Ride In 11/16

Thanks for prying yourself away from the Hunger Games trailer for a few minutes to read part one of my two-part daily bicycle bloggery. I remember when I used to care a lot more about movies (I think that peaked around my sophomore year in college), but I've moved beyond such frivolity and now, more maturely, only concern myself with weighty and serious subjects, like celebrity gossip and mixed martial arts (only one of those things is true and if you've read this blog before, you know which one). And, of course, the bicycle commuting lifestyle, which is the kind of lifestyle that puts me out in the rain for forty minutes, but that's not so bad, especially on a day like today, one that had a gentle rain barely sufficient to suggest a hat, though I wore one under my helmet anyway.
This dropped this morning: Capitol Hill Bikes Groupon $50 for $25. In case you're math deficient (I think that's called arith-nemia), that's a good deal and if you need help spending the $50, I'm available for consultations. And, furthermore, did you know that today is "buy your favorite a local bike commuter/blogger some stuff from Capitol Hill Bikes day"? So random.
The only thing more perilous than wet leaves is, well, ok, there are a lot of things more perilous than wet leaves, but it doesn't mean that wet leaves are a laughing matter, especially when they are piled in the bike leaf depository lanes that run throughout our fair, deciduous unrepresented federal colony city. I suppose this is a problem with tree-lined bicycle routes. Be careful.
There's a man at Occupy DC (yeah, we've still got one of those) who yells "Good Morning" every morning as I ride by and I'm beginning to think it's not a coincidence, although there is really no reason to change my opinion. Perhaps he yells good morning every half minute.
When drivers "block the box" every morning at one particular intersection (15th and Massachusetts), is this the sign of a behavioral fail or an engineering fail? My inclination is the latter. I know that traffic engineering is complicated (much more complicated than bike blogging), but one would think that this daily occurrence, whereby pedestrians are asked to pick their way through backed-up vehicles that are blocking the crosswalk, ought to be remedied. Unless, of course, and this is likely, the inconvenience of pedestrians is entirely secondary to the smooth flow of traffic (and by that I mean real traffic, cars) and doesn't enter into the equation at all.
Father and son biking together along R street. I've seen them before, but this is the first day I've spent any real amount of time riding behind them. I can tell that the dad is a good dad because both his bike and his kid's bike have fenders, which is sensible. The child was also helmeted. I passed them somewhere before Dupont Circle.
I've never ridden a bike with disc brakes, but I bet those make for a better braking experience in weather like this. My brakes are making an awful noise and their stopping power is significantly reduced in the wet weather. So, I continue to pine for the Surly Disc Trucker, but I'd be willing to pine for another kind of bicycle if you have any suggestions.
Followed a superbiker up Massachusetts from Wisconsin to Ward Circle. I could tell he was a superbiker because he was riding a thin-tired road bike and was wearing a lycra kit with the words "RACING UNION" on the back. (Not this racing union.) He seemed to be having a tough go of the hill, probably because he was on mile 50 of his commute or maybe just because it's really crappy to ride up wet, leaf-covered pavement on a super-thin-tired road bike. I stuck behind him, that he could benefit from the visibility of my bright yellow jacket and blinking blinky light. I wonder if he noticed or cared. In any case, I thought I was doing a good deed and since all rainy bicycle commutes are powered by self-satisfaction, I felt especially refreshed when I arrived at the office.


  1. My wife and I used to cross Mass at 15th on foot when we both worked within a few blocks of each other. Every morning it would be a game to see if you could catch a car in the middle of the intersection by walking out into the crosswalk the instant you got the walk signal. It was certainly dangerous and probably illegal, but it was self-satisfying.

  2. I've discovered I'm very reliant on cars blocking the box at 34th and M, it makes merging across 2 lanes to cross the Key Bridge that much easier when all vehicular traffic is stopped.

  3. @Jon- that's bold and far bolder than anything I'm willing to attempt. Are you and your wife grifters engaged in some insurance scam?
    @LaurenMarieSays- that's a tricky spot and you're right to use the box blockers to get over. When I used to cross the Key Bridge (sigh), I would ride down the sidewalk to the pedestrian crosswalk most days rather than fight with the car traffic. But I like your method a lot better.

  4. No, just smug about mostly car-free city living. A little bit of smug can be really dangerous, it seems.