Ride In 12/7

Some housekeeping:
- Buttons sales are going swimmingly. I've nearly hit the break-even point, meaning that soon each dollar spent on buttons (or ride blogging? any takers?) will go entirely to WABA. And this only after a day of sales. Amazing. For those of you who have purchased a button (or buttons), my sincerest thanks. For those of you who have purhcased buttons and then used social media to promote that fact, I offer my sincerest-er (the rare superlative-r distinction). And for those of you who have yet to purchase buttons, fear not. In addition to selling the buttons through www.manfredmacx.com, in the coming weeks, I will be holding an "event" in a "bar" where you can pay "cash money" and leave with your own button that very day. You might also be able to "partake" of some "libations" at which point you can over-imbibe and "question", perhaps "belligerently," my "overuse" of quotation marks. Details will be forthcoming as soon as I make them up. This "event" will also be a chance for you to hobnob with other blog readers/bike commuters and I look forward to meeting you all.
- One other thing from yesteday's comments. For the twitterati among you, please be aware of the new @helpbikeDC, your one-stop-shop for #bikeDC kvetching. Include @helpbikeDC on any bike-related issue (detritus in bike lane? penguins in the cycle track? whatever) and she'll do her best to notify the powers that be. I think that this can be a useful tool in highlighting issues that bicyclists face. It's good to document these kinds of things and you know, the squeaky wheel and whatnot.
But what about my own bicycle ride? Well, it was wet. It started wet and it ended wet and featured a lot of wet in between. Most of the wet came from the sky, but some of the wet came from the ground after having previously come from the sky or perhaps from one of the hilarious practical jokes where someone puts a bucket of water on top of an ajar door, but probably not that because frequently those buckets of "water" are actually just full of confetti and I didn't notice much confetti on the roadway. I also didn't notice many other bicyclists about. In my eight miles (I'm the Eminem of bike commuters. Or decidedly not) of riding, I counted 17 other people on bikes. That's low, but not surprising. Nothing like rain to dampen the spirits (and clothes) of city cyclists. Were it 10 degrees colder, I doubt that I would've counted more than single digits. Because it'd be too cold and wet and I'd be too miserable to count.
On days like this, I've taken to packing a second set of bike clothes to wear on the way home. I figure that I've got space in my bag, so why not? It's not like the extra weight of another shirt is going to be the difference between me and maillot jaune. Because there is no maillot jaune in bike commuting. It's not a race. But if it were a race, I could tell you that I made it from Lincoln Park to Ward Circle in the same amount of time as the powder blue VW bug with the Georgetown University (hoya saxa) license plate holder. Of course, the driver arrived considerably drier, but I didn't wear down my windshield wiper blades, so I'd call it a tie.
Architectural Testing. One of your vans was blocking the 15th street cycle track. I'm going to have to boycott you and that's a real shame because I had a ton of safety glazing to do and now I'm going to look elsewhere. I would've taken a picture, but it was rainy enough to have to put my phone in my bag rather than carry it in my back pocket.
Good spot for jaywheeling: R street between 20th and Connecticut. (I'm working on a compilation DVD called "Great Moments in Jaywheeling" and maybe I can get the voice-over guy from NFL films to narrate. "On the frozen tundra of the West End, one man...")
I don't think the Iraqi ambassador is home. There's three newspapers out in front of the embassy gate strewn about the sidewalk. Also, that stuff is online (and probably for free), so you might want to think about cancelling your subscription. Just a suggestion.
Once again, I'd just like to remind everyone that lights and fenders are pretty great. That is all. Also, buttons are great too and just as utilitarian. Let's say you needed to, um, poke a really small hole in some fabric or maybe make one of those things that you use to look at a solar eclipse or lance a boil on a very small animal or trade a bauble to some natives for some reason, maybe for their land...? Or just for decoration and to get some money to a genuinely worthy organization. Either way.


  1. As much as I love bike-commuting, I am not sad today that I'm working (if you can call it that) at home with my elder daughter who isn't in school because of parent-teacher conferences. As much as I love bike-commuting, it pales in comparison with lunch at Lou's with half-price Two Hearted drafts.

    When you do the button-selling bar event, I definitely want to be involved.

  2. Yesterday I thought about donating at the "TFTS blogs my ride" level. Good thing I didn't (yet) - especially if we had decided to ride together today because I actually had to do my commute twice on the way to work. (I forgot my change of clothes and didn't notice until I was block from the end of my 4-mile commute... I'm only half the commuter that you are, but I'm going to be twice as wet since I didn't pack a dry set for the ride home).

    I saw Architectural Testing on Phase 2 of my commute this morning (the ride back home). I asked the driver if he was going to move out of the lane. He looked confused. Then I showed him how all the other cars on 15th park outside of the pylons. He still looked confused. Then I noticed that he had a Pennsylvania license plate, so I told him that I used to live in Philly and I know his frame of reference for the "parkability" of bike lanes. He laughed knowingly. We had a moment. It was cute. "So I can park anywhere - just as long as it's outside the bike lane?" "Yup".

    On Phase 3 of my commute he had moved the van to the outside of the pylons - smack between two "no parking" signs. You can lead a horse to water...

  3. @Jon- Bike commuting is pretty great, but kicking it at home and two beers with lunch is pretty damn awesome.
    @Kyle- Double the commute, double the fun? Maybe not so much, I guess. I've never forgotten a whole change of clothes, though I forget my socks about once a week, but I can normally soldier through that. I'm glad you said something to Architectural Testing and I'm glad he figured out what to do, even if it was in something less than legal. I'm still not going to patronize their business, but mostly because I have absolutely no need.

  4. Alas, 9/26/84. (For those of us who take things "literally.")


    I love rain deluges. They make me feel like a complete badass for braving the elements.

  6. @BW- No point in going forward with the movie then.
    @ultrarunnergirl- BUTTON HAPPY HOUR indeed. Because people don't have enough awkward social obligations in their life already. Though I suppose this one would be voluntary, so that's good. Rain riding, if you can muster the swagger, can indeed make you feel like a badass. But it can also just make you feel wet.

  7. Brian: Minor correction to your response to Jon about something for which I care deeply -- Two Hearted is the name of a beer. I currently have Bells Two Hearted Ale in my basement kegerator (best wedding present ever and quite an enhancement to the life of a parent). Jon may have had two of them...in fact, he'd be irrational not to have two at that discount level (Jon, where is this Lou's?), but it's not a certainty.

  8. @J.T Comments like these just prove that I have the best readers/commenters on the whole internet. Jon, we need to know about the exact number of beers for lunch. I see "drafts," we'd like confirmation. Also, more details on Lou's.

  9. I had three Two Hearted drafts. "Lou's" is Lou's City Bar (http://www.louscitybar.com/), about 50 feet from Columbia Heights Metro. Every Wednesday is half-price drafts all day.

  10. Lou's looks great. I will remember that next time I find myself not working on a Wednesday.

  11. I'm behind on the blogroll.

    Thanks for the @helpbikedc shoutout. I hope it'll be somewhat helpful.

    Wednesday morning multiple people saw my helmet and expressed surprise at my dryness. Raingear! It's miraculous! Also, I spent the day at the White House, but didn't get to use the secret Bikeshare. Lame.