7/25/11

Ride Home 7/25

Obligatory reference to the cooler afternoon temperature.
Saw a CaBi duo working their way up New Mexico, guy on cell phone, girl path-blazing. Guy looked kinda like a doofus, but I suppose it's difficult to look like anything else when you're trying to talk on a cell phone while riding a bike. I see a lot of guy-girl couples riding bikes together and it often turns out that the guy in the pair looks like a boorish lout. I'm sure there are ample counterexamples, but I can recall any number of times when you're riding past a couple where the guy is "suggesting" to his partner that she ride this way or that or altogether abandoning her to ride ahead and completely ignoring her. This isn't every pair, but I feel like I see it enough to wonder a lot about gender and cycling and foist that half-thought-out wondering on the hapless helpless, minuscule readership of this blog.
It's not good to be paranoid while riding your bike, thinking that there's perpetually an anxious driver behind you hoping for you to go faster or be out of the way or both. Not good at all.
Barely anyone else on the road going home today. I suspect that this was my just leaving a little earlier than 5 and not a conspiracy to impact my observations and perhaps make me doubt that I actually saw so many people ride in this morning. It's not good to blog paranoiacally. Not good at all.
Got in a race with a guy driving a Prius. We did this thing where he would beat me to a stop sign and then I'd catch up and then we'd do it again. It wasn't exactly a challenge. As soon as a few other cars were in front of him, I won. You can be as hybrid as you like, but I only take up a few feet of horizontal space.
Saw stand-up-on-bike guy and Gorton's Fisherman today. I cannot adequately express (because I'm relatively horrible at self-expression) how how it makes me to recognize people, even if it's quite rational and banal  that a subset of travelers will be consistent enough in their routes and departure times so that there's a great likelihood of this happening. It's like a commute neighborhood. Commuterhood? Let's make this an actual concept. It happens with transit riders, too. Maybe drivers, also? (though I doubt it. Next ten times you're stuck in traffic on the Beltway or 66 or wherever, let me know if you see the same miserable people)
I complain about drivers a lot, but let's digress and go through some bicyclist pet peeves.

  • Extending salmoning. You know, heading the wrong way down a one way street or a one way bike lane (even worse) for more than is justifiably expedient. Just not cool. 
  • The guy who rides up too fast behind you when you're stopped at a light and slams on his brakes really hard. What's that about, guy? Didn't see me? Didn't see the light? Are you sure you should be biking?
  • The guy who rides up to you at a stop light and then pulls in front of you. Um, in every other context in life from kidergarten forward, you've been inculcated in a first come, first served way of thinking. Why should this be any different? 
  • "Make the rest of us look bad" guy. You know, the one who almost hits a pedestrians and then swears at him and just doesn't seem like he has any sense of what's going on around him, but still finds a way to antagonize drivers. 
I'm sure there's more. Something that's not a pet peeve of mine is a bicycle was a wooden mustache attached the the fork. Sorry, no picture. Can you even go on a tweed ride without one of these? 
I really wish that more care was taken to trim tree branches so that stop lights are made visible around bends. This makes a rather important difference to me since I don't like to pedal especially hard to make a light, only to find out that I'll be soon to slam on my brakes in order to stop. I'm thinking especially of the intersection of Glebe and Quincy. Also at the intersection is a new bus priority light and there's new lane striping on Glebe that many motorists continue to ignore. The far right lane on Glebe (at Henderson) is bus only, the next lane is right turn only and then there's two travel lanes for proceeding straight. You're welcome, society. 

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