Previously on Tales From The Sharrows:
A flat tire on my bike forced me to take Bikeshare from work to Rosslyn and walk the remainder of the way. I've yet to address this and will do so with materials I bought yesterday and brought today once I finish writing this post.
Today on Tales From the Sharrows:
I walked down Pershing, waiting for a bus that, according to NextBus, was perpetually thirteen minutes away. I decided that I would keep walking, chancing the distance between bus stops and hoping that I wouldn't get passed. I got to Washington Boulevard before Next Bus told me that the 4B was only two minutes hence. I rode the bus until Pierce, where I switched to Bikeshare. While I was on the bus, I checked Spotcycle a couple of times and noticed that the Rhodes station jumped from zero to two to four bikes in a matter of 90 seconds. It was from a rebalancing van, not actual riders, which is somewhat disappointing. The end of the line stations at the outermost edges, I suspect will always require this kind of readjustment, simply on account that DC morning rush hour traffic flows from periphery to core. I will be curious, though, to see what happens when the Court House station is brought online in the next month (I hope). While it will be on the fringe of the Bikeshare system ,the station will be located close to a jobs center and might draw bike traffic up from Rosslyn and the District in a much more meaningful way. But, in reality, I suspect it won't- unless there's a large number of riders who transfer from Blue to Orange at Rosslyn and would prefer to ride uphill or there's a large number of DC denizens work work thereabouts who live within a thirty minute CaBi trip (because I doubt most commuters would be willing to dock and undock to reset the clock). This station will invariably be one of the most frustrating for Arlington Bikeshare members because it will almost always be empty. Here's hoping that Alta proves me wrong. But my suspicion is that there's be a one-way flow of bikes from here to DC like nobody's business, at least until more R-B corridor stations are brought online.
I undocked the bike and started the clock. I wanted to get to work in under 30 minutes and preferably beat my best bikeshare time of 24:39. I felt pretty good. I was wearing shorts this time and that probably contributes to aerodynamics or body heat diffusion or maybe just the appearance of sportiness and the temperature was about right, so I had a good feeling about it. That and having the determination to do whatever it takes (within reason) meant that I was primed and ready. Upon leaving the station, I found myself behind a guy on a red Cross Check with red leopard print bar tape. I don't think leopard print comes standard, so it was definitely an after-market add-on, one that I will not judge. Easy going down Lynn except for the idling car in the bike lane and the idling tour bus that takes up half the lane.
Ever see a cyclist take the full lane on Lynn between the hihgway entrance and exit? There's a sign that says we may, but I suspect that most do as I do and ride as rightwards as practicable on account of jumping over to the Key Bridge sidewalk instead of riding the travel lane.
I managed to stick with leopard (LAY-o-pard?) tape across the bridge and we got stuck behind a bus together on M. I initially thought about doing my normal route instead of Wisconsin, but since I knew I made it up Wisconsin in under 30 minutes previously, I figured why chance it. Biking down M is a hassle, but I'm sure Jack Evans will fix it any day since he loves bikes now. That reads way more cynically than I mean it. Allies on the Council who have experienced biking in the city, within existing bike facilities and on those streets that lack them, are ones that can hurdle the empathy gap that too often separates the different kinds of commuters. Any council members (wink wink) want to bike up New Mexico with me on a weekday morning and talk to the ANC about how a bike lane wouldn't be the end of the world?
Fete Accomplie is the greatest, most-highbrow pun name for a catering business ever.
Given the choice between an empty left lane and a partially-obstructed right lane, why do some drivers not move over and give bicyclists more space? Is it too much of a hassle? This is a genuine question- I'm not being (overly) snarky. When I drive, I like to be in the lane with the fewest obstacles. Is it bike blindness? Do some drivers think that close isn't really that close, so it's not that big of a deal? Guesses?
I stayed in '3' much of my ride, but I did drop down to '2' for some of the steeper sections. You want to become a stronger climber? Take a CaBi up Wisconsin every day. Maybe put a bowling bag up the front rack. Then you'd be good.
Had the good fortune of getting across Wisconsin at the crosswalk with Massachusetts on the final few ticks of the walk signal counter and then across Massachusetts during the opening few ticks of that walk signal. That definitely contributed to my beating my record. According to CaBi, I was dock to dock in 22:55. I'm throwing down the gauntlet to anyone who wants to beat that time during a morning rush hour commute. Preferably you can do it in a way that humiliates me, maybe by like 4 minutes.