9/29/11

Ride Home 9/29

Massachusetts to 21st to say what? My plan was to ride 21st to Pennsylvania to cross the White House to pick up Pennsylvania. That this was my plan tells you that I don't work now, nor have ever worked, downtown and have no real conception of downtown traffic. But first, let me tell you about that time I had a prolonged staring contest with a guy sitting in the back of the N4 bus. That's pretty much the whole story. I maintained the staring contest because I couldn't get around the bus and, realistically, I shouldn't have tried as hard as I did since it would have required merging from a stopped position into a lane occupied by drivers going 40. So, not wanting to back down from an entirely fictitious challenge, I reciprocated and refused to look away. I didn't even know that there were reverse-facing positions on those buses.
Before the bus, I had a pretty fantastic ride down Massachusetts, having made it through the light at both Wisconsin and Garfield and really getting to "open it up" (I think that means go fast) though not fast enough to make the Your Speed only register 29. Oh well.
21st was fine until it wasn't, which was around New Hampshire. What was I thinking? No, really. What sort of nonsensical dumassness overtook me that made me think that riding through the heart of the central downtown business district would make for a direct commute. Google Maps will never substitute for common sense.
I got cut off by a D6 bus, which is the bus the ends its line a few blocks from our house. I almost considered just taking it home.
I didn't hang on til Penn and took a left on L, where I rode next to/behind/in front of some guy on an orange Schwinn "city" single-speed bike. This one. Who knew?
I gave up on L at 15th, getting tired of getting stopped behind drivers pulled over to pick up people. Is this a common occurrence downtown? The 'ol' stand outside and I'll swing by with the car' move. And if it is, shouldn't it be sort of illegal or at least frowned upon? Someday a cycletrack on L will make these concerns totally redundant, right? Right?
A new feature on the blog that might or might not ever be repeated. It's called "Is this you?" I think I saw this guy near Lincoln Park this morning and I liked his navy blue Brompton. So, if it's not you, tell all your friends about this exciting opportunity to have a picture of your back featured on a barely read website:
Is this you?
Contest will run until "you" identify yourself (at which point you "win" and, um, you can write a post if you want or maybe just drop your defamation suit) or until the next "you" is featured, which might be never.
Passed some "youths" walking in the cycletrack and dinged my bell and was responded to with a "what the FUCK!" so I stopped and turned around and said "everything all right?" And the youth said "yeah, I just didn't know anyone was behind me" and I refrained from saying that one might expect bicyclists riding their bikes in a bike lane and just rode on.
Great ride down Pennsylvania, most of it behind a woman who had really cool bike commuter style. It wasn't cycle chic, but she looked comfortable and had stubby pigtails poking out from under her helmet. I did not take a picture because ONLY ONE GIMMICK PER POST.

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