First double pannier commute ever. The second pannier held my former cable box, modem and associated cords and wires, which I will return to Verizon right after I finish this post. I didn't notice any real difference in weight or handling or any of those things that I should have noticed a difference about while riding, nor did I feel like I was especially laden while going uphill or especially wide when filtering through traffic. So, that's that.
That baseball thing happened and in honor/memoriam of the Red Sox Mets-like collapse, I rode Massachusetts from Lincoln Park to 7th. I liked it. And, apparently, so do other people because I was in a group of three until Columbus Circle, which, frankly, can't get redone quickly enough.
The ride up Massachusetts to Mount Vernon Triangle really isn't that bad (I'm mentioning a square away from hitting all basic shapes in one blog post), especially if you're willing to ride in places where there's just enough room for a bicycle, like right next to parked cars or on striped pavement that indicates drivers should merge. Close to 5th it gets very tight, made even worse by a stopped Circulator. So, maybe that's not really the most fun part.
There's also no bike lane on 7th for a couple of blocks up, at least past the convention center, which I didn't know. I took R across town at Rhode Island. This isn't a very well integrated transition for bicyclists. Maybe a bike box and a bike left turn light on the west side of 7th would make this easier. I mean, it certainly would, but I don't think it's going to happen.
There are many bicyclists in Washington and most of them are lither than I am. Substantially lither. I envy their litheness. In fact, I suspect their litheness is the reason they've drifted towards bicycling in the first place with the comparative advantage and whatnot. However, being lithe doesn't prevent your chain from slipping when you try to push off too hard from an ill-advised track stand. The bicyclist in front me asked if he was ok and he didn't say anything, so I didn't want to force the issue. He caught back up with us a couple of blocks later after we passed the guy on the green Schwinn Varsity in the dimpled, tweedy, light brown pants and the boat shoes (after Labor Day? for reelz?) and he ended up somehow in front of me by the time we got to Dupont and by the time I realized that he was the same guy I saw on Tuesday. I initially didn't recognize him because the other day he was wearing Garneau bike shorts and today it was Pearl Izumi.
I picked up Massachusetts on the other side of Dupont. I stayed in the street today, riding about 4 feet off the curb, which I think was in the road enough to ensure that drivers would have to move out of the lane to pass me. I have absolutely zero sympathy for a driver who has to temporarily change lanes to pass a bicyclist. Is it really such a hardship to have to look in a mirror, flip down a turn signal (ha!), and turn a wheel a little bit? If this bothers you, get over it because you're a moron. Sure, on a narrow road, it might be frustrating, but when there's two lanes? Seriously? Just deal with it.
I think there must have been a sale on black and yellow bicycles. I see them everywhere. A lot of bicyclists riding down the sidewalk on Mass (en masse?) rather than on the street. No prescription here, just an observation.