It only takes one day to shake off the rust and this morning I was back to my usual, carefree self. Or something like that. In any case, my diffidence abated and I barely even countenanced the idea that I could get a flat. And that generally seemed to work out well.
I'm sick and tired of watching bicyclists and pedestrians screw up crossing Glebe at Henderson/Quincy. The traffic coming in the opposite direction gets a left turn-only arrow first. If you jump the red, you're likely to get smacked by a left-turning car. If you're going to not follow traffic laws, try to do it in a better, less disruptive and generally safer way. While being less disruptive (in your law-breaking) to those around you won't necessarily stop the letters to the editor bemoaning scofflawism (personal grievance is an inexhaustible natural resource), it might help mitigate some conflicts on the road and that's probably a good thing. Being yelled at by strangers is so ugh.
I hit all of the lights at the right speed today and made it from Highland to Oak on Clarendon Boulevard without stopping. I consider this a testament to my blazing speed, which is akin to that of a dial-up modem. I've never managed to do this before and it probably shortened my trip by about 45 seconds.
They've definitely screwed up the light sequencing on Nash. I demand remediation.
Superbiker flat tire at the start of the Custis. He was getting help from another guy and they looked like they had it under control. Plus, I was intimidated by the sheer number of Cervelos I saw- between the jerseys, the frame and the wheels, there were upwards of 50, which, I suppose, if you divide into the price of the bike, is a pretty good logo/cost ratio.
Superbiker on the bridge with an giant, white XO on his ebony jersey. I'm not even a VSOP.
For the second time in the past few days, I've seen a driver blow through the red coming west on M street. When traffic on M gets a left-turn green for access to the bridge, traffic going straight from M to Canal gets a red. This red light is frequently missed, thus creating hazard for any of us crossing in the crosswalk (or outside of the crosswalk). Reminder: blinking white crosswalk man does not mean that it's safe. He's just a blinking light man, and while blinking lights might be useful if you're marooned at sea or trying to spruce up a Christmas tree, they will not save you from a reckless driver. I was peeved, so I yelled at him "Stop you idiot there's a fucking red light." The vowel sound in my 'stop' was of the same timbre as the quack of a mother duck. I sort of spat out the 'you idiot' and opted for the curse amplifier because I felt bad about the duck sound that I had just made and probably because I wanted to save face in front of the two bro pedestrians on the opposite side of the street, they being the only ones who could actually hear what I was saying. Anyway, be careful here because some drivers really just don't see that light and that can be bad news. Also, dear police, maybe you could look into this?
To add insult to insult (because there was no injury), my chain slipped after I crossed the street and I ended up pushing my bike up 35th, my worn-down plastic cleats slipping on the brick sidewalk every third step. I really need to buy new cleats, not that new plastic cleats also wouldn't slip on the sidewalk. And then my fingers were covered in chain junk.
I've had some good luck lately with drivers at the intersection of 35th and R when I signal my intention to turn left early. A lot of people are really obliging and wave me through my turn even though they've arrived at the stop sign before me. Your nicety doesn't go unnoticed, though given the number of readers of the blog, it might as well.
Saw a lot of regulars (danger mom and kid, crate on rear rack girl [who I see a lot but have never written about. Here's her deal: she bikes and has a crate on her rear rack], and Hawaiian moped lady) over the remainder of the trip. This makes the city seem smaller and more friendly. I almost never recognize familiar cars (except for the ones parked in the same spaces every day). I also saw a guy with a "My Child Was Born at Home" bumper sticker. Neat and not in any way overshare-y.