Ride In 11/29

Shorts and short sleeves on November 29th. That's crazy. I think, though, that as I watch the rain outside my window presage the arrival of a cold front, this pretty much marks the end of these unseasonably warm temperatures and we'll be topping off in the mid 50s (at the maximum, which is still not terrible) for the remainder of the week. That probably means it'll be in the 30s during the morning ride, which isn't so bad, provided it doesn't rain. So, if you're looking to me to give you an insight into whether its still reasonable to bike (and really, you oughtn't because I'm a terrible thermometer barometer for these sort of things since I'm gonna bike pretty much no matter what), I offer the following twangy couplet:
if it's dry, give it a try.
if it's wet, begin to fret.
*(bonus third line: if it snows, who knows? Snow carries with it a certain degree of ambiguity, not only because it blankets the earth with an ivory patina (Ivory Patina is also the name of an Cambridge drag queen- probably), but because route conditions vary so much from place to place and its hard to say whether your route will be plowed/cleared or, if you're biking on a local trail, at near Donner Party conditions.
Now, as to whether you're fretting should inhibit you from riding, that's an entirely individual choice. I don't mind riding in the rain so much any more because I have a nice waterproof bag and I'm willing to bring with me at least three (slight exaggeration) changes of clothes to ensure that I don't have to ride home in a wet gear. But maybe you like to travel lighter than I do or maybe you don't have a place to change or maybe you're a Wicked Witch of a Cardinal Direction and water has negative consequences to your overall well-being/existence. Anyway, I bought all of the changes of clothes not because I was rained upon this morning, but rather because I expect it to be much cooler in the evening and I am, for lack of a better term, a delicate flower and I like to be as little exposed to the elements as possible.
Surly spotting: guy on East Capitol on a light brown Cross Check, Brooks B17, khakis tucked into his argyle socks. He kept looking back over his shoulder at me. I was more than content just to ride behind. If I wanted to ride around, I would have. (Commuters: don't delude yourselves into thinking you're the fastest person on the road. Just ride at a comfortable pace and if someone wants to ride faster than that, he or she will.)
I'm all about riding through security bollards, but not when there's a group of people, including security guards and I think a maintenance crew, on the other side. If it's going to be a tight fit, it seems needlessly antagonizing.
Yeah, they're still occupying McPherson.
Way more Bikeshare bikes out today than normal. I think that fair weather really brings out fair weather cyclists. And that's a good thing. I wonder what impact a nice day has on reducing crowding on local roads and on bus and metro ridership. I think I'd be deluding myself if I thought it was substantial. Simply not that many people ride bikes. Sadly.
R Street bores me. I want a new crosstown route. I guess I could start riding up past Meridian Park. That could be a thing.
I desperately wanted to catch up with a superbiker riding up Massachusetts, but I just couldn't. Dude was way out in front and not to make excuses or anything, here are some excuses:
- red lights
- drivers blocked my path
- slowed down for pedestrians and other bicyclists
- my bag was really heavy
- my breakfast was a frosted, generic Pop Tart and a piece of bacon.
- my trick knee was acting up (note: don't actually have a trick knee. Except when asked to do dishes.)
- my bike needs a tune up and the chain was skipping around on the rear cogs.
- I wasn't even trying that hard, so shut up or whatever

One last thing, unrelated to my commute, but in the way of a biking endorsement: Road Holland. They make really nice things. Some of them are quite expensive, some are only marginally expensive. (This is all relative given your definition of expensive. I use Cuban cigars to light hundred dollar bills aflame for some reason [that's how you do it, right?]) In any case, if you like stuff made in AMERICA, but named after FOREIGN COUNTRIES (like French fries, for example) and you like bicycling stuff that looks CLASSY (like a revue headlined by Ivory Patina), you couldn't do much better than this. This is an unsolicited endorsement and I will only retract it if forced to by their attorneys.


  1. One more as a PSA:
    If there's icy,
    biking is gonna be dicey.

    I don't know how much a nice day impacts metro ridership and other public transit, but I can tell you with certainty, on rainy days it is noticeably more crowded on Metro - and I attribute this to fair weather bikers. Who else is changing their commute plans? I can't think of another likely group.

  2. Drivers. When it rains, driving during rush hours is exponentially slower, so the smart ones can plan ahead and use the metro to get home in a more reliable fashion - heck, maybe even faster.

  3. Which is one of the reasons I make a point to bike through the rain as much as possible. If I'm going to take bus/Metro to work, I'd at least like to do it when the bus/Metro is not full of soggy more-annoyed-than-usual people.