Ride Home 10/6

I've long equated leaving work with zipping downhill because I work atop a hill and given the choice of trundling or zipping, I much more frequently choose zipping. I don't know what people who work at the bottom of hills must feel like. Maybe they just bike to happy hour and use the dulling effects of alcohol (or pretzels!) as their catharsis rather than cathart (those work pants? Also, not a word) through the frippery of downhill zipping. Those who have it the worst must be those of you who ride down on a level plane (or plain) because it must be boring, like Kansas (the band, not the state). Dust in the wind, indeed.
Anyway. I elected for my non-Massachusetts route for the second afternoon in a row. I'll go back to riding Mass once I replace my brake pads. It's not that I can't stop; it's that I'm not totally convinced that I can stop, at least in a way that will keep me out of the back of buses or off car bumpers. Stopping in that way would be less than ideal.
Garfield and Cleveland are both surprisingly wide and generous (like their 19th century namesakes?) and Calvert is fine, though its design encourages cars to block the bike lane, which at the entrance to Rock Creek, moves to the inside of the right turn lane. In the evening, one cannot make right turns by cars into the park (or maybe they can but wouldn't want to?) because the park roads turn into limited access highways in a way that's truly terrible and antithetical to the idea of preserving a pastoral bounty within an urban space. We can't have bollards on the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lane, but the aesthetes who are given federal control over every strip of park in this forsaken 'burg don't mind allowing to pass their bucolic wards a 1988 Toyota Corolla, paint stripped and tail light broken, with a bumper sticker that reads "If you're gonna ride my ass, you could at least pull my hair." But then again, what do I know?
Calvert over the bridge was fine and I turned right onto Biltmore ("fun" pointless revelation: I've been the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, but not to Asheville) and then to 19th. I guess there are stop signs on 19th and Columbia, but it's very unclear who has the right of way, as much as that actually matters. 19th down to Q and then Q across town as always.
I should've taken T. Q is crowded and I rode behind a woman with the dried out blonde hair of an 80's rocker poking from her helmet, though I don't think she was especially dried out or rocker. And then later on, we both rode behind a guy who clearly had the air of someone not from America (not that there's anything wrong with that). When we lived in Hungary, it was always fun to try to spot the non-magyars and try to not be spotted ourselves. If you "got Englished," (the language, not the nationality) you lose.
11th street this evening from Massachusetts on was the opposite of 11th street this morning. Far from pleasant. Some guy kept trying to ride past me, on the right no less, only to get stuck exactly where I kept getting stuck. Then he tried to ride between cars in a right turn lane and the sidewalk, which is an exceptionally asinine thing to do. Perhaps I intimated, though glance, that he was an idiot. There was a Miller Lite van delivering somewhere down by Pennsylvania, as well as a number of UPS trucks and USPS trucks and I'm not the czar (or tsar) of deliveries or anything, but between 5 and 6 doesn't seem like the best time to send yours guys into the CBD. But, they're working, so I give them far more slack for blocking bike lanes than some just your average workaday car commuter. I really don't know how people do it. I also don't know how politicians can look at the driving situation and see anything other than the huge opportunity for a congestion tax. City streets can be so much more than places clogged with people driving to get the hell out of there after work. Perhaps if they weren't choked with smog and hostile to non-encased people, more folks would stick around and do stuff, like pay sales tax at your bars and restaurants and retail locations.
The OccupyDC crowd (or whoever. I've lost track) was protesting (marching, picketing?) outside the Shrine to Media Fatuousness Newseum and according the police has to OCCUPYBIKELANE. Yes, because when there's a crowd of people, it's good to do everything in your power to keep others from moving on. I could have very well been swept up in anti-Wall Street hysteria had I been exposed to their chants and goading a moment longer. Luckily, I bike almost sort of fast. Another thing the "police" (broadly understood) do is misuse traffic cones, much like a kid in your elementary school might have misused glitter. Diorama need more "punch"? Glitter. Street need more "order"? Traffic cones. Weird.
I turn right on red at Lincoln Park. Sorry, y'all. It's against the rules, but it works for me, since I also turn left from the "go straight" lane. A delivery car from New York Pizza was blocking the bike lane in the park, which I suppose is very New York of him, though not especially thoughtful.
One more day until the weekend.

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