Ride Home 12/7

This is your new reality now, I thought, about a block into my ride. It will be cold, it will be wet, it will be dark and it will be forever. No, I don't think I was being overly dramatic. Ok, maybe a little. But it's better to adjust to the situation regardless of how crummy it is rather than to deny it. While I'm not the world's biggest optimist, I also don't shit rainbows, so when it's bad, it's bad and I'm not going to deny it. Just muddle through.
And in the name of muddling through, I rode and I rode angrily. Not aggressively because, frankly, I don't have the braking power to ride aggressively, or illegally, because again, running lights isn't gonna make for good outcomes, but I rode angrily. And I'm loath to suggest that you adopt an angry stance when riding because it's not exactly productive and balanced or whatever, but in situations like tonight, where it's dark and rainy, it's not the worst stance you can take (though fear and anger are of the dark side and as someone who took/takes the lessons of Yoda seriously, so much so that once I'm pretty sure that I used the Force to help me win a game of miniature golf, it's worth keeping in mind that this stance is suboptimal). And here's what I mean by riding angrily: adopting an attitude of 'eff em'. Yeah, I'm taking the lane. Yeah, I'm gonna go as slowly as I need to go to keep myself safe. Yeah, I'm gonna be pissed when you're blocking the bike lane and I'll probably even glower at you when I pass. I'm not looking for trouble, but I don't want to take shit either. In crappy conditions, there's just less margin for error and I'd rather do the things I need to do to keep myself safe and if adopting a stance of "anger" is the thing that allows me to do them, then so be it. I'm not trying to be glum or negative, just telling you how I deal with it. No room for timidity.
The car traffic was tremendously bad downtown and the repercussions were felt far and wide, especially by me, even farther away on Mass Ave and Q Street. There's something about rain that makes drivers completely ignore the white paint of bike lanes and drive wherever they please. Not cool. But there's also not much you can do about it.
I decided to go a slightly different way from normal, turning on M from 11th and then riding down to 6th. I took 6th to Mass and then cut across on the sidewalk for a bit and eventually wended my way to DC's best bicycle shop, where I partook in the basketball challenge. 3 "basketball" shots for an opportunity to earn 15%. If you've ever seen me play basketball, you'll know that my "skillz" are a cross between those of a 3rd grader and those of an ocelot, which is to say, politely, under-developed. I got one basket and earned myself 5%, but I declined to purchase anything. I then proceeded to play, and then lose, a game of B-I-K-E. In my defense, the ball was a bicycle tube wrapped around something or other- maybe some foam? Anyway, it was great stopping there after riding in the rain and it considerably lifted my spirits for the rest of the ride home.
How come no one told me the construction on E Street was over and the bike lanes on both sides by the court houses are clear? Makes for a decent cross-downtown route now.
There was somewhere between 4 and 6 inches of water on Massachusetts Ave on the Stanton Park side of Union Station. That's crazy. And a serious drainage issue. And something that maybe shouldn't happen? I mean, it was raining hard, but not monsoon-like. Wow. I bailed to the sidewalk.
Pretty uneventful this rest of the way. Riding around Stanton Park is a bit tricky, but manageable. I'd really like it if there were bikes lanes from Union Station to and through the Park to where they pick back up. But, no rush.


  1. Hmm. If that's the definition of riding angry, I might do that most of the time. I consider it a banner day for me if I resist glowering at deserving drivers. I know, I'm working on it.

  2. On my evening rides, I have used my overpowered Mynewt Niterider (necessary for stretches of the MVT) as a lightsaber to help me glower at people doubleparked in the bike lane.

  3. I glower all the time, but not always from a place of anger or indignation. Mostly just to "keep them honest," the way a pitcher throws to first when there's a man on.

  4. In that analogy, only Josh Beckett or perhaps Pedro would also glower while doing that. Also Roger Clemens. Hmm, have I uncovered an anti-RedSox bias?

  5. Me having anti-Red Sox bias or drivers having anti-Red Sox bias?