Ride Home 10/24

It was too nice out to change into bike clothes. I just untucked my shirt, switched shoes (I leave work shoes at work, which I normally do with work belt as well, but I accidentally wore work belt home on Friday and found that out this morning, much to pants' dismay. Unfortunately, no hilarious old gray mare antics), bedecked my dome helmet-wise and left. It felt good not to change clothes and ride a bike in normal people attire, though slightly unkempt.
The slow down sign said that I hit 34 heading downhill on Massachusetts. Or maybe that was the speed of the car behind me. Just imagine how fast I'd go if I didn't wear parachute pants for work (I work as a backup dancer in an all-white MC Hammer revue) and actually had any ability/willingness to adopt an aerodynamic posture.
There's a slight rise on Massachusetts between California Street and Decatur Place. I only noticed it for the first time today, after wondering for weeks why it is that I always seem to slow down between the bottom of the hill and Stanton Circle. It's because of that. Along that stretch, I also realized that my right quad kind of hurts. Time for Bicycle Space yoga nights? Or maybe I'll skip the yoga and take part in THE CUPCAKE CAPER! The chance to ride around the city, solve a real-life fake mystery and win a Brooks saddle and matching handlebar grips sounds pretty awesome. (Unfortunately, I've got theatre tickets. Theatre spelled this way means that the tickets are expensive) But you should go. Yes, you.
Here's some random building near Dupont Circle. It's the home of the Cosmos Club. I'm pretty sure it was built by Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia in the late 70s.
What happens why I get bored at stop lights: Contextless pictures. 
Slow going down Q and I turned right onto 15th, where it was even slower on account of hitting every single light from Q to K street. But maybe that's a good thing since the pavement on 15th is absolutely terrible and needs to be repaved immediately. It's a ruddy, bumpy mess and a real disservice to bicyclists. There's only so much bicycle-only infrastructure in this town and when the hallmark piece of it is basically impassable southbound, that's not good. So, not only southbound afternoon riding slow on account of the lights, it's highly uncomfortable.
All the stopping gave me ample time to think about my "stopping style" which isn't a thing (yet). I put my left foot down, rest my bike diagonally on the left leg and put my leg hand on my hip, slouch, and I drum away mindlessly on my handlebar with my right hand, looking off nowhere in particular, maybe at the cyclists stopped across the way. What's your (entirely made up thing) "stopping style"?
I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I'm fairly certain that this bike blog is the favorite local bicycle commuter blog of the President of the United States of America. I mean, what else could explain this afternoon's absence of caution tape at the security gate at Madison Place, NW? Invariably, President Obama was outraged at the minor inconvenience caused to me (and other maybe) and order someone who order someone who ordered someone who order someone to remove it. What else could explain it? The fact that they had to temporarily lower the barriers to allow a car to pass an in so doing damaged the tape and they didn't have any tape to reapply the barrier or maybe just didn't care? Ockham's razror. In any case, when I saw that the tape was down, I headed right down the to the barriers, slowing to a stop and I looked to the guard inside, asking grammatically (syntactically?) incorrectly "Can I ride through?" to which I received a big thumbs up. Well, I don't know how big, relatively or objective, the guard's thumb was. I'm glad I stopped to ask instead of just blowing through because that seemed like the right thing to do. We'll see if it's back up tomorrow or if, through the power or a barely read blog, I became the change I wished to see in the world. (There's no way this is anything more than sheer coincidence. I'm not delusional. It'll be back tomorrow)
Behind sweat pants guy on Penn again. Bike commuters are still a rather small community.


  1. When I stop I unclip my left foot with my right in the down position, then I support myself at the stop with my left foot and bring my right foot to the up position for maximum launch speed.

    Oh, and you would've "enjoyed" seeing my ride down Penn today...freaking pedicab was shoaling the shit outta me. Every goddam stoplight he'd roll in front of me, tapping away on his blackberry, and pretty much run every light. I don't like to run the reds on Penn, so he'd blow past, then I'd catch up 10 seconds later, hit the next red light, wait at the white line like a good cyclist, and he'd blow right past again. And when he did stop, it was in the middle of the crosswalk. Ugh.

  2. 2 things:

    1) I am really tempted to bike through that caution tape (IF it goes up again) with my fists raised in the air, screaming "YYYEAAAAHHH!!!" and if I get stopped, apologize and say I thought it was a finish line.

    2) My "stopping style" (totally a thing now) usually involves me keeping my right foot in the pedal with my left foot on the ground, usually bobbing something up and down to the beat of whatever's going through my head. Or, if it's a long light, I hop off my bike seat with one of my feet still in the pedals. Or, if it's on a hill, I clutch the brakes while trying to look nonchalant. Whichever way, the nonchalance is key. The "That's right, I'm on a bike and I'm cool" look...

  3. @MM I've never experienced this pleasure before, but it would completely make me INSANE! Maximum launch speed? Sounds serious. I push off at maximum lunch speed, which is to say, slow and, ideally, while holding a sandwich.
    @Rachel nonchalance is they key. Just chillin. Might as well try to look cool because on a bike, so many times I feel like I'm public sculpture. Invisible while moving, but all eyes on you when stopped.

  4. Yes, the Shoal Corollary (next week's episode of "Big Bang Theory"?) involves those who aren't particularly keen on getting to their destinations fast but just love breaking the law and endangering themselves for the heck of it. Run red to pass me, pedal slow, I pass. Run red to pass me, pedal slow, I pass. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  5. I can't believe all this left foot down business! I pull up to the curb, which is usually at just below pedal height, and thus prime right foot resting height. Also, prime height for pushing off to get maximum launch speed.

    After I went through the unfettered barrier last night, I tried to proclaim my victory/pass on advice to all the cyclists heading north that I passed immediately after, but I think I just confused them and they got on the sidewalk anyway.

  6. @LaurenMarieSays I've learned that it's basically impossible to talk to bicyclists riding in the other direction. No one is really listening and the time you have to get out a clear message is like 2 seconds so anything you say sounds like "notapeonthebarriersyoucantotallyridethroughifyouwant" and they're just like "huh?" And when they do understand you, much of the time, they're all "whatever, you can't tell me what to do." Bicyclists are a surly bunch.

  7. Rachel, great minds think alike!


    I might just miss the finish line tape if it doesn't come back!

  8. I used to be a left foot down girl. But then I had a bulging disc issue, so now I unclip the right and put it down. I lean back with my butt cheek against the saddle to check the state of my piriformis. :D

    I am totally going to loop around to ride home through the yellow tape.