8/8/11

Ride In 8/8 and Ride Home 8/8

I don't like doing this, but sometimes, on rare occasions, I can't carve out any blogging time at work and I have to forego my normal ritual of trying to remember what the hell happened on my morning ride as I eat a hastily made and overpriced sandwich and drink orange soda. Yes, I have a process. As I write, it's been roughly 10 hours since I set off from home and my powers of recollection being what they are, I can't make any promises to the accuracy of the following report.
I rode my pogo stick? bicycle from Annandale? Arlington along much the same route as I do normally, except that I avoided Clarendon Boulevard on account of some construction. I love Twitter because of its ability to allow information like this to be shared. In fact, I love traffic information on Twitter so much, I'm subscribed to all sorts of twitter feeds related to Metro DC traffic, both automotive and public transportation and even on mixed-used trails. The extent to which the helps me determine my bicycle route is fairly diminutive, but every once in a while, you catch something useful and it's nice. Of course, you also see stuff about crashes and that's never exactly confidence inspiring. There's nothing worse to see before you leave the house. I hope that the rider is ok. By the time I got to Lynn, there was only one police car there, so I guess the situation had been resolved. I haven't seen any more details yet, but I really haven't looked. That intersection, for the number of bicyclists that pass through there, one of the worst in the entire area. I think that the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee is planning something related to it, so look for more information on this here very blog about that. Then tell your friends, especially in they live in the AC (not a sanctioned nickname for Arlington County).
I like to root for other bicyclists to make lights, especially if you can see that they're working really, really hard to catch the green. I'm cheering for you, people who are in a hurry!
Joggers! First they're in the bike lanes. Then they stand next to you at the red light, after you ride past them. Then they look through you like you're some kind of invisible or semi-visible ghost. Then they pretend you're not there, which is an extension of the ghost thing. Then cut in front of you to jaywalk (by like 2 seconds). Listen, I get it. You like to run aimlessly and often. But, seriously dude, can I please have my little bit of apportioned road space? I promise, I'll be out of your way in like 2 seconds. Because I'm on a vehicle propelled by self-righteousness and you're just using your legs (powered by self-righteousness).
Rode behind a guy for a while in Georgetown who I nicknamed "REI guy." His entire ensemble, bike included, came from REI, except for maybe his t-shirt. There's nothing wrong with REI, but local bike shops would really appreciate your bike-related business. And they might even have more bike-specific knowledge and maybe even stock a greater variety of bike stuff, stuff that's more appropriate for your bike needs. It's just a suggestion. Anyway, REI guy an I had a crummy time riding through the cluster that's the Georgetown construction, which has laissez faire traffic control that doesn't exactly cater to bicyclists.
I'm once again on cat duty in Glover Park, so I stopped about a mile from work to do that. On Benton, I espied a little kid,utterly transfixed by the passing bicyclist, sitting with his dad on a porch.  I gave him a double-ding and I think he was delighted. The day stared, melancholy, straight ahead, holding a baby in his arms with a look of utter exhaustion. Them's the breaks dude.
Glover Park License Plate Mystery Alert:
MUGGLTR...?
The Official Wife is really good at deciphering vanity plates, but it's not my strong suit. All I could think of is some kind was Edmund Morris meets Harry Potter. Speak softly, but carry a big wand?
I don't like stopping so close to work. The ride up the hill was less than fun, I think because my momentum was broken.
And then work happened. Highlights included:  REDACTED PER FERPA
I think I was behind my boss's boss's minivan pulling out of the driveway. I always worry about having a bike-car "conflict" with someone I work (with?). I imagine it's equally fraught when it's a car-car "conflict," but I feel that the modal disparity would create additional awkwardness. (Modal Disparity is the name of my band. We play ska/kid's tune fusion) It'd be unpleasant to be cursed at/curse at a driver- it'd be way, way worse if you happen to work with that person. I suppose you should exhibit extra caution as you get closer to work. Probably as you get closer to home, too. But in between, in the wooly wilds of the road, go crazy. Or not. Restraint is good.
[Breaking the fourth wall alert: LeBron riding bikes on SportsCenter. Did you know that he owns a portion of Cannondale? He's also a big bike booster. Does he ever take his talents to DecoBike?]
Tree moved from the bike lane on 34th. Yay.
Saw a guy on a Salsa something or other. I wonder why Salsas aren't more popular here. Need more distributors, I guess.
CaBi on the bridge. I think that the number of Potomac crossings by CaBi has dropped rather precipitously since launch. I expect it'll pick back up once school starts again, as intrepid Hoyas ride to the Metro. Though, I suppose they could just go to Foggy Bottom and hahahahahaha. Oh yeah, Foggy Bottom Bikeshare station isn't up yet. But, I guess they could just bike to their internships and not take the metro anyway. Maybe they should just do that.
Stop lights out on Wilson between Oak and Quinn. Picked my way through the stopped traffic. Not the worst, but still not fun. I can't say that I'll miss riding along this bit of road. Not much can be done about it, since there are already lanes and bollars wouldn't really help with the driveway traffic. And going uphill will always slow bicyclists down. So yeah, just be careful
A few bicyclists for the rest of the way home, but never as many as I prefer to see. It was hot, but still nice enough. I'd be really curious to see the numbers once the AC (again, not officially sanctioned) installs the bike/ped counters on the street, which I believe, is planned for not too much further in the future. This is sort of a big deal.

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