Some good news. A Nigerian price just emailed me and he wants to buy like 15 "blogs + sandwiches" and all I need to do is transfer him the button money for admin fees. WABA is so lucky! I just wonder how I'm going to get to Lagos. Somewhat related, in that it relates to the button sales, I've decided that there should be a closing date on this whole thing and the closing date for any purchases from Tales From The Sharrows at manfredmacx.com will be December 31, 2011. So, you've got the rest of the year to buy buttons, blog posts, blog posts + sandwiches, and/or the bound copy of TFTS (but seriously don't buy this last thing). Thereafter any monies made from the sale of Tales From The Sharrows merchandise, as well as the use of my likeness in the forthcoming Veggie Tales From The Sharrows kids movie will go to me and I will spend it as I see fit, but mostly towards the maintaining my lavish bike commuting lifestyle.The buttons should be arriving on Tuesday and I'll get them in the mail soon thereafter. If you've ordered a button and would prefer to pick it up in person (and receive complimentary handshake and photograph), please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know. I'll be holding some kind of BUTTON HAPPY HOUR/TWEETUP on a yet to be determined date (but probably early in the week of December 19th) at yet to be determined downtown bar. If you say that you'll pick it up in person and then you can't come, it's no big deal and I'll just mail it the day after. Maybe with a hand-written note written on the back of a coaster I picked up the night before.
Only one bike in the Lincoln Park bikeshare station this morning. Back to normal. I must have left a little earlier than usual since the rebalancing van is normally there when I ride by. I left earlier than normal in spite of again leaving the house while still wearing my slippers. Attention bicycle shops: clipless slippers! For the recluse looking for just a little bit more ease in his upstroke.The slippers go quite well with the wispy beard I've been growing, though to describe my facial hair as wispy is an insult to wispiness. The beard has mostly come about through inaction, namely the action of shaving, but I might keep it going for a while as a "playoff' beard since winter riding is the closest thing to the playoffs of year-round bike commuting.
I rode behind a gentleman on East Capitol who was riding a fancy, to my eye, hydraulic-braked mountain bike that would be unfit for city commuting except that we had to detour from the road at 2nd Street since the security barriers were up and he rode across the patch of muddy grass between the ramp and sidewalk. It was like a Mountain Dew commercial. He achieved separation, whereas I achieved anxiety, near the base of Capitol Hill when he managed to pass a zombie jogger running with her dog, slack on an eight foot leash while I held up to avoid the pooch. By the time I got to Pennsylvania, he was already gone. I did pass him a few blocks later when he stopped at the behest of some tourists. They asked him to take a picture of them (standing in the bike lane) with the Capitol dome in the background. Brazen..
When I pass another cyclist traveling in the same direction on Pennsylvania, I cross into the opposite direction bike lane. This seems kosher, right?
If you're the guy who takes off as fast as he can when the light turns green so you can assert your dominance over the other bicyclists heading south on 15th, let me tell you a little secret: no one thinks you're cool. In fact, people are probably calling you a douchebag under their breath. Riding fast? Yeah, I get that. But pedaling like a maniac from a dead stop just so you can get past some old lady? First rule of public space: you're constantly being judged.
There's a consignment shop in Dupont Circle called Secondi. I know that I like to buy my clothes from places that share their name with Italian meat courses. Though the name, does lend a bit of classiness to the operation, like all things vaguely Italian, including the Olive Garden. I've learned this lesson and that's why I'm opening up my own consignment shop, Primi, dedicated to used-clothes for babies who didn't make it all the way to term. (Had to go a long way to get there, but I think it was worth it, which I don't think has ever been said about a trip to the Olive Garden. Except Yglesias)
Then the long, boring climb up Mass Ave happened. I'm guessing it's still better than the long, boring idling in traffic that drivers in the other direction face each morning. At least I'm moving forward. And since I too bring coffee in a mug (if you don't put it in hot, it doesn't get warmer along the way. I learned this about my thermos) and because I can basically mumble-sing any song that I'd want to hear on the radio anyway, I think I have the much better deal.
I'm hesitant to suggest that you listen to my suggestions, but I recommend that you don't try to cross Wisconsin at Mass if the pedestrian crosswalk is already flashing red single digit numbers. Only because I see drivers make the right turn without looking and at speeds that would make it unlikely that they could stop in time. Unlike other intersections nearby, there's also no prohibition there against rights on red, so be extra careful about stepping off the curb. Or be Iron Man (not Ironman) because then you could probably deal with the impact.