Ride In 8/15

The rain yesterday did manage to have a cooling effect and temperatures this morning were much cooler than normal and a complete aberration for August. Normally, I try to make the most of these days and look for some long, roundabout way to ride in, but I was running a little bit behind schedule and it's been busy at work lately, so I felt a bit of pressure to take a more direct route.
Our long, national short, hyperlocal nightmare continues with the blocked bike lanes on Clarendon Boulevard. Motorists have been quite obliging in a way that I've found to be both uncharacteristic and unexpected. I guess when you can clearly see that the bike lane is blocked and that there's nowhere else for the cyclist to go (sidewalk is blocked, too) and when you realize that thanks to the slope that the cyclist is more or less traveling at your speed, most people will calm down and not freak out about sharing the lane for 8 seconds. Or maybe I've just been fortunate enough to be riding in front of extraordinarily obliging drivers and tomorrow we'll regress to the mean and and the mean-spirited.
Here's an exciting scenario in which I've discovered some new danger. Sometimes I get stuck behind a large van or truck as it slows to turn right (and I intend to keep riding straight) and almost get hit by a driver turn left from the opposite direction who didn't see you because you were behind the large vehicle. This is a recurring problem in lower Rosslyn (I style this area LowRo. You're welcome, Rosslyn BID). Not much in the way of options to deal with this other than to just be really careful.
Lynn Street. Ugh.Can we get the Vamoose bus somewhere else to do pick-ups? Other than the bike lane at the intersection with 19th?
Behind a lady on the loudest, bootleg-iest, barely functional Schwinn Traveler (maybe?). If you're bike is louder than a car's engine, that's not a good thing. If every time you pedal, it sounds like the din of some early Industrial Revolution widget works, it's really not a good thing. I get the virtues of riding an older bike (maybe you don't have the money to get a new one or maybe you don't want to commit to a new bike if you're unsure about how much biking you'll do or maybe you like the retro cool of older bikes or maybe you've traveled through time after you hit 88 mph on your commute in 1985 one day), but at a certain point, you need to make sure that the bike is in proper condition. It's for your own good (safety and well-being, to say nothing of efficiency) and would also really benefit those of us who don't like being subjected to horrible scraping metal noises.
I deviated from my normal route and my back-up normal route and took 33rd up through Georgetown. In part, I did this because that's what the lights gave me and in part because I wanted to check out the street in the morning to see it clogged with Virginians heading in their cars to their hospitality jobs. This wasn't the case. Maybe because the hotel shifts don't happen to change at 8? (The Official Wife is still so, so, so mad about this article and frustratedly still can't figure out "why they let him publish this!?). Anyway, I was passed by one car with a Virginia license plate. 2 cars with DC plates. And those were all the cars that passed me. All things considered, it was rather sedate and much calmer than the equivalent stretch would be on Wisconsin. Maybe today was an anomaly, perhaps related to August. The street would be a great one for a bike lane (and maybe even at one point was slated for one?) and that would certainly have some traffic reduction effects, maybe even get it down to 2 cars during the morning rush. Another thing about 33rd is that its intersection with Wisconsin (especially for drivers heading north on Wisconsin) is, to use a technical term, crappy.

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A stop sign, then a bend in the road, then a blind left with no regulating stop light? If you're clogging 33rd, you're kind of a moron. Unless, you're turning right on Q. But even then, just drive down to Wisconsin and make a left off of M. Geez.
You ever bike past someone and they give you a weird, creepy smile? Yeah, that's weird and creepy.
I don't know what's happening to me, but I think I'm getting slower and slower climbing uphill. Yesterday, I barely made it up Utah Avenue (a real gem of a hill. Have fun 50 States riders!) and today I struggled up Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Maybe it's the bike (I haven't cleaned or lubed the chain in a month), maybe it's all of the beer I've been transporting home via the bike. Maybe it's the reverse-Dorian Gray scenario wherein the portrait of Richard Virenque in my basement gets younger and fitter as my legs and lungs shrivel. I don't know.

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