Ride In 11/28

I hope that everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving, and gave thanks for, amongst other things, FREEDOM and AMERICA and other capitalized words one might see in a forwarded AOL email from a "real American" relative. In case you don't recall, like most DC bike commuters, I am a proud member of the Tea Party, which is the say the patriotic political group dedicated to a smaller government with lower taxes presided over in the executive by Mr. T. I'm off to the White House today (for work, not related to the permanent removal of caution tape), so I decided to take Bikeshare to the office, since I'd rather not have the Cross Check exploded by Secret Service after locking it to a fence. It was my first Bikeshare excursion from Armory West to work and it was a relatively nice day for it.
My primary concern when riding a CaBi is staying under 30 minutes, so as to avoid the $1.50 luxury tax (not an actual luxury tax) associated with keeping the bike out for more than half an hour. This can be short-circuited by temporarily redocking the bike, counting to 10 and then taking the bike out again, which I felt I would need to do since there's no way that I was going to make the eight plus mile trip in under a half hour. I planned to dock at 15 and P, which seemed about half-way and sort of reasonable. So I set off the from the Armory station (19th and East Capitol- the one closer to my abode [I don't live in a house; I live in an abode. If I were a Pueblo, I'd livee in an adobe abode] is not yet installed), salmoning in the wrong side of the street bike lane waiting for traffic to clear up so I could move over, which it did half a block later. Technically, I wouldn't say that I'm reckless when riding a CaBi, but I probably engage in behaviors that I wouldn't countenance if I were on my own bike. In any case, the ride along the Hill was fine with a bunch of other bicyclists out, including a guy on an Xtracycle who I've seen before. He might or might not have yelled at a girl turning her bike right on red without stopping from 2nd NE. I see this move quite a lot and I have some advice for bicyclists who do this: don't. Rights-of-way (unlike rites-of-whey, popular in body-building circles) are important to bicyclists and just because you're also on a bike doesn't mean that you get some sort of free pass and get to ride all libertine and whatnot (Libertine and Whatnot is the title of my forthcoming book on flapper culture) and can cut off other bicyclists.
I rode down the path through the Capitol, rather than on the street and it was quite pleasant. I think I might start doing this from now on, avoiding the slim likelihood of a motorist reversing his or her car into me as I exceed the posted 10 mile per hour speed limit downhill.
Pennsylvania was fine and I rode behind two woman bicyclists, one in casual street clothes, the other in athletic (but not bike-specific) attire. I don't have much to offer in the way of social commentary, except maybe perhaps the observation the gender doesn't determine the likelihood to dress one particular way or another and that it's circumstances at your final destination and personal comfort that dictate how one dresses on a bike. Maybe?
There was a man outside of the McPherson Square CVS holding up a cardboard sign. I don't know if he was protesting or advertising. But these days, it's hard to tell. (Trenchant social analysis or banal observation? These days it's hard to tell)
The dock and undock at 15 and P went according to plan, in spite of the construction taking place at the corner blocking the station somewhat. The ride on R was fine, except for the almost always blocked bike lane. I understand the practicality (from the driver's standpoint) of wanting to try to pull around a stopped taxi by driving in the bike lane, but it really is massively inconvenient, if not plainly illegal, when the light turns red and they've managed to block the whole thing. But I'm hard-pressed to imagine that we live in a world where the sanctity of the bike lane is respected and a driver wouldn't be expected to pull into the "empty" space to get around an idling taxi or truck. Share the road, I guess.
Anyway, all of the stopping on R caused me to start freaking out about the time and assume that there was no way that I would make my half hour goal of getting the whole way to campus. So, I needed a back-up plan and decided that I would aim to dock/undock in Glover Park (since there are no stations [or churrerias] along Mass) and take Wisconsin up for the next part of the trip.
While riding along R, I was passed way to closely by an impatient cyclist behind me and I waited somewhat too impatiently to try to pass the bicyclist in front of me. She, so I found out, had developed some sort of relationship with a crossing guard and stopped at an intersection so he could give her one of his "flyers," for what I don't know. I don't have any longstanding relationships with crossing guards or anyone along my route really. I consider it a bit of a personal failing, given my apparent willingness to talk to strangers and/or nod at them.
At the Glover Park station, there were two bike security officers and they looked relatively happy to be patrolling on bicycles. This is unlike the motorists stuck on Observatory Circle, backed-up and waiting to turn onto Massachusetts. I imagine this car traffic will only get worse as bus service from Glover Park continues to be rolled back. I have great sympathy for anyone who drives to work downtown. It must suck.
Wisconsin was a good climb, but the CaBi can handle it. Same with the down and up the rest of the way to work. At Ward Circle, I was stopped behind a car with a bumper sticker for Cityhood for DC. One of the things I did to pass the time as I sat in traffic in Maryland driving home on Saturday was think about retrocession. I just don't know how revenues and expenditures would work in this kind of plan. The site doesn't seem to address budgetary issues. Yeah, I'm gonna end on "budgetary issues."


  1. I really hope this means that you'll get to use the White House Top Secret CaBi Station later today.

  2. Oh, you have such a way with words. Adobe abode? Rites of Whey? Totally made my day.