Ride Home 10/31

Here's a Greater Greater Washington Post about redesigning Ward Circle to make it more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly. This is sort of nearish and dearish to my heart, but I don't that any of the solutions offered in the post would actually help. Just get rid of the circle. Where is the planner who can be the Roman soldier to Archimedes?
My light problem, the problem whereby my front light flies out of it holder and bounces once or twice on the pavement as I'm slowly forced to come to a stop to recover it from the middle of the road, is still happening. I was hoping that maybe it was just a fluke the first four or five times it happened, but it's not a fluke and I need to address it, most likely with duct tape. Today, it occurred at an inopportune time, as I was riding down Massachusetts, having already passed one bicyclist and settling in behind another. Three bicyclists riding down Mass at the same time is something of a rarity in the afternoon commute. In any cae, the light landed in the middle of the travel lane and I was forced to turn around and walk back to get it. On a street where cars regularly travel 40 miles per hour, I found this to be unpleasant. What I found to be even more unpleasant was trying to start riding again once I reaffixed the light. I could have lost a leg when I was nearly missed by a passing (speeding) gray BMW, that had a driver who apparently saw no need to slow down in order to pass me as I was basically stopped in the middle of the lane. Is slowing down just a little really that hard? Sure, I know that you don't expect someone to be standing in the middle of the street, but oughtn't that be even more reason to slow down and/or stop? Oh well. I guess getting somewhere marginally faster was worth imperiling my limbs. I pulled alongside the driver at the intersection of Q and 20th. I didn't say anything.
Big time bike traffic on Q today. As a general rule of thumb, I don't think that a bike lane is wide enough to successfully and safely pass another bicyclist without leaving it. It's sort of a one bike at a time zone. That's why I really didn't like it when I slowed down because a guy was stopping to enter the Bike Rack (which is sort of not cool. Stopping in a bike lane not at an intersection seems like an ill-advised idea, but whatever) and I was passed way too closely by another cyclist. Like inches close. It's not cool when drivers do it and it's not cool when bicyclists do it. The cyclist and I had yo-yo-ed a few times, her shoaling me at stop lights and my cycling past her again. After this, I was peeved so I decided to stop messing around and just go all out to get past her once and for all. Generally my rule of thumb for dealing with nonsense, which I broadly categorize as anything that I deem untoward (drivers, other cyclists, road condition, whatever) is just to try to put as much room between it and me as possible. If that means going faster or slower to turning to take a different route, it's worth it to me.
Did you know 11th street has Tesla dealership? For real. Did you know that Tesla, the man, appears, or did circa 2003, on both Serbian and Croatian currency? What a shock! (electricity joke!)
I ended up taking Constitution instead of riding through the Capitol grounds because that's what the road dealt me. It's still crummy. In my dream version of Washington DC bike infrastructure, one of the travel lanes on that road is turned into a two-way cycletrack and then the cycletrack extends down Constitution along the Mall to the Lincoln Memorial. Anyone know if this is part of the 9-9-9 plan? It has about as much likelihood as that of being enacted.
Kids everywhere from about 4th along East Capitol. I think the optimal Halloween celebrating age is about 5. Not too much trick-or-treaters down this way so far, but that's ok. I haven't yet changed from my bike clothes, so I guess I could be considered in costume. Boo.


  1. Constitution is an absolute sh*tshow right now. I refuse to ride on it because it is just so terrible and scary. The intersection near the WWII Memorial (is that 15th?) is dangerous whether you're on foot or on wheels. It's disheartening because I often come downtown from Bethesda, and the quickest way from Georgetown (at least that I've found) is Virginia Ave--Constitution.

  2. I've considered doing the same Virginia to Constitution route on the way home, but I've consistently decided against it because it really is absolutely terrible. I'm not going to ride in the street and I'm not going to ride in the path, so I just avoid it entirely. It blows.