5/24/11

Ride Home 5/24

I hate the intersection of New Mexico and Cathedral. I think that the road at that point is supposed to be only one lane, but it's wide enough for two. Maybe it's two but it hasn't been repainted in forever. Anyway, the practical impact is that when a driver stops to turn left onto Cathedral, those drivers planning to go straight have sufficient space to maneuver their cars around the car stopped to turn, effectively moving into a pseudo-right lane. This, obviously (to me), creates a potentially huge problem for a bicyclist coming downhill. Are the cars stopped behind the first one going to be turning left? Are they just going to wait until the first car turns? Or, are they going to try to get into the fake right lane to get around? Because who thinks to signal when they're "only" just trying to get around a left-turning car. I don't know the best way to abate this problem, but I thank all motorists who observe extra caution looking for oncoming bicyclists (which is basically just me).
Is there any more terrifying bicyclist than one on a Specialized Allez Compact? I think every person I've ever seen riding on one of these looked like a total maniac.
I need to stop taking R Street. Today, I had to move into the parking lane because the driver of an oncoming SUV moved into my travel lane to get around a bicyclist she was passing. I dropped my left arm to my side and shrugged, with a kind of "seriously?" look. She met my glance with an exasperated look that I read as "First this one biker causes me to have to go slow and now this other one is acting like he owns the road when the only reason I'm in his lane is because one of his biker buddies is blocking mine." Would she have passed the bicyclist if it were an oncoming car instead of me? Doubtful.
Caught the green light at M and then the green light to turn left onto the bridge. That's a pretty rare occurrence and I was pretty happy about it. Little things.
I might need to rethink my route through Rosslyn. I normally take the sidewalk Custis to Nash to Key to Oak to Wilson. This works out ok, but two things that happened today are making me rethink my decision. The first is the lack of respect one gets at the stop light that regulates the traffic on Nash and the Marriott parking lot. Rather than block the trail, I turned into the parking lot and faced my bike in the direction of Nash Street. I backed my bike off the sidewalk/trail so I wouldn't block any bicyclists. About ten passed, seven of which were women. The light turned green and I started to roll forward. The driver in the first car opposing me on Nash decided to turn left across my path. Fine. Then a man on a bike decided to ignore me and and the traffic signal and cross in front of my path on the trail. He got a "Come on, man" without the "Seriously, don't be a dick to a fellow cyclist." Then the second driver turned left across my  path without ever having seen me. He was craning leftward to stare intently at the traffic stopped on Lee Highway. Bike blindness is amazing. The second reason I probably won't go this way any more is because of the new No Turn on Red sign at Oak and Wilson. The roadway isn't wide enough for me to get by on the right side and I'd rather not wait behind the stopped cars. I think from now on, I'll go up Fort Myer to Wilson.
I was behind the most douchiest bicyclist in the world today. I try not to judge some of the subjective decisions of my fellow bicyclists (though I hate headphones, which he was wearing), but there are certain things you should avoid doing. The faux pas he engaged in was angrily barking (too loudly on account of the iPod) "Look out" to a woman who had already exited her car and was about to close the car door. He did this at almost the exact same time that he passed by her too closely, not giving her actual ample warning, and only startling her so much that she threw herself against her car. This was entirely avoidable, needlessly confrontational and thus completely douchey. Not cool.
If you see this painted on the street
and think of this
then you are a big Star Wars dork. Guess what I am?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment