Where did the time go? Oh yeah, I frittered it all away by trying to live tweet the DC Council hearing on bicycle and pedestrians safety and the anti-harassment law. If you want to wade through the muck that are my tweets, I'm @sharrowsDC. I don't think that you necessarily should. For those of you who don't know, essentially the law under consideration would allow cyclists to recoup attorney's fees as the result of victory in civil litigation. (I'm paraphrasing, so if you're a lawyer and find my understanding violently incorrect or misconstruing, please flay me in the comments). Proponents say this law is needed because cyclists, as a group, are especially vulnerable and criminal prosecution of anti-cyclist violence is essentially never undertaken, so the only redress is in civil courts and that attorneys won't take these cases. The question as to whether this law will actually change driver behavior or result in an injured/harassed cyclist actually winning any damages is under question. Essentially, the law is an imperfect, but useful, tool in the cyclist's toolkit. But again, please feel free to comment as you see fit based on any deeper knowledge/understanding of this law, laws in general or your own moral certitude concerning matters of equality and justice. Here's what kicked off the whole thing. Here's the summary from TBD. Here's how you can donate to WABA. Here's how to love.
And now for my story. Um, it was boring. Cold, but not too cold. Sunny, but not too sunny. I rode behind a woman on a cool Electra Amsterdam. Don't see too many of those about. She was wearing those foot shoes and a purple windbreaker. That's pretty much all I've got.
"Brian," no one asks me, " how is it that you observe so much stuff on your bike rides?" Well, it's because I'm really paranoid and in no way relaxed when I'm commuting by bike. Instead, I'm completely beset by frantic energy and all-consumed with that idea that some hazard, great or small, might cause me tremendous, or minor, harm. So, long story short, I'm just trying to productively channel my paranoia. That's how the sausage gets made. Figuratively. Though I suppose a bicycle would be an excellent tool for operating a grinder mechanism.
7th street. I rode in the middle of the bike/bus lane. Driver (of a private automobile) behind me, but he didn't honk. He didn't really have any legitimate grievance in that I was going sort of fast enough and also because he shouldn't be in the lane anyway. Own it. Though I still don't really like riding on it. Just gets crowded and the shared bike/bus lane disappears at New York Avenue and the bike lane doesn't pick up again until O. Maybe someone can paint the lane on 11th to Pennsylvania Ave? Someone like DDOT?
It's been a little too long since the ride for me to remember much more about it. If anything, I only remember feeling not so great. Perhaps it was my accidentally cloying coffee. I might have sugared it twice. My thermos is quite good, but I'm still having a difficult time not spilling the hot beverage on myself. At least it amuses passersby. I hope.
I've recently learned that there is another B. McEntee in #bikeDC. We're through the looking glass now. It's like Ringer. In fact, he seems to have a far greater claim to the mantle of legitimacy and I might have to move. He seems like a good guy, so maybe he'll take over the blog when I'm in Topeka or Dar es Salaam (haven't decided yet). I don't know if he'll post poodle pictures.