Ride Home 10/26

There might have been a car crash behind me. It was hard to know for sure, but I think I heard the distinct crumple noise of two plastic car parts hitting each other. Initially, I thought that the driver immediately behind me, in an attempt to pass, unthinkingly rammed into the car next to him in the other lane. But I don't think that's the case since the car to my left and behind continued to pass me, something the driver wouldn't have done had he been hit. In any case, I hope that my presence doesn't appear in the accident report since I had absolutely nothing to do with it, aside from the fact that any bicyclist on any road is reason for drivers to take immediate evasive action and crash into anything around them.
The road was the kind of wet that wasn't great for riding- just slick enough to seem dangerous. I don't know what route I'm going to take when things get icy, since I don't think the unabated descent down Mass will be especially fun when slick. Given my general lack of temerity, anything that's less heavily trafficked and in which cars travel at lower speeds will be greatly appreciated. But winter isn't yet. It was surprisingly hot in my work clothes and bike jacket.
I do dumb things occasionally, like ride without a front light for no apparent reason. Well, I wouldn't say "no apparent reason" because the apparent reason was that I'm worried that my front light will eject itself upon my hitting a bump. I think I'm going to take the time to tape it down at some point. Perhaps soon. (With a couple of days soon, not right now soon)
Are woman cyclists more polite?
I rode down 11th and came up another Surly guy, his brown and with one rear blade-style fender. As a rule, I like fenders, but I'm not crazy about those. Full fenders are the best.
I took E from 11th, charting my way through some nearly overwhelming bus traffic and it took pretty much forever on account of the road closures and the stop lights. I should have just stuck with Penn, but I've recently deduced (through the power of empiricism!) that it's less hilly if you ride by Union Station than if you ride by the Capitol. Of course, that requires you to ride by Union Station, which while under construction, sort of sucks.
Another bicyclist and I rode together briefly on Massachusetts past Stanton Park. He had very long curly hair and apparently wanted to ride faster than me, though in order to do so, he had to jump a light, pushing down extra hard on the pedals in order to put some space between us. Ok, dude.
I diverted to Safeway to pick up some broccoli and chocolate cake. The bike parking at Safeway is horrible. I wonder what bike parking at Arlington County grocery stores is like.


  1. Arlington bike parking - totally a function of the retailer and location. Around Clarendon, where the development has been county-driven/planned, there are small bike racks here and there and a larger one at Whole Foods like you might expect. At a Safeway/Giant/HT, maybe, but you're probably hoping they have a cart penitentary (rail in front of the store) that you can use!

    Thoroughly enjoying your blog, which I discovered through @swimbikerunDC. Cheers.

  2. The Mass. Ave. route via E St. and Union Station is a good one. Inspired by your posts, and driven away by the street closings around Verizon Center for the horse show, I've tried it on commutes the past week. It does avoid "the Hill," but is super bumpy in front of Union Station. It almost seems like gigantic frost heaves, but that's kind of a northern thing, not so much DC right? I do like it better on the way home (east), since westbound you have to cross like 4 ill-defined lanes of traffic to make the left onto E.

    But, there's something kind of awesome about looking at the U.S. Capitol Building every day, on your commute.

    Agreed on the suckiness of bike parking at the Safeway at 14th and D. I tied up there tonight, and most bikes forgo the "wheelbender" rack altogether and use the ADA ramp-railing-thingy.

  3. The lack of bike racks at my destinations is really getting to be an issue. If all the parking signs are taken up, the only option is sometimes the public trash receptacles.

  4. Parking at Harris Teeter is plentiful and in the garage next to the entrance. Also I've never seen a rat in their produce section, something I can't say for the Safeway.