Ride Home 12/6

I feel a little bad about sloughing off the details from this morning's ride and instead using the post to hock hawk buttons (Related note: BUTTONS!) . I made you all a promise many moons ago that, by the power of Grayskull, I would do my best to accurate report banal minutia irreverent observations from each ride to and from work and I didn't do that and I apologize. To redress this, let me tell you about the Bentley I saw this morning. A Bentley is the kind of car that I thought came with a chauffeur, but this didn't appear to be the case. I know that I've seen bigger, that is to say cars that take up more space, but there was something about this car that made it seem so much bigger than any other automobile I've ever seen. The idea that I'm asked to "share the road" with it seems positively absurd.
And now, tonight. It rained the rain, but it wasn't cold. If you live in a drought-stricken area and would like immediate relief, just tell me to clean my bike and have me ride through. Without fail, every time I clean and lube my chain, it rains within 48 hours. Un-frickin-believable.
I left a little bit earlier than usual and accordingly, the roads were less crowded. I'd have a great commute if I didn't have to go to work at all. A bit boring though and harder (but not impossible!) to blog.
Occasionally drivers have to parallel park and this blocks the bike lane. Time to write a letter to the editor to call for the immediate ban of parallel parking. It slightly inconveniences me, which I'm fairly certain means that it should be made illegal. I mean, don't get me wrong. Sometimes I parallel park on the weekends. But parallel parking isn't really conducive to the evening commute. And furthermore, why can't they just parallel park in parking lots? They don't have to do it in the streets where normal people are trying to get home. Are urban parallel parkers just elite snobs? Shouldn't they think about how their parallel parking makes everyone think about other drivers, the ones who don't block traffic trying to back into a space?
Sometimes I do stupid things at the same time drivers of luxury cars also do stupid things. Maybe we should both just apologize.
Neologism (we should really come up with a new word for that) alert: can we settle on jaywheeling for the process by which a bicyclist "runs" a red light after stopping and making sure the intersection is clear? I sincerely doubt that it's my own coinage, but I'm going to champion this word and the 14 of you who read this blog can (and should) start using it too. Let's totally screw with the Google Alert results for some poor guy named Jay Wheeling.
Did you know that Congress has its own Christmas tree? Yeah, that's right. They were lighting it when I rode by. I took some pictures, but they're so piss poor that I won't post them here. If you'd like to get a sense of what they're like, take a black piece of construction paper, poke a few holes in it and then gouge your eyes out with a spoon because all you would see in the picture is total darkness. Automatic flash, yeah right.
Maybe there should be a twitter feed for bike lane problems. Not like blocked bike lanes, but bike lanes full of leaves or glass (Leaves of Glass was a less successful Whitman work). Maybe something like @DCBikeLane911. It'd be like @StruckDC or @fixwmata in that it'd be any all-in-one place to report bike lane problems. If anyone wants to take this idea and run with it, please do.


  1. Inspired by tonight's meeting/this blog post:

    Will work on refining it tomorrow.

  2. First off, I'm totally ordering a button.

    Second, I've decided to blog my ride in a blog comment...

    So the Secret Service was forcing everyone onto the north sidewalk of the plaza in front of the Whire House...motorcade coming in or something, but it was the first time I've been subjected to that. Given the amount of activity, I can't imagine how much money goes into just moving people into and out of the White House. USSS also blocking the cycle track this morning and on the way back, and a Park Police cruiser sitting in the Penn bike lane...Glad our city-funded commuting infrastructure is able to meet the Feds' parking needs.

    So I've decided that the most passive-aggressive thing one cyclist can do to another is bitch about the other's headlights while passing from the opposite direction...usually comes across as "ijnefjinfeijnLIGHTInijnfjn........". Guy yelled at me on the CCT tonight, think he said "block your headlight" as I was using my hiking headlamp, since the CCT is dark as sin. Sorry dude, but it's not that bright and you can just not stare directly at it if it bothers you...I turned my head (no cough though) to avoid shining it in his eyes, so I think he was just a light nazi...I wonder how light nazis and ninjas bikers get along...good thing I didn't block my light because I almost ran over some dark business attire wearing dude randomly standing in the middle of the path, immediately after I got yelled at.

  3. Ordered my button! Can't wait to show it off.
    BEST RANT EVER (well, this week anyway) on parallel parkers.

  4. @MM--your headlights really do make it hard for other cyclists to see, even if they aren't looking directly or even near your light. Please believe me. I often travel on the CCT in the downhill direction at night and it is absolutely hellish (because most of the traffic is in the other direction, and everybody's lights are super bright). As I have been trained in driving on the road, I try to keep my eyes to the right side of the trail when blinded by oncoming riders, but it doesn't work. I nearly plowed into a couple of walkers who were just beyond a point where a bright rider passed me.

    However, I avoid yelling at other bikers, because I know it won't be taken the right way, even if you can hear me. Please consider muffling your light in some way when a biker is approaching you. THanks!