I was going to ride the Haul in today and wear my work clothes (mostly in honor my recently finding out that the MPE is dead), but there's an off chance that BicycleSpace will call to say that my new fenders are in and I wouldn't want to miss the opportunity to take an extended lunch to ride down so they can install them. I don't know if install is exactly the right word. Affix, maybe? So, it was a regular ride on my the regular commuter bike in my regular commuter clothes on what is becoming an increasing regularity (though a fleeting one) that is to say, a day with nice weather.
The second bike signal hasn't been activated on the Custis yet, though they've recently installed a sign along the trail forewarning bicyclists that there is a bike signal a little up the way. Thus far, I'm still 100% compliant on the other bike signal. Is there a way to check in on foursquare about bike signal compliance? I'd be the mayor of it. (Note: My knowledge of foursqaure is highly tenuous. In fact, I don't know what it really is, so my referencing it is the basest form of poseurism)
I cut through the Marriott parking lot, rather than make a sharper turn at the end of the street. In order to do so, I have to make a left turn off the trail. I use my hand to signal and I try to do it with ample time. So that's my favor to whoever's riding behind me. Your favor to me can be to get off my back wheel so you don't almost crash into me when I turn. Just a little courtesy would be greatly appreciated.
I wanted to ride the Capital Crescent today just to spice things up (if this is spicing things up, I have a very mundane life), but I was on the world's most scenic Exxon side of the bridge and while I thought I could easily access the C & O towpath and then get to the CCT eventually, I couldn't really manage it. Instead, I took the brick path to what I thought, based on Google Maps, would be a cut through. Here's the streetview, with the map in the corner:
According to the map, there's a cut through about where I (and the little map man. Does he have a name?) am standing. But this is not the case. Instead, you can walk around the bend and take those stairs down to the towpath. I didn't see that this morning and instead cross the street and road down the sidewalk on Canal Road. A few thoughts:
- I hate the Whitehurst Expressway with a burning passion. If I ran DDOT, I'd tear it down on my first day. Personally. With a huge wrecking ball. Because that would be awesome. And the property owners on K street would thank me forever and probably erect a statue in my honor. I'd like it to be in bronze and be of me operating the wrecking ball. On the base, it would read " A wrecking ball embiggens the smallest man"
- You can barely walk on the Canal Road sidewalk, much less bike there. Between the overgrown shrubs and branches and the fire hydrants and telephone poles every 30 feet, it's just a crappy, crappy sidewalk. It's not wide enough for two people to pass in opposite directions. That's a shame because it could be a beautiful and useful mixed-use path if they widened it and made even more useful once they build the huge wall and guard towers around the university and force all students, like buses, to use only the Canal Road exit.
- There is a cut through from Canal Road over to the CCT, but it requires going through a tunnel that, if not troll laden, is still the darkest and sketchiest place that I've ridden. If I looked over my shoulder, I might have glanced Eurydice. I don't even think it has lighting and that makes it a wholly useless cut through for most of the year.
Sometimes you see packs of riders bunch up on the CCT akin to a four man breakaway on a bike race. These people are terrors.
I saw a guy wearing what I believe to be a Croatian national soccer team jersey. I also saw a guy wearing a Mexico cycle jersey that comes from Performance Bikes. My wife has joke/threatened to get me the Washington DC version of the same jersey.
Aerobars and a German accent announcing "on your left" combine to make a strange parody of bicyclists as European snob types.
I think a lot of people I saw riding today would say that they like biking into work, but I don't know how many of them looked like they were having fun. I haven't fully thought through the implications of that.