Ride Home 11/1

I duct-taped (verb?) the crap out of my front light to ensure that it would not fly forth once more from its perch on my handlebars. Accordingly, it did not and I was much obliged to the strength and stickiness of the duct tape.
Are bicyclists the only people capable of seeing what's 200 feet in front of them? Some times I wonder what drivers are thinking. Parked car blocking a lane? Yeah, it's still going to be there and maybe moving into the lane isn't a wise decision since you're just going to need to merge back. Red light? Yeah, no need to speed to it. I don't know if bicycling has made me a more aware driver (probably not), but it's at least made me a little more cognizant of truly wasting energy in the pursuit of getting nowhere faster. I suppose it's just a different arithmetic when you're providing your own forward momentum.
I really like bicycles and it makes me sad to see so many so poorly maintained.
I think that the only reason to ride to the other side of the crosswalk when you're stopped at a red light is if you know that you're going to run the light. Otherwise, you look sort of dumb and you're sort of inconveniencing pedestrians. Of course, how do you know if you're going to run the light unless you can see whether the traffic will clear, which you can only do from the other side of the crosswalk? Maybe just know what streets are busy and which ones aren't?
15th street gusher, i.e. the exposed pipe thats pumping considerable water onto the street, is stil going. Perhaps Washington is sinking and bring all the water topside is the only way to save us. Though that makes little sense.
Like a moth drawn the the flames of disappointing bike news, I couldn't help but ride by the now-yet-again-taped security bollards at Lafayette park. Our long national nightmare has recommenced. Boo (in the disapproval way, not the Halloween way). It was fun while it lasted.
It's kind of funny when a fellow bicyclist just takes off and pedals his guts out to put as much distance between him and his fellow commuters as is possible. We know that you're trying. You don't have to try so hard. It's not a race.
Lots of security at the Capitol. Was something special going on? Maybe some actual legislating and the security wasn't meant so much to keep people out but rather to keep Congress in?
Good biking as always on the Hill. It's quite pleasant to live around here. Always makes for a good end of the ride. I think that I've forgotten to mention something, but there's always tomorrow for that.


  1. Goshdarnit. Do you think the Secret Service could/would arrest me if I just biked through that tape tomorrow?

    Also, what are your thoughts on bell-dinging at other cyclists when you are forced to the sidewalk (i.e. certain parts of Wisconsin near McLean Gardens that are a parking lot during rush hour)? I had some girl with flowers all over her bike chew me out today for not ringing my bell at her--I had opted for a polite "On your left," as I usually do, but she didn't hear me...I just hate getting dinged at, so I try not to do it to others unless it's completely necessary.

  2. I think that so long as you make some indication to cyclists and pedestrians that you're passing and that you pass safely, they really don't have any right to complain. You don't get to choose how other people indicate their passing. I prefer to ding because I want as much psychological distance between me and them, but I think that you're well within your rights to "on your left." Sometimes people are just lame.

  3. On the shared path (uh, it is a shared path, right?) around the Tidal Basin, I once rang to alert a typical oblivious phalanx-of-two-forming pedestrian. She responded not in the least -- not a flinch, not a nod, not a change in phalanx behavior -- and then scolded me for ringing too late after I carefully eased past her.

    In the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes, if there are no pedestrians in sight, I will sometimes roll to the tiny space in front of the crosswalk, leaving like 95 percent of the crosswalk open in case a pedestrian materializes, to (a) balance upright holding on to whatever those short metal poles are called, or (b) discourage shoaling, or (c) get a good start in hopes of beating the next light. Then again, I do sometimes treat the commute as a bit of a time trial.

  4. I admit to "racing" but it's not to try to beat other cyclists, it's because I am always eager to get where I'm going. Unless it's a sunny, warm Saturday afternoon leisure ride. And even then I love the endorphins from cranking hard.

  5. @BW--I do the same thing. I enjoy hanging onto things when I'm stopped, because then I don't have that awkward .5 seconds of fumbling for the pedals. Plus it just looks cool. :)