It remained cold into the afternoon and I met the declining temperatures with my usual stoicism and also by wearing gloves because, well... It wasn't exactly as cold as a proper fall day, but it was distinctly unwarm. It was brighter, however, than I anticipated and I was grateful for that because I'm not really up to the whole "riding home in the dark" thing, especially on a new route. A route that remains to be finalized and one which continues to cause moderate befuddlement.
I figured that for today's ride I would start at the beginning and take again the most straightforward bike infrastructure home with Massachusetts to Q to 15th. Easy going to Mass, except for a guy who yelled something to me from the relative safety of his minivan. I suppose if you're going to harrang a bicyclists, it's best done when the cyclist catches up to you at the next stop light and not when you're actually driving past. It's sort of hard to hear. I wonder what the small child in the back seat thought.
Sometimes being a bit more cavalier about a red light makes a gigantic difference in staying ahead of traffic on a narrow road. It's illegal, for what it's worth, but jumping a red, especially one that's at something akin to the three-way intersection, can really help you. But it's illegal. But do what you want.
Amazing track stand guy on Q. He held up for what seemed like hours. I envy your balance. He had on Levis, but I don't think they were commuter jeans.
15th was fine. I wanted to take it because I wanted to see other bicyclists (affirmation?) and I saw plenty, include a fair mix of easy going commuters and at least one woman on an expensive Bianchi riding it plenty hard in the drops. Whoosh. Everyone was relatively polite, until I where some grandpa-type guy almost crashed his hybrid into mine as he tried to squeeze between the pedestrians and the cars yet to clear the intersection. Nice shorts, grandpa dude.
At like 5 of us rode together down 15th past the Railing of Doom, including the guy behind me who called pedestrians m-f-ers under his breath in his invitation to have them walk on the other side of the street. Turns out he was a dorky looking guy riding a CaBi. Wasn't expecting that. Nice temper, dorky dude.
Pennsylvania Avenue was hilarious, in that I was repeatedly stuck at lights where the same few bicyclists would consistently ride around me to stop right alongside me, only to fall back again when we actually rode the bicycles. Hilarious. You know how in LA Confidential when Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe are at the beatdown house at the end and the cars roll up from both directions and all they can do is put mattresses up against the windows and load their guns and prepare for the shootout? Well, it wasn't anything like that. But it was silly. No matter how hard the temptation, please, I beseech you, just stop behind the first person stopped at a light and don't feel tempted to ride around them. If you want to pass, pass while moving. It seems more sporting that way.
I rode to the Capitol and over the Independence, which I took the Pennsylvania and all the way to the Jenkins Row Harris Teeter, where I locked my bike up next to the bike of a hardcore bike commuter or so I'd guess based on his "rig" and accessories. Specialized Sirrus with stubby bars, a Kryptonite New York lock, locking tire skewers, Continental gatorskin tires and a few other things that I can't remember all stood out to me as the bike of someone who's been riding in the city for a while. (better investment for anti-theft: cable lock to accompany u-lock or locking skewers? thoughts? I'd rather not have my bike or wheels stolen. I'd also like to get a dynamo hub, so any advice on that would be nice, too) Later on in my ride, I saw a white Public Bikes mixte hitched to the back of a pearl white SUV.