Ride Home 11/2

For the two past nights, I've been riding home in the my work clothes. Just haven't felt like changing and the weather mostly agrees with the decision, though I suppose this will stop once it gets much colder and I'll have to bundle up. Would it be silly to buy a cycling cap with ear flaps? Thoughts? Gentle mockery? Not-so-gentle mockery?
Some days you catch the lights and other days you don't and when you don't and have to start from a dead stop as cars are coming up behind you at 35 miles per hour and you're not being sure whether or not they'll see you and, even worse, if they'll stop or if they'll try to squeeze around you, so you grit your teeth and hope for the best and you push down on the pedals and set off and you just assume that there's no way that they won't see you because you're in the middle of the road and that it's just another average day and even though things could be bad, it's not likely because it's a fairly mundane situation and if you overthink the negative consequences of everything that could happen you'll drive yourself crazy.
Lady with a kid in a bike trailer. At each light, she'd turned around and talk to the little kid, who very much seemed to be enjoying the ride in his plastic mesh rolling cage.
Farther down Q, I was riding behind a bicyclist who was going slower than I preferred. That's why I cursed him out and smashed my bike into his, sending him tumbling to the ground, bruised and humiliated. Wait, I didn't do that at all because that's totally reprehensible. I've been thinking a lot of agression and self-control and cars as weapons as a result of today's hearing and I guess I'm still having difficulty with the idea that some people can be so callous and cruel. Sometimes you have to go slower than you'd want. Happens to people when driving, bicycling, walking, whatever. That's life To work yourself into such a lather that you're willing to potentially grievously injure a stranger in the name of perhaps arriving at your destination slightly earlier is clinical and sociopathic. Whether it's brought out by the stress of driving or the psychological distance that a windshield provides, I don't know. But it has to stop. And if we can't stop it because it's part of "human nature" or "culture" or something else, then it needs to be mitigated through better engineering and superior facilities. Culture changes and road re-design both take a really long time, so in the mean time, be safe and keep the political pressure on our elected leaders. But mostly, just keep riding your bike because it's a good idea and healthy and fun and convenient and cheap and all sorts of other things and the vast majority of experiences you have on it will be positive. Sermon over.
Bunches and bunches of cyclists on Penn and through the Capitol and out to the Hill. Including one guy on an Xtracycle, whom I made the point of complimenting when I rode past. Complimenting Xtracycle riders is like playing punchbuggy for me. When I see one, I've just got to say something. And the owners are always so appreciative, perhaps because you don't just wind up with an Xtracycle by accident, the way you might just randomly pick out a bike at an LBS or from Craig's List. No, you very deliberately get one and you know it. And I like to reward that dedication with niceties. Because I'm a great person. (At least that's what my daily in-the-mirror affirmations tell me)


  1. Sorry for the recent slew of comments...this is what happens when you ask your readers direct questions.

    Nothing wrong with ear flaps! Just watch out because they make it hard to hear...and thick hats + helmets = not always a great combination.

    My ongoing winter gear battle involves gloves. I have to stick with double-lined mittens because the cold causes my fingers to hurt so badly I get nauseous (which happened this morning on the Crescent Trail)...but mittens are a damned pain to bike in.

    Re: Your last entry, I've got my fingers crossed under my mittens about that law...some guy honked at me on 7th and Pennsylvania today because he wanted to turn right at the red and I was in his way. I just sat there.

  2. I've been looking for some type of ear warmer that doesn't include an entire hat because I overheat so quickly. Despite these temps in the 30s, a hat under my helmet makes me a sweaty mess, but my ears are ~freezing~.

    I'll probably dig through my fabric stash and make these: http://www.instructables.com/id/Easy-Ear-Warmers-for-Bicycle-Helmet/