Ride Home 5/10

A lot of times I whistle while I bike. I think this is probably annoying for those I pass by, so I'm sorry. Today, I had a Supreme's medley going, which isn't the worst thing to whistle while biking, though I'm not sure it's the best either. I don't really think about what I look like while doing this, though I'm sure most people that see me wonder why I'm puckering. Do bicyclists eat lemons before riding? I mostly just whistle whatever is in my head, though I'm only now realizing how ironic it is to whistle Motown while fighting cars for space on the road. Set me free why don'cha babe as message to the auto industry? I don't know- I think America's current attitude, especially in light of gas prices, is closer to Where Did Our Love Go? Anyway, you don't read this for cultural criticism. You read it for the..um, let's get back to that later.
I continue to believe that the most dangerous spots for bicyclists is when the bicyclist is the only one moving in the space between a row of cars stuck in traffic and a row of parked cars. There's something about this stasis that causes motorists to put their guard down, to assume that everyone is basically still and accordingly the stakes are quite low. So, what if you angle your car a little bit over to the right? So what if you don't look before making a turn? So what if you move forward without thinking that someone might be passing you on the right? I think that this is a situation where a bike lane actually makes a pretty big difference. Not only does it carve out a dedicated space for bicyclists (though I'm pretty sure that those white lanes don't cause flat tires so drivers aren't prohibited from crossing over them), but they serve as a signifier that drivers should at least maybe at least be aware that a bicyclist might be passing them on their right.
I saw Gorton's Fisherman at the Arlington side of the bridge. He sort of gave me a quick up and down. I don't know if he reads the blog (I'm guessing not so much), but it seemed like a look of vague recognition. If you think that you're the Gorton's Fisherman (in that you ride over the Key Bridge from Arlington to DC, are a middle-aged white guy and have a sort of unabomber-y beard), feel free to email me so I can start referencing you by name and apologize for writing that you have a unabomber-y beard.
One of the things that they might not teach in basic training is how to recognize a bike bell and move over. I mean, I get that they have to teach all of the war fighting stuff and the survival skills and the unit cohesion, but maybe they could add like a 10 5 minute "share the road" section to like the last day? [I know at least one person who I'm going to get shit from for writing this and I'd just like to remind him that my taxes paid for him to go off and risk his life on our country's behalf. Maybe all of the people who were coming to greet you as liberators were riding bikes and dinging their bells and you just didn't acknowledge them and didn't turn around and then they got all sad and left. Just a theory.]
The sharrows at the top of the hill on Wilson by Courthouse are the most useless sharrows in all of Arlington, if not the world. No one is going to merge to the left after cresting that hill when they can instead just ride through the bus stop and pick up the bike lane on the other side of the street. The ridiculousness of these sharrows might have been the inspiration for this blog.
So, Whole Foods and the growler. First, it would be of inordinate convenience if the door by the beer filling station wasn't just an emergency exit, but a half-door at which growler fills could be performed from the sidewalk. There's probably a law against this. This is a stupid law. I brought my 32 oz growler, which has a lightning-type closure rather than a screw top. In order to get beer, you have to ask someone at the cheese case for help. I do not know if this is some type of clever cheese marketing or just a coincidence. I went with the Port City Optimal Wit. I both enjoy this beer and the brewery's use of the word optimal. I had a slight hiccup at the checkout line because the cheese monger mislabeled the beer, insinuating that I had not brought my already purchased growler, but rather was using a new growler. Cheese mongers! My initial plan was to carry my beer in a bag on my back rather than put it in my pannier. I vacillated temporarily because the growler seemed to fit snugly in the pannier and I thought that it might stay upright, but eventually went with my original plan. I didn't really need to beer to spill in my bike bag and make it seem like I'm soused every day when I come into work on account of my clothes smelling like beer. That would be suboptimal. So, I put the growler in the backpack and proceeded to bike home. I wanted to try to keep the beer upright, so I tried to ride as uprightly as possible. This is not very easy on this bike because it has drop handlebars and my riding position is normally at least a little hunched over. I managed to do it, but only by using the tips of my fingers to grip rest on my handlebars. It probably looked quite odd, but one must do what one must when transporting beer by backpack.
I wonder what the superbiker I saw at Quincy and Wilson thought of me. He had a fancy carbon wheelset. I had beer in a backpack. I'm pretty sure that I'm living the better bike lifestyle.

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