10/13/11

Ride In 10/13

The rain was worse when I was walking the dog. I left the bedraggled poodle and I imagine that she spent a good bit of the morning throwing herself against the couch cushions in an attempt to dry herself and matte her head fluff. The couch, and the poodle, should probably be dry by the time I get home. I'm not sure if my bike clothes will be by the time I leave, but in a rare bout of foresight, I remembered to pack an extra shirt and shorts because at the end of the day, there's not much worse than changing back into wet bike clothes, even if they're not as wet as they could have been because wet, while a potentially relative term, is in my ways not; something is either wet or not and when it's wet, and the it is your clothes or your poodle, it's not ideal.
It's worth trying to beat the light at 9th Street, SE. I find that my commutes when I catch the green are much smoother than when I don't. That's some hyperlocal bike advice. Not quite as hyper-hyperlocal as my suggesting that you watch out for the manhole cover (it's about an inch below the roadway) at Pennsylvania and 9th. (I think. I'll double check the cross street.)
Got passed by some guy on a Trek IGH something or other and as he rolled through the just-changed green as I was slowly starting to pedal forward, he turned and said something like "Who timed these lights?" and because the lights aren't timed for maximally efficient bicycle traffic, I tried to convey that sentiment by saying something like "They weren't time for us." This is what passes for conversation between bicyclists on a morning commute, at least when one of the bicyclists is me.
Big to-do at the White House this morning with the (in)appropriate level of bike lane blockage at 15th and E and 15th Alexander Hamilton Place (did you know if was named that? I didn't. It's the road that's not a road in in front of the Treasury). I had the salmon up 15th to get around it, but only for a little. If I looked annoyed, it was because I was annoyed. Passive-aggressive glowering is really the only weapon in my arsenal.
Getting really tired of drivers turning from 15th to I and blocking the cycle track as they wait for pedestrians to clear the walk. Yes, Mr SUV with the Hawaii license plate. I mean you. Even though we both had green lights, I was going straight and you were turning, so I'm pretty sure that gives me the right of way. (Unless you're at Lynn Street in Arlington where all bets are off). It happens almost every day, where a driver starts his or her right turn and blocks the bikeway. I don't really know how to mitigate this. Just wanted to let you know to be careful.Be even more careful when you're riding southbound.
15th street was way empty, as was pretty much the entire rest of the way to work. I'm starting to notice a few regulars- Fuji guy, pixie-on-a-fixie, intense old dude on Mass. I guess there really aren't that many of us out there (we are the 3.1%), but it amazes me how biking in a relatively large metropolitan area can still feel so personal and small-towny. As much as I'd like bicycling to grow as a means of transportation, I'd hate to lose the feeling of knowing the "regulars," even if I don't actually "know" them.
Some other random things:I had Howard Shore's LOTR score in my head, maybe because the Washington Monument evoked thoughts of Orthanc (yes, I know that Orthanc is black, not white. Do you take me as some kind of rube?), clouded in the fog. This just made me mad about the movie version of The Two Towers, which I hated from the moment that elves apocryphally appeared at Helm's Deep. Yes I'm still mad.
Anyone else can't keep straight Richard Dean Anderson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, even though they're totally different in any number of ways? These are the kinds of things I think about when I ride in the rain. 

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