Ride Home 9/27

Not the worst ride home, but not the best. If anything, it was the first "official" ride home, though I've ridden the route the night we technically took possession of the house which was actually almost a month ago. So, I've done the route before and wasn't expecting any surprises and it turns out no surprises were really expecting me.
I rode down and up and down Massachusetts again, mostly in the space between parked cars and stopped cars until Wisconsin when I took the lane and zoomed (at the speed limit) downhill, mingled in with taxi cabs and other drivers, feathering the brakes for fear of a driver stopping short. If you've ever ridden with me (I used to go on weekend bicycle rides arranged by Bicycle Space, but haven't been in a long time), you'll know that I'm fairly terrible at riding downhill. I'm not exactly aerodynamic, nor do I have the carefree attitude to just "let go" (like in Eat, Pray, Love. Yeah, I read it. What?). But I can keep up with traffic and do what I need to do, especially when doing so makes my ride home more direct. And frankly, I think it's safer to ride with the cars at speed than on the sidewalk, which would be rather hazardous to pedestrians and/or the Vice President, whose home I now pass.
Hipster girl, iPod headphones, fixie, pink-walled tires, stubby bars, and an agressive ride down Q.
I don't think I'm going to take 15th in the evening any more. Yes, I've only taken it once, but let me explain. In the morning, it seemed calm. Tonight it was just a mess. Pedestrians everywhere. Cars pulling in and out of driveways. Left turns. Stuck at every single red. Just not pleasant. Stressful even, though made slightly less so by the laughable rudeness of they guy in pinstriped brown pants who rudely rode in front of me while we were stopped at K and rudely circled around only to rudely ride in front of me at the pace that could be best described as rudely sluggish. If you're in a rush (Premium? Triple?), I get why you might ride around someone only to stop in front of them, temporarily, only to flit away rapidly and in a hurry and with great hazard due to your blazing fast bike speed. But if you're just commuting and taking your time and doing your thing, it's the height of ridiculous rudeness to ride in front of another stopped bicyclist. I'm thinking about recording a PSA. And yes, I'm aware that this topic has been covered by other bike bloggers.
Don't do that thing I described above.
Pennsylvania was good, but somewhat harrowing on account of large buses driving somewhat in the bike lane. Not cool. Again, more drivers than in the morning. I guess everyone is still stuck on the Beltway when I ride through the city in the morning. I engaged in only a little scofflawism, but only the most banal kind. I also totally blew it when someone from WABA, standing in the middle of the lane, tried to hand me an "online survey" (I don't know how that works). Needless to say, I botched and and dropped the paper. I yelled back "Next time!" but there might not be a next time and I'm sure I've missed my one and only chance to fill out a paper online survey.
It's important to be decisive when you ride your bike in the city. That is all.


  1. 15th street cycletrack is unbearable heading south, at least south of Q. Going north is much better (tho one can still find things to complain about, without too much effort)

  2. Btw, heading east, you might try staying on Q, then turning right on 10, (you can either cross 11 with the cars or do a little straight-on-to-the-sidewalk maneuver which let's you cross rhode island at the light at 10th), left on M, right on 6th to Pennsylvania. Not sure what it's like in the afternoon/evening but the morning is pretty good.

  3. This makes me treasure my 11:15 p.m. commute home on 15th Street and Pennsylvania Ave.

  4. Thank you. I know now that I'm anti shoaling.