9/2/11

Ride Home 9/2

All a blur this morning really. Not because I was going fast- in fact, quite the opposite, as my trusty steed (let's refer to bikes as horses!) was the Haul and with all of its uprightness and attached folding metal baskets and my desire to wear my work clothes and try not to sweat too much (Mission Accomplished! In that GWB (not the George Washington Bridge [my parents were big fans of 880 AM, with traffic and weather on 8s, so I'm perhaps overly familiar with New York road and bridge acronyms as the result of many trips to Grandma's) sort of way, but the W sort of way and I'm not referring to the hotel chain or tungsten, but that guy who was president four years before Ms. Mitt Perry (I've created a GOP composite character) takes over. Which is all a long-winded way of saying that the external humidity combined with the not-too-close distance and the hilly-ish terrain proved yet again that I should always change clothes at work.
Rode behind a girl on an older Specialized with downtube shifters that should have had 10 speeds, but looked to only have one chain ring up front. She had a backpack that said US Rugby and at the intersection of Quincy and Wilson, she spat on the ground. Her jeans had a rather wide, almost bell-bottom, flare to them and while she wore an ankle strap, I don't think she truly optimized it for the ideal, no-grease-on-pants outcome. Based on what I've seen, I think WABA should added to its training repertoire a course on coping with pants in a chain guard free world. Coping with Pants is the title of my unauthorized Tina Fey biography.
So that thing about stopping if another bicyclist stops in front of you. Apparently, the guy who didn't do that and blew threw the red light at Clarendon and Oak doesn't read the blog. Or maybe he's just behind. So, the reason it's dumb to do this (aside from the relative dumbness of blowing through red lights at high-ish speeds) is because when a driver sees one bicyclist stopped, they stop looking for further bicycle traffic. I mean, if I were driving and I saw a driver stop his car at a red light, I wouldn't necessarily be looking for another driver to zoom past him and through the intersection, especially not in the same lane because on stopped car tends to block the lane in a way that one stopped bicycle won't necessarily.
It's a point of pride to ride up 35th between M and Prospect and not to dismount and walk it. Even more a point of pride when I'm doing it on this bike and some guy on a road bike behind me dismounts. Small ego boost.
Of all the German luxury sedans with all the Ivy League window decals, I think the combination of Yale and Mercedes (shocker!) might be the most perilous the bicyclists. This is not a scientific survey. Boola share the road boola.
Sometimes being followed by a bicyclist is simply too much. Or maybe it was for blue volvo lady who stopped on 36th in Burleith and waved me around with a look of piqued exasperation. The reason I'm so close to your car (but to my mind not inappropriately so) is because you're driving at 5 miles per hour. It's not a big deal. I'm perfectly content riding behind you.
Slower going uphill than normal and I felt considerably less, rather than more or equally, safe. I don't know if it was the Labor Day (assuming you're GOP governor hasn't cancelled it) vacation anticipation fidgetiness or what, but it seemed like there was considerable less caution exhibited than normal. Here's hoping for a safe and stress-free ride home.

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