Last night I rode from work to the Black Rooster for the first-ever (and maybe only?) Tales From The Sharrows Happy Hour/Button sales. The bar was packed and I didn't have time to talk to everyone there. Admittedly, most of the people weren't there to talk to me, so I guess that was ok. I do want to thank those who did find time in their busy schedules and days of massive productivity to attend. I had a great time. To get to the Rooster, I took Mass to 21st, which is a perfectly adequate street except for the stop signs at each intersection and the too much car traffic. I'm of the opinion that you could fit a bike lane on it, at least to New Hampshire, since it's only one way, but to the best of my knowledge, decisions about where to place bike lanes aren't based on my opinions. At least not yet. Once the readership hits double digits, then I'll have some real weight to throw around.
I'm going to interrupt this "narrative" to highlight a comment that was just made on yesterday's post:
George Wells George Wells makes a really great point and I'm glad that he (?) took the time to write. It's piquant and topical, which is more than I can say for any comment I've ever left on a blog. Or any post I've ever written. Anyway.
Post meet-up, I decided to ride home without my jacket and the weather was warm enough to be bracingly cold and no warmer. I took L across to 15th (riding on the right side, as makes the most sense) and then 15th down to the White House to 15th to Penn to East Capitol. There was a police car, empty, parked in the middle of the Penn bike lanes. Keeping us safe, maybe? Very few other cyclists out, even though it was only 7:30ish.
Riding up the path next to the Capitol, I chanced upon a group of dawling tweens, pursued by a disgruntled dad, who somehow got roped into taking dawdly tweens to the Capitol for some reason. Perhaps it was tourism, perhaps it was part of his court-ordered community service. I don't know. In any case, I'm slowly making my way uphill, quite aware that a tween is about 15 feet in front of me, when disgruntled dad, in a tone of voice that's probably far too familiar to the parents of 11 year olds, booms "Watch out for the bike, Courtney." He wasn't being sarcastic, though the exasperation with which he said her name, it sounded like it . And he's the thing, disgruntled dad: it's not the bike that she should be watching out for. It's the bicyclist. You see, I'm a person and I can hear you. And it's very awkward. Because you're like 4 feet from me. And seriously, I'm not going to ride my bike into your dawdly tween. Because I'm an adult and fully capable of operating this vehicle. I really don't need your child to flee in order to successfully pass.
Warm enough to draw out zombie joggers. Where do all the zombie joggers do when it's cold? Treadmills? Or are the zombies all fair-weather zombies? I DO NOT UNDERSTAND YOUR CULTURE.
One more thing about buttons. If you want a button before Christmas, and really, you should because they're awesome, you should order them (through manfredmacx.com) today. Here's the Chasing Mailboxes post my button delivery. It links back to my post about the button delivery. We're on some kind of #bikeDC Mobius strip.
I'm working a half-day today, so I decided not to bother with the bike clothes this morning, since half-days, as well as know, means jeans for some reason. I got off to a late start, but the roads were mostly empty and the ride in was exorbitantly easy. It was one of those ride that reminds me how stress-free my commute actually is, in spite of all the little things that can seem annoying. I think my favorite part of it is that the marginal cost of biking to work is $0 and I never feel ripped off, the way I might had a paid for a metro ride where the trains wheels fell off or whatever, or for gas to burn while idling in car traffic. Exercise and "greenness" are great, but it's the value that I think I most enjoy.
Since I left later than usual, there were fewer bicyclists out. And way more pedestrians. And way more oblivious pedestrians standing in the middle of bike lanes. I think the earlier crew, perhaps because the lanes are much more occupied by bicyclists, knows to be more aware. But such is life.
Knowing exactly how quickly you have to pedal in order to make a light and pedaling absolutely no faster than that is one of my favorite morning commute rituals. And afternoon commute rituals. You have to make your own fun. Or redefine fun as it suits your needs.
I'm thinking about writing a letter to DCPS about Ross Elementary School and its terrible parking/drop-off situation. The double parking creates a hazard for bicyclists and it's not like that part of town is dripping with other bicycle lanes that I could take. Sternly worded letters, as we all know, are the most effective thing any citizen can ever do about anything. Aside from blog posts.
It didn't rain on the way in and I'm hoping I can make it home without facing any rain. I'm going to do that now, which might be the first ever time I'm going directly from blog post to ride. Epic.