Ride Home 8/9

My office window is dirty and I barely pay attention to what's happening outside anyway (I have a view of the brutalist library and not much else), so it always comes as something of a surprise to me that it's raining when I leave. At first, it was a drizzle, but it got worse and then it stopped. During the "worse" parts, it was mildly inconvenient to look straight ahead on account of the larger-than-normal (?) size water globules. So, I looked down, mostly at the stretch of pavement directly in front of my front wheel. This worked out, but it's probably not advisable. Here's a picture of my rain jacket:
Coat rack at home. 
Fans of masochism will note that not only do I bike commute, but I also have Nats and Mets baseball caps.
The rain about stopped by the time I was on 34th street, which was fine by me. My cheap inexpensive bike-specific cycling top from that purveyor of all things cheap inexpensive and bike-specific has this curious property whereby rain drops and road spray are immediately converted into tiny black dots on a white field so that the whole jersey resembles an aerial view of penguins trudging across Antarctica. And much like penguins, no amount of detergent and time in the washing machine will rid you of them. [Note: this blog does not endorse machine washing penguins. Please clean your penguin by hand.] I had my usual issues with the fact that this bike lane remains incomplete, the usual issue being large-to-very-large cars being driven in such a way as to limit my access. I think I might have caused the driver of a gigantic sky blue GM monstrosity of an SUV to slam on his brakes as I slowly skirted past him and into his field of vision. This happens sort of frequently and I don't know if/how much I should be apologetic about it.
Rain dilemma. The red bricks of the sidewalks are quite slippery when wet, so I stuck to the travel lane on 34th. As I got closed to M, I also wanted to avoid the large metal grates (my worst bike fall and six stitches on the underside of my chin are the result of my going down on a wet metal grate. I have dreams where metal grates menace me and chase me around the house. Not really...) that occupy much of the right hand lane, so I tried to position my bike on the 4 inches of pavement between the sidewalk lip and where the grates would be. This, however, is the danger zone. It's not a door danger zone, because there's no parking, but the kind of danger zone that gives the driver behind you the false impression that he or she (in this case he) has enough room to safely pass you on the left when that isn't exactly true. I hate this danger zone. It's the kind of danger zone (I'm just gonna keep writing danger zone) that a lot of newer and more timid cyclists can find themselves in, since they assume that riding as far to the right of the roadway is more "out of the way" and less "obtrusive" and "needlessly scare quoted." Don't ride too far too the right. I turned my head to give the driver an "are you effing kidding me?" look, but I think it was lost on him.
Did anyone else hear that rumor that Wiz Khalifa is going to re-record his hit Black and Yellow with new bike-friendly lyrics and call the song Rack and Fenders? Some sample lyrics:
Rear rack 
Reflective tape
Internal hub
You know your's ain't
Anyway, this might just be a total fabrication, but if anyone knows Wiz and wants to make a suggestion...
In the suburbs, do they teach families to walk 6 abreast? Is this in some guidebook? Or is this just a result of not actually walking anywhere?
At Court House, I rolled up behind Megan, a leading member of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee. We rode along together for much of the rest of way and talked about a whole host of things, including: the Conte's ride (no, I'm not going), the strange paucity of drivers on the road this morning and the usual paucity of bicyclists in the afternoon, the troubling lack of minorities and women in the local bicycle advocacy community, and how nice painting in the bike lane would be in front of the new George Mason campus building. I also mentioned to her the new survey out of New York. In any case, it was nice to ride along with someone and chat.
By the time I got home, the bike was dry and I was mostly dry. Thanks, crazy weather!

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