Ride In 6/21

It happens to be my birthday today and to celebrate yet another year of ripening, the Official Wife took out me for a lovely breakfast of coffee and pastries. This, luckily, pushed back my commute past the point at which it was raining and I was doubly thankful for her thoughtfulness.
I didn't replace my tube last night or make any attempt to mend my tire and instead relied on the fact that I have a second bicycle. Is this the height of laziness? Perhaps. Or maybe I'm just making sure that all of the air has had ample time to escape through the puncture. One mustn't rush these things. Or I'm just dreading doing this most routine bit of bike repair out of the feat that I will a) further ruin my bicycle, b) frustrate myself to an unfathomable extent or c) somehow manage to knock over my birthday cake during the tire removal process. As unlikely as (c) sounds, I wouldn't rule it out. I'm quite terrible at bike repair.
There are a few things in life that are true that I just wish weren't true. Among these is my belief that I can ride to work in my work clothes and avoid arriving looking grody and fairly unrepresentable. It's just not happening, and yet I persist in trying. I don't know if it's a question of distance, exertion, or the fact that the summer air in DC has the same amount of moisture as the inside of a fishbowl, but given my current commute, it's simply necessary to bring a change of clothes. Forget Mary Poppins, I suffer the Chris Farley effect.
The primary advantage of having grips that are not broken is that they prevent your hand from digging into the metal of your handlebars, which is neither ergonomic nor comfortable.If anyone tells you otherwise, pity them.
On the Transport of Coffee
I like to drink coffee in the morning. I also like to commute by bicycle. To that end, I have one of these, though not this exact model. It attaches to my handlebars, leaving my java (I don't really call coffee this) accessible. I have attempted to use my coffee holder twice, once successfully and once not so much. What I've learned is that there's no sense in attempting to transport joe (also don't call coffee this)  via bicycle unless you have a sealable travel mug with a tight lid. Don't use to issued paper or plastic cup. Don't rely on a plastic lid. Don't expect leaving room will somehow be sufficient to keep the tar (another slang term for coffee that I don't use)  from spilling. Those little green stoppers? They don't work either. The roads are horribly bumpy and you will spill your coffee everywhere and maybe even crash your bike. Plus, if you have a reusable travel mug, this will make you greener and even more insufferable to those around you. One last thing: don't drink while riding. If you're anything like me, you'll end up with a coffee stained shirt and probably crash your bike. Though this might be considered Seattle Cycle Chic.
The above advice can also be used for these other beverages:
  • Milkshakes
  • Kombucha
  • Slurpees
  • Anything else
Got into something of an unorganized "race" with some guy in spandex on a Gary Fisher mountain bike, who first passed me when I was slowly making my way across Lee Highway to get onto the bridge. (Side note: anyone notice more cyclists in the travel lanes of the Key Bridge lately? I have and, while not questioning your rights, I question your judgment). Just because I'm in my work clothes, riding a foppish bike with two affixed folding metal baskets doesn't mean that I'm some slow dolt and I felt like this was important to prove at the time for a reason I can't in any way justify now. I thought I really stuck it to him when I made it up the steep but short 35th street hill faster than he did. Take that, some guy I don't know and don't have anything against! He stopped right behind me at 35th and Reservoir and then somehow got around me by taking a different route to 37th. I rode behind him up 37th, but whereas I turned to go up Tunlaw, he salmoned up the rest of 37th. I totally could have passed him on the next climb. What end this would advance, I don't have any idea. Just wanted to stand up for people riding bicycles that have the unique ability to become an extension of people's lifestyles and personal tastes rather than simply a piece of sporting equipment. And I guess I was also a little bored.


  1. have noticed the upswing in travel-lane traffic on key bridge. while at some point i'm sure a certain level of commonness will make this safer, i definitely agree that it is questionable yet.

  2. What's wrong with the key bridge travel lane? Isn't the biggest hazard the right hook, which is probably more likely riding on the sidewalk.