Ride Home 10/18

Another nice night.
A fairly straightforward trip on what's becoming my standard route through the city: Massachusetts to Q to 11th to Penn to up the hill. Bikes lanes for about half the trip, some of them quite good and the parts without are generally compatible to bicycle riding, though I suppose, harrowing in some senses. Mass is a fast downhill, but you can merge with traffic. 11th after Mass is pretty tight, especially if you catch some bad breaks with commuter buses blocking the right lane. Everywhere else is fine, except for maybe the brief stretch from Constitution to First, NW. I think that once Union Station is done, I might start taking E, but that leaves the awkward stretch of Massachusetts from the end of Columbus Circle to where the bike lane picks up after Stanton Park. Choices, choices.
Where is the bicyclist traveling down 15th street supposed to stop relative to other bicyclists when he goes to turn on Q street? In front of the stopped bicyclists at Q? Fall in behind them? Ride a little down the road and do a c-turn in the crosswalk and then get in the bike lane? I think that the "right" answer is to line up in front of the stopped bicyclists, but I don't know. There's no real answer and this question probably only concerns an aggregate of 8 people, all of whom are pedants.
Lots of jumping lights today. Got me into trouble, too, but not with a driver. It was a fellow cyclist who took issue with me and if she happens to be reading, I'd like to apologize for any misunderstanding. I first encountered her along Pennsylvania Avenue, when I was the sole male cyclist in a group of maybe five or six women bicyclists. (There's no way women aren't at least 50% of bike commuters). She was the most "aggressive" of the bunch, jumping the right light at Penn and 7th and then proceeding up the hill. I caught up to her at one of the lights along Constitution, as she sidled up next to the side of a Volvo with its right turn signal on. He dropped her feet. Then inched a little. Then dropped again, at about slightly behind the passenger side door. The light was red. I was unclear if she was going to go or wait, so when I thought she was going to go, I pulled up alongside and said "let's go for it." This was a mistake. You should never talk to anyone. You should also do as I say and not as I do, since it seems like I'm violating the maxim that I've been espousing rather religiously for the past couple of days. But in my defense, I thought she was going to jump the light too. My comment was met with "You can go. I'll wait at the light" or something like that. I said "I just don't want you to get hit by the turning car," which I realize sounds paternalistic and sort of horrible. For what it's worth, it was mostly just me that didn't want to get stuck in the blind spot of a turning car, but saying what I said made me sound like a jerk. She then said to me something like "Why don't you look in front of you?" where there was a pedestrian sort of standing near-ish my path (and who was in no danger is being struck by me). I found this to be unnecessarily spiteful, but maybe I was taking it wrong. Anyway, I'm sorry for suggesting that we break the law and I'm sorry for probably coming off like a jerk. I guess if there's a moral to the story, it's just suggest to people that they follow a particular course of action while on a bicycle and then defend your suggestion with the clarification that "it's for their own good." Yes, I recognize the irony that that's pretty much the thing that some jerk drivers do, but I didn't really mean it in a bad way and it was all born from a misunderstanding. And that's all the gnashing I'll engage in on this particular incident. If by any chance you read this, I'd like to hear your take and see if I about got it right or whether there's some other aspect that I missed.

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