After a rare bout of driving yesterday, I can't say that I feel anything but relief to get back on the bike. I honestly don't know how people do it every day and I think it's a pretty big failure for political leaders and policy planners to set up a system in which public transportation or biking is extraordinarily inconvenient or cost prohibitive. I imagine that this afternoon's drive commute will be even worse on account of HURRICANE PANDEMONIUM and I wish everyone a safe and not-too-exceedingly frustrating trip.
Part of the reason I drove yesterday was carpooling and the other part was bike flat tire related. I threw my bike in the trunk and brought it home in anticipation of the arrival of my new tires. Last night, I took what seemed like 3 hours to swap out the tires. Curiously, the front tube thatl I thought I had deflated somehow didn't seem to have any problems and looked to be holding air just fine. That meant that I didn't have to patch it, which was good, but still something of a mystery. It took me a while to get the tires on and the fenders aligned correct and at the end of the process, I looked like I emerged from a coal mine. Even though I tried my best, I was like a bike grime Tobias leaving marks all over the house.
This morning, I went downstairs and noticed that the tires seemed a bit deflated again, so I gave them another top off. I'm hesitant to check again for fear that there is something wrong with my tube because I'd very much prefer that that's not the case.
Oh well. The tires themselves are quite nice. They seem a bit heavier than my previous ones, but also sturdier. It's my hope that they prove to be excellent commuter tires, which by all measures, they should.
I rode behind a guy who was wearing one Chicago maroon and burnt orange Virginia Tech bike sock, one green and yellow U of Oregon bike sock and a red, white and blue American University cycling ensemble. I think he belongs to some sort of colorblind bike team.
I rode the cobbles up 35th. Both sidewalks were occupied and I wanted to test the new tires (or something), so I took the bike the wrong way uphill in the middle of the street. Bumpier than I remember. Passed another weird sock guy (Castillian red and yellow) huffing and puffing on his Trek racer through the construction zone that is Georgetown.
School's back so it's time to stop riding on R Street between 35th and 37th. I think that DC should make it HOV-4 in order to suppress the lame parent drop-off chicanery. If every parent brings every kid to school in a separate car, it's going to cause a lot problems. Also, it's not the bicyclist who is slowing you down- it's the 50 other cars! I think I'll either ride up to S or T or maybe I'll ride to Wisconsin and take that the rest of the way.
A textbook example of how not to drive around a bicyclist at the base of New Mexico. If I'm riding in the door zone, it's a definitively not awesome to drive within 2 feet of me, matching my exact pace and keeping the hood of your car exactly even with me. Just slow down! For like 10 seconds! Please. I guess I could have turned around and given a look or made some sort of 'back off' gesture, but I was kind of focused on keeping myself in the 18 inches of space between the parked trucks and grandma's Toyota. While I appreciate your not trying to pass me (because at least she had the sense to know that wasn't a good idea), driving alongside me isn't that much better. It's actually really sort of dangerous.