7/18/11

Ride In 7/18

I don't like to be morbid, but on a lot of mornings I wonder if I'm going to crash or have some other more serious misfortune (I didn't). I don't know if people do this when they drive. I think it's a little easier to be intellectually and emotionally distant from potential injury when you're surrounded by a couple of tons of metal and plastic, in which you can listen to the radio. I don't know how many other bike commuters do this, but I'd like to think that at least acknowledging the possibility that something bad might happen, I'm actually warding it off. Jinxing it, if you will. It might also be putting St. Christopher on notice (much like Batman, St. Christopher has a blinking red phone that alerts him to anxious travelers. It's in all the iconography), which I figure is never a bad thing.
"Yes, commissioner. I'll be right there"
I take my safety seriously (that explains, rather than contradicts, some of the less than legal things I do) and I think that we, as a society, could do better to make things safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. I don't know how many drivers recognize the immediacy of the dangers non-drivers can feel on the roadways. It's instructive. And this blog has now turned into a bad Miss America answer. And such as...
There's a minivan that parks near our house that has an ad for pistolbasics.com on its trunk.  I don't need any firearms instruction (I use a crocodiles for home protection), but if you do, I support your supporting of this local business. Here's the contact page, which has everything a webpage ever needs.
I wanted to count bicyclists today and so I did. Grand total: 33 between home and work, which is quite respectable since I didn't take any trails and since I work on the periphery of town. These numbers are a bit inflated since I saw about 13 pass by on the Custis while I waited at the light. It was a pretty great sight to see the dozen cyclists bunched riding towards the Mount Vernon Trail. I wish I could have taken a picture.
On the bridge, I saw a guy walking his bike and asked him if he was all right. He stared back blankly so I asked again. He said that his tire "popped" so I offered him a patch (not a tube, I'm not that generous, sorry) and he said no thanks and kept walking. If we lived in some high-tax/high-service society, it'd be nice for local governments to pay for bike rangers to roam the streets and trails offering mechanical assistance to distressed bicyclists.Of course, this would also be a really big waste of money, but roving bands of bike rangers would be way smugger than a bike stand in your airport.
Contraflow bike lane on 37th between Tunlaw and Wisconsin? It'd be uphill, but I'm pretty sure there's enough room. This would serve approximately 4 people (a year) and you'd probably have to remove 20 parking spaces. I'm pretty zealous about bike lanes, but on further review, I think this one might not be necessary.
Why are there so many discarded shoes on the road? What exactly happens here? "Looks like I was wearing two left shoes in addition to my right. Guess I'll just throw it out the window."

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