Ride Home 11/17 & Ride In 11/18

A tripartite ride home with stops at the WABA event and along Barrack's Row. It was cold, but not bracing. On Massachusetts, I saw a deer. Antlers and everything. Only a couple of the feet off the road, too. As everyone knows, deer should be confined solely to off street trails because they don't pay "road taxes".
Either they changed the light pattern along Mass or I was riding super-fast or super-slow because I managed to get through the lights (Idaho, fake Wisconsin, real Wisconsin, and Garfield) without stopping, which I don't think has ever happened before. Let's pretend it was because I was going really fast. I actually felt really great on the bike last night, like I had some extra verve. Here's some more extra verve.
I think I need to stop merging from the right-turn lane at the base of the hill. It's beginning to sink in that's it's needlessly compromising and risky. It's like the derivatives bundling of bike commuting. One of these days someone isn't going to see me and I'm not gonna hit the gap between cars in a good way and a twice daily blog about hospital food would be far less compelling.
As I'm trying to recall what else happened last night, I'm having a hard time separating out my memories from every other night I ride home. Did some guy on a CaBi shoal me? Was there a girl riding her bike in a long flowing skirt? Did I almost get hit by a school bus? Or, did nothing of particular consequence happen? Maybe I should start taking notes. Or maybe I should just live tweet every ride home. It would take longer, on accounting of stopping to tweet and stuff and most of the tweets would be 'stopping now, so maybe I'll just try to think a little bit harder.
I remember that I rode down 11th because that's where the WABA event was. It was quite crowded and I had the opportunity to meet and talk to some charming people and missed the opportunity
(from my own lack of gregariousness and sociability) to meet and talk to other charming people. And there was beer and raffles (I didn't win one) and suited types who had no affiliation with WABA whatsoever who were probably wondering what the hell happened to their favorite pretentious bottled-watering hole. I had been to the restaurant one other time and it was to meet the fiance of one of the Official Wife's college besties. They've since divorced. So, I'm glad WABA could, in some small way, counter that association through libatory (real word) fundraisen (not a real word, but if I were in charge of branding gold-flecked dried grapes, that's the name I'd use).
After WABA, I rode down Penn, up the Capitol on the vastly inferior House side (you can decide whether the vastly inferior references the House of Representative or the side path) and down Penn again towards 8th. There isn't much bike parking along 8th, so I locked my bike to a sign. I proceeded to continue my evening enjoying the dulcet tones of karaoke singers, not partaking of the singing myself, but instead enjoying, temporarily, an overabundance of nachos.
I had to be at work earlier than usual this morning and I left the house a little after 7:30. I encourage all bicycle commuters to sometimes leave the house a half hour earlier than you normally do. It's a totally different world out there, and typically, the earlier you go, the less frantic the drivers are and maybe even there are fewer of them on the road, though years of watching MyFox traffic reports before work had led me to the belief that there is no time that the area highways are free from some terrible congestion. But I guess this is why we chose to live in the city and why I choose to bike to work. I'll take a blocked bike lane over a blocked highway every day of the week. I meant this phrase to be figurative.
Just as many bicyclists out as there are later. If I had to guess, I'd say that modeshare percentages stays about the same across work start times (with reason, of course). There might even be statistics out there somewhere, but I like my assumptions like I like my unicorns: with no basis in reality whatsoever. 
It happened to be much colder this morning than I was expecting. I have covers for my cycling shoes, but they did me no good in the bottom of my bike stuff box in my closet. It might have even been cold enough to wear my heavy gloves, which also remained in the box in the closet, (In the Box, In the Closet is the working title of my short film about a gay mime), so I made due with the stuff I had readily accessible, which proved suitable enough. Though my toes were quite cold when I got here and this does not bring my great joy.
I don't know for sure, but my front fender might be scraping against my front tire. I mean to look into that. I'm going to accuse this phantom mechanical issue of being the reason I rode so listlessly.
Recurring feature: caution tape down at the White House.
New feature: I saw one of the new CaBis at the intersection of 15th and K. It must have made it's way across the river, since I don't think any new DC stations have gone in. Unless new bikes are being used to stock the expanded stations. In either case, I don't know what to think about the front basket. Was it designed that way to perhaps host advertising? That would make sense if these are going to be the bikes rolled out in New York.
The leaf situation has made it such that every ride is a game of chicken where each bicyclist is trying to hew to the narrow path and only ride onto the leafy mess when absolutely necessary. This is why I ordered a jousting pole from my local jousting supply warehouse. I'll also use it like a toll to prevent people from riding in front of me at stop lights. Today was especially egregious. Is there something about sipping coffee from a mug while waiting for the light to change that signals "please, ride in front of me"? Maybe, I guess.

1 comment:

  1. When I first discovered this blog, my burning (yet unasked) question was, "how does he remember all these details from each commute?"
    It's always interesting to leave a bit earlier than the usual time, as if you stumbled upon a parallel universe. A few minutes can make a lot of difference.