Ride In 5/6

Along Key Boulevard this morning, I saw a family walking together to school. The dad was kitted out in bike gear and pushing his bike alongside his two young daughters and his wife was on the other side of the kids, fussing with the younger daughter's hair. It was like Norman Rockwell meets Complete Streets.
Frequent readers know how much I love writing about bike bells. I think all bikes used for commuting should have one. While their level of efficacy could be questioned (I think this every day multiple times on my ride), their utility far outweighs their barely noticeable presence on your handlebars. Maybe I could start some bell-on-bikes themed charity group. You can't spell campanology without almost spelling Campagnolo...Enough digression. The reason I was thinking about bells today is because I was riding behind another bicyclist on the Custis Trail and he was diligently dinging as he (we, really, but I'll get to that) approached pedestrians. I was riding pretty close behind him, so I elected not to ding a second time. I figure that due to my relatively closeness that I was enclosed in something I'll call his "ding envelope." It's like an audio slipstream in some totally asinine way, but instead of benefiting from the draft he created, I was benefiting from the pocket of pedestrian awareness (term not yet trademarked) created by his bell ringing. The ding envelope isn't very big, so if you're more than few feet back, you probably should ring your own bell. But, if you can draft off another person's ding, in a way that neither imperils you or the pedestrians, I say go for it. It's much better than subjecting those walking to work to something akin to the Girard High School Bell Choir's rendition of Stairway to Heaven.
I saw some Georgetown undergrads walking on 35th street today. Circa 2016, I'm pretty sure this will be illegal.
I think I was honked to (rather than at) by a grey Honda Civic driving in the opposite direction on New Mexico. I didn't see the driver because the honking started after the car was at least even with me. It was a jovial, friendly honking and while my initial reaction was "what the fuck is that about?," my next reaction was "hey, I wonder if that person is honking towards me." There were no other cars around and I didn't see any pedestrians, so, maybe they were trying to get my attention for some reason. As a general rule of thumb, you should never, ever honk at a bicyclist unless it's absolutely necessary (note my initial reaction) and I don't consider social calls to be absolutely necessary. I'll just assume that it's a fan of the blog (mom?) who recognized me and wanted to share their enthusiasm for my bike commuting ways. That's highly likely.
The other happening on New Mexico is that I saw two guys riding CaBis! Going uphill! To put this in perspective, I almost never see any other bicyclists on New Mexico, so spotting a CaBi akin to a birder spotting a black-vented oriole. I caught up to the guys and rode behind them past Liquor Delivery Narrows (in the morning, trucks are always unloading for the package store [I'm from Connecticut] in Foxhall Gallery) and then talked to them (sorry) when we stopped at the light. I asked where they rode from. Adams Morgan. Wow. I asked if they "enjoyed" the hill. Not so much. They laughed a little about that. I said that it was probably difficult on account of the weight of the bikes. They said yes. If they came from Adams Morgan, New Mexico wouldn't have been their first hill either. One of the guys had a foreign accent. I don't know if they were from DC or not, but I'm glad that they were using CaBi to get around.

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