12/13/11

Ride Home 12/13

What happened today? I'll tell you.
The first two-ish blocks of my ride are on the sidewalk and I just don't like it but I like waiting for the light even less. I'd have to cross in the crosswalk with pedestrians and then wait in a line of cars in order to turn right at the circle and head down the hill. So I don't. And I choose the sidewalk and every day I think, " I wish I didn't choose the sidewalk" because even if it isn't especially crowded, it's at least moderately peopled (It's peopled! Sidewalk Green is PEOPLED) and that either results in my having to pass someone on a too narrow, too dark sidewalk or wait behind them, blinking clear light on their backpacks. And it seems like whenver I ride on the sidewalk, a bus has just emptied and then there's even more people I have to nuisance. I guess what I'm saying, and not well, is that choosing the "faster" sidewalk isn't necessarily any more convenient for me or for anyone else and I guess I wish I had the fortitude or patience or whatever to ride in the car-slowed street.
I don't, however, have any problem riding in the street on Massachusetts and I regularly exceed speeds of 10 (!) miles per hour. Even more than that sometimes, but I need to be wearing my skinsuit and aerohelmet and I need to be on a planet with considerably more gravity and considerably less friction. Or maybe less gravity and more friction. I took physics once, but I didn't retain any of it. Except, of course, my speeds are diminished by my repeated braking, a braking that is immensely loud and squeaky and probably ruins the days of nearby dogs (including, but hopefully not, the two toy poodles, one black on grey, walked by old man who is always walking those poodles) and my own day, since it signals me as some rube with poorly toed-in brake pads. "Nice toe-in, rube!," they all shout in my nightmares and then they drop that bucket of pig's blood at prom and then, oh, well, let's not get into that. In any case, stopped car traffic practically forced me to bail to the right turn only lane, but I didn't quite have the gumption to merge back into the travel lane and instead continued my prolonged "bail" onto the sidewalk, narrowly avoiding some hedges. I rode on the sidewalk until I reached a curb cut on the other side of a red light and I shot the gap, whatever that means, and found my way back onto the roadway.
So many traffic circles in this town and drivers still don't know how to do them. Geez.
No need to speed to a red light. Even more so when you're the one making your own speed (as opposed to burning hydrocarbons). I might be the laziest bike commuter in the world. I only "try" when there's a green light.
Rode up behind another cyclist at the intersection of Q and 15th and when I stopped, I proceeded my mindlessly drum the vague rhythm of holiday tunes as I waited for the light to change. I might have been rat-tat-tatting "Little Drummer Boy" but that seems to pat. In any case, I dinged my bell and the woman in front of me turned around and I was like "Uh, sorry" because it sort of seemed like I was dinging my bell at her, perhaps to hasten her movement even though the light was red and the perpendicular traffic was thick and there was really no place to go. What a putz. Glad I was wearing full-on superbiker kit too. Nothing says "I'm not trying to be a jerk" more than ringing your bell at somoene while wearing a bright yellow jacket and skin tight bike pants. Awesome. At least at the next block my putziness crown (not a real crown) was inherited by the dope meshie who rode around both of us at the red light and tried to trackstand only to almost fall off his bike. And then he pedaled too hard when the light changed and he was off and that was that.
A double-honk from a gentleman requesting that I leave the travel lane for a bike lane blocked by some idling vehicle. I moved over and slowed and he passed and the he stopped at the red light 30 feet in front of both of us. Hope that was worth it. Its better not to get too upset about these things. If you want to be the kind of person who takes umbrage at every little thing, drive a car. Or be the Count of Monte Cristo.
Sometimes I wonder if drivers think that bicyclists are so slow that they are capable of slowing down car traffic in front of them and not just behind them. I might be unfair in ascribing this attitude.
It's sort of weird to ride behind a car with a flat tire and a driver who doesn't know what to do. Just pull over. I think he might have been confused since he was driving in Senate Sergent of Arms Restricted Parking Area by the fountain and god knows nobody wants to run afoul of Terrance Gainer. I think he'd understand.
Then I got home and now I'm just chillin'.

4 comments:

  1. Did you catch what the protest was at the WH? Nearest I could make out, they were chanting "monarchy shmonarchy, bone thugs and harmony" or possibly "monogamy monogamy, down with the hominy". Serious shit.

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  2. Didn't go that way today (took 11th), but that sounds about right for one of their chants. The other day I heard "We want jobs, not Slavs" which is pretty offensive to our east european friends.

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  3. Sidewalk Green is Peopled ... oh, yes.

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