Ride In 7/5

Oh, hello there. It's been a little while since I last did this (a long weekend and the two days before it), so excuse me if I'm a little rusty or if I don't fully remember this blog's conceit. It's nice to be back on the bike, though less nice to be back to commuting, the end point of which is work. Though work is useful in that it pays for stuff like a new rear tire, which I installed (?) yesterday and, thus far, I've yet to have a flat. I didn't replace the patched tube with a new tube, mostly on account of not having a new tube, and I'm just gonna take my chances. Without fail, this will lead to my, once again, writing about my having a flat tire very shortly. Maybe even this afternoon!
I had a slow morning getting out and had to go back into the house to grab my water bottle after forgetting it, then forgetting to put on my sunglasses, then forgetting to close my bag, then forgetting to take off my cleat covers and then remembering that I meant to put air in my front tire and then doing that, and after 10 straight minutes of forgetting and then remembering (I'm getting a bit Proust-y here), I was finally able to leave.
Rather uneventful ride, except for my feeling really uncomfortable with the traffic around me. Some mornings the idea gets in your head that bike commuting is a dangerous, dangerous activity (which really it isn't) and you can't help but be very anxious about your rather small margin for error and the rather dire consequences of said potential error. I don't know if my mind went down this particular track because I follow @struckDC on twitter or if it's because I've been a few days off the bike or if because a lady on a cell phone blew threw a red light and happened to miss me in a way that was both serendipitous and totally routine. Whatever the reason, some days you just don't feel as good out there as others. Frankly, it's amazing to me that the whole enterprise of driving is even possible given the level of coordination, anticipation, empathy and sociability that's required of it, but my views are shaded more from misanthropy than anything else.
I avoided the Custis today because of reports of trees down. I don't have enough braze-ons for a commuter chainsaw. That meant Wilson, where I saw no one else on a bike. Maybe it was because I was running late because the weather was very conducive to it. Maybe everyone was at home poring over the newest iteration of the Arlington County bike map. And pore they should, especially over the new-and-improved Chain Bridge connectivity pop-out, which no longer indicates a connection from the bridge to the CCT, as once kvetched about on this very blog. Thanks Bike Arlington!
You should still probably avoid Chain Bridge.You should also avoid crappy cut-and-paste jobs.
I think that they changed the light timing on Nash Street. I watched, helplessly stopped at the red at Nash and eastbound Lee Highway, the light at Nash and westbound Lee Highway turn green and start counting down. By the time my light turned green, the other one was red. It used to not be like this. Why does the world keeping changing and always make everything worse? (This might actually be a GOP 2012 slogan)
My ride in the District proper was boring. I meant to take the Capital Crescent and count the superbiker peloton wannabes, but I'll save that for another day. I do wonder to what extent the Tour de France influences the behavior of bike commuters.One might hope that watching bicycling races (parts of which can be quite exciting) might inspire people to take up riding, but I suppose that might be negatively counteracted by those who decide to start treating their commutes more like races and less like necessary trips back and forth from work. If anyone sees any notable examples of "inspired" riding, please do let me know. Try to take a picture or at least scream "allez" at them or something.


  1. If I miss a couple of days riding in my town, I develop an unreasonabe fear of traffic. And I live in a SMALL town. Go figure.

  2. I don't know if it's unreasonable. Just habituation, I guess.