11/7/11

Ride In 11/7

It's amazing what an adjustment of your seat post can do. I raised mine about an inch, maybe less, last night after suspecting that it's been too low for my comfort of late and I was rewarded with a considerably nicer ride this morning. I've had mixed results adjustment the height of my seat previously and am not especially good at 'dialing in' the exact correct height, but whatever I did worked and I encourage you to embark upon the same kind of adjustment if you even suspect that your saddle is making you uncomfortable. Yes, that's a lot of words about that.
Cold, but not bracing. I could get used to morning like this and that's especially good because I think this is going to generally be the weather for the next week. The way I see it (and the way seasons work generally), there's a finite and limited amount of time it will be wintry and each passing week of more mild temperatures is one less week of terrible weather and I should be grateful, which I am. The first snowstorm (or worse, ice storm) can't be too far away and I might as well enjoy the non-ice storm days.
Today's ride was one of those where your bike brings you into work and not the other way around. Everything seemed easy and carefree and the opposite of laborious (tory-ious? needless anglicism?) as opposed to one of those days where you feel like you're fighting with your bike to keep your forward momentum. I don't know to what extent this good feeling had to do with adjusting my seat (glad I led with that so I don't have to go back and tell how now how I did that and totally catch you by surprise) or it being a Monday or some other mystery (stoker guardian angel? more aerodynamic socks? robot termites eating away at my frame and therey lightening it?), but I was glad for it and so appreciative of the ease of the movement that I relaxed and allowed my mind to wander and think about nothing in particular.
Here's something in particular, but not necessarily apropos of anything bike commuting: I have no clue about the exact circumstances happened with Occupy DC and the driver on Friday night, other than three people were struck and the driver wasn't charged, but it's yet another chance to muse on the pernicious effect that the word "accident" plays in our traffic lexicon. By all accounts, what happened on Friday wasn't an accident: either the driver struck them intentionally or they jumped out in front of the car intentionally. Associating the word "accident" with it does a disservice to clarity (something in which I have expertise. the disservice part, not the clarity part) and makes the situation seem more like something happened and ordained by Zeus than something that came about from actual volition. I do believe that there are accidents in this world, but I also believe that not every incident is an accident and we should be cautious in how we talk about these things. Preaching over.
I usually get a sense about how fast or slow I'm riding from whether I catch the green lights along 15th street. I didn't catch them today so I must have been riding slowly. Empiricism!
I'm always shocked with how cavalierly some bicyclists ride through reds when blocked traffic (seemingly) prevents the continued movement of cars and thereby making it safer. I'm not shocked because it's illegal (I'll wring my hands at systematic law-breaking by bicyclists once motorists and pedestrians start wringing theirs about systematic speeding and systematic jaywalking), but just because it seems so imprudent. At least slow down and make sure that traffic hasn't cleared or, god forbid, that a bicyclist isn't about to ride through in the bike lane. Stop-and-go traffic is an inherently unstable and unpredictable situation and a temporarily stopped car is no guarantee that it will remain that way. That might be a tautology.
I made it to Ward Circle from Sheridan circle in the same amount of time as the N4 bus. I didn't have to stop to collect or deposit passengers, but nonetheless. The bus both passed gaggles of stopped motorists, most single occupants in their radios on wheels, heading in the other direction along Massachusetts. Please don't take this pithily because I actually sympathize, but it really must suck to drive to work in this town, even if you do have a radio. Because I imagine the only thing worse than sitting in traffic is sitting in traffic listening to someone complain about John Beck's latest putrescence.

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