First, my extended thoughts on the Chris Paul trade. Just kidding!
It doesn't take much to throw me off and yesterday I saw that my rear light was dangling from the rack where it normally doesn't dangle as a result of the holder losing a screw somewhere between my home and office during the morning commute. I didn't like this as I very much prefer have lights to not having them and so, befuddled, even though the solution was quite obvious, I pouted a bit and slowly worked my way through solving the problem by unscrewing the other screw, removing the light from the holder and clipped into onto my saddle bag. Mission accomplished, but I still felt a bit out of sorts. I like things to be a particular way and even the most minor deviation unsettles me to the point of near catatonia. (Catatonia, OH has a polpulation of 7,556) Just ask the Official Wife about how slowly I move when faced with an unpredicted situation. Don't ask her about Catatonia, Ohio as that is a made-up place. I'm the Sherwood Anderson of bike bloggers. (Except for the toothpick part, I hope)
I don't remember last night's ride as especially fun. I failed to get my gloves on before leaving, which was an oversight my fingers regretted. More on gloves later. Or, on the other hand (glove joke!), why wait? I lost a glove last night at the WABA party (I need to stop challenging people to duels), but luckily it was found and I picked it up from Big Bear this morning, so crisis averted.
Really trafficky on Mass and a little fraught. I ended up riding in the left lane for reasons that I don't fully recall. It remained trafficky on Q.
At the intersection of Q and 19th, a driver found himself stuck in the intersection, having badly misjudged the timing of the red light. He couldn't reverse because pedestrians were using the crosswalk and didn't think just to keep going forward because red means stop, even when you've initially failed at the heeding the color-coded illuminated traffic management system. And then the bicycle poilice officer rolled up. Which I thought was awesome. I was too far away to hear what he said, but it looked like he said to the driver, "So, what happened?" He (the officer) was pretty well-humored about the whole thing, having totally nailed the driver in a minor and all-to-common traffic infraction and, quite correctly in my opinion, let the guy go without a ticket or anything. Perhaps he have him a stern talking-to and the arched eyebrows and shit eating grin simply masked that, but I don't think. I like the idea of bicycle officers meting out traffic justice.
I rode behind the same guy from 15th to First (1st) NW. I wonder if he went to the WABA party. At one intersection, I was shoaled by a couple of other bicyclists, all of whom decided it would be much more fun, I guess, to wait at the next red light where I caught up to them roughly 13 seconds later.
I think that the removal of some stops signs on Q from 7 to First (1st) would be useful for us biking types. In case anyone was wondering what I think about the best way to stop at intersections, it's the following: come to a complete-ish stop about 5 feet before the intersection, then slowly inch forward. That's what I do at least. I like to stop before intersections (and especially before crosswalks) because it makes is less likely that I'll hit a crossing pedestrian and it seems more courteous to a pre-crossing pedestrian, who was yet to enter the street. I also like to stop in advance of the intersection, so it's abundantly clear to drivers on the perpendicular street that I am, in fact, coming to a stop. As always, please take this "advice" with a grain of salt.
And then the WABA Holiday Party happened and I met and met once more many people I had yet to meet or had met previously. I was also able to pass off some buttons. I will be mailing out the rest today and tomorrow, but I'd also like to announce (announce? sure) that next Tuesday, December 20th, I'll be at the Black Rooster from roughly 5:30 to 7:30. That's half-price hamburger night. If you'd like to swing by (on a vine like Tarzan, or in a more euphemistic sense) and pick up your previously ordered button or would like to purchase a button in person, I'd be happy to see you. Likewise, if you hate buttons, but just want to hang out and eat a half-price hamburger, that's cool too. I'll be the guy wearing the button. Look forward to maybe seeing some of you.
The ride home from Big Bear (the cafe, not the constellation) was shorter than I had anticipated, though not without it's rough patches. The roughest patch was the unexpected, by me at least, gravel parking lot for a block.
View Larger Map
Seriously? I mean, no one expects a gravel parking lot (or the Spanish Inquisition, but that's different). And secondly, THIS IS PRIME REAL ESTATE! It shouldn't be a parking lot. Someone really needs to use this land for something useful. If you have any idea why this is still parking and not developed, please let me know. Riding across the lot, I was grateful for my cyclocross bike, which seemed appropriate. Extreme commuting.
It was a quick ride down Mass, past Union Station, which, given the state of the roadway might have been worse than the gravel parking lot, and then past the some parks and home. I don't think I saw another bicyclist on the way home. It was after 10, but still.
Today was a captivating morning with beautiful weather and mild for winter temperatures and a kind of sunshine that made everything seem bronze. Especially things that were already bronze. Like the bronze medals of the 2004 men's Olympic basketball team, a team on which Chris Paul did not play (He was still in college).
Since I wanted to head back to Big Bear on the you-already-know-it-was--successful quest for my missing glove, I took Mass Ave from Lincoln Park in the direction of Union Station and then rode up 2nd NE before picking up the MBT at M street. Many other bicyclists out this morning and everyone seemed to be in a good mood. But perhaps, I'm just projecting.
I really love the Metropolitan Branch Trail and you should too. I'll love it even more when it's done and I'd love it the most if there was more stuff (non-industrial buildings) alongside it. I only rode it from M to R, which is roughly the approximate length of N-O-P-Q, or Nopq, a unit of measurement unique to the District of Columbia.
I was in and out of Big Bear pretty quickly, but I was there long enough to see that Eckington (UPDATE: Please see comments about my geographical wrongness and neighborhood controversies and whatever) is the place to be. All the cool kids might live here. And by cool kids, I mean the cool kids who wear fedoras to work. Maybe wingtips. It was trench coat, also. I'm always surprised when I see a black trench coat because I sort of though Jack Abramoff killed that look, except for clergymen.
Watched a guy on a Surly LHT consistently run stop signs against his best interest. I don't care if you don't stop (who fully stops?), but you should at least respect first-come, first-served or its right-of-way equivalent. Take turns.
I passed, as I pass everyday, the National Museum of American Jewish Military History. You might have missed that one when you came here in eighth grade. I've never been either.
Not much scarier than a taxi stopped at an intersection that you suspect is in reverse. I didn't stick around to find out.
I think I was smiling when I got to work. It was really a nice day. I hope the ride home is equally pleasant. Not more, just equally. Let's not get greedy.