians. One of the primary joys of bike commuting, to me at least (because I'm a rugged individualist type...) is being able to set your own pace and this is increasingly difficult the more a particular route is used. To this end, I decided to ride down 5th to Irving, through a residential neighborhood where people walk their dogs in the street because there are no sidewalks. This isn't a bother because there's ample grass in the yards of the abutting houses and because there were barely any drivers out anyway. This would be a great bicycle boulevard if they flipped some of the stop signs at the intersections (to stop traffic at the cross streets rather than along 5th), but the neighbors might want to avoid this on account of the close proximity to Contes, whose patrons would be more than willing to use the stretch to test their aerobars.
Irving puts you out near Wilson and from there is was business as usual. I saw the guy who I talked to a few weeks ago on what would turn into a very rainy ride, but I declined to say anything. Wilson was as usual, except for the Ellie the Poodle doppelganger that I saw (exactly the same but with less mischief in the eyes). I wonder if the group of people waiting at for the bus (either the 4B or 38B) around Rhodes knew that there's a new bikeshare station right around the corner. Not only that, but that their route is littered with stations (Foggy Bottom and Farragut Square excepted):
|Orange line with a view|
I saw a tourist family trying to make sense of a Rosslyn map at the corner of Clarendon and Oak. Good luck. I live in Arlington and still have a hard time figuring out how to get around. I was going to ask if they needed help, but the light changed and they looked like they were having fun, family time with it. Sure...
On the bridge, I made my typical dinging way causing groups of women and children to have to dive for cover to escape my charging path. Or not so much. I rang my bell a few times as I approached (but not meanly, mind you) before a woman saw fit to shoo her child rightward and likewise move herself and the large stroller she was pushing in the same direction. She said to the little girl "Look out for the cyclist." I thought she was going go to with "Look out for the asshole," based on her tone, but I guess she was moderating her language for the sake of the child. There's no good way to ride across that bridge without offending someone. You ring your bell more than once and you're a pushy jerk. You slowly ride behind someone and you're following to closely and making them feel uncomfortable. You try to ride past, even with the help of the bell, and they'll accuse you of going to fast and passing too close. You don't ding the bell and you're causing harm by not letting them know of your presence. I'm trying to be sensitive to the concerns of others and all it does is convince me that there's no winning. Maybe someone can start a ferry for self-doubting cyclists overly concerned with the feelings of others. It could be called Mope Boat and I'd take it every day.
Not too much going on along 35th in Georgetown, except for the construction. I got waved through by the Slow/Stop sign road crew guys, though on the near side, he didn't flip around his sign to read Slow instead of Stop. I guess the slow was a given and he figured that my being a cyclist, I'd be more than comfortable with riding through a stop sign. He probably even thought that I'd prefer it. I feel bad for road crew guys because I they spend their days in a pretty vulnerable position vis-a-vis cars and though they have bright vests and big signs, anything can happen.
I think my crossing guard police officer might be giving me the cold shoulder. It's two days in a row now that she's just ignored me when I've been riding by. No acknowledgment whatsoever. What happened? I thought we were cool.