Guest Post: Lauren Takes TFTS Global, Returns to DC, Rides Home

Sometimes I can't blog, so I outsource these posts to you all. I do this because I feel guilty and can't sleep at night if there aren't two posts a day. My doctor calls it "blogger's brain" and I think he's trying to get my condition published in a medical journal of some renown. Anyway, thanks to Lauren. Follow her on twitter at @lkono if you like awesome tweets, mostly about biking. (Her text and photos, my asinine captions. Sorry)

Tales From The Sharrows International

I was fortunate enough to pick up my #TFTS Button on my way home for Christmas, so I took it on a #TFTSGlobal journey.
Gluhwein ftw.
It went to Christmas markets.

Les sharrows
Rode on French Sharrows and in Swiss protected lanes

Protected, perhaps by button-power, which isn't a thing
It crossed borders in pursuit of wine
...and looked for Africa after some mountain biking in Fuerteventura
Africa's thataway man.
Finally the Button found London's @thebikehouse
Ye Olde Jolly Goode Bikehouse, guv'nor
...and was fortunate enough to meet Big Sean

Big Sean. Button to scale. 
Now Button is back home in DC and commuting regularly.

Hometown obelisk. 

Ride Home: 1/30/12
Rosslyn to Mt. Vernon Sq.

I ride a folding bike, so today's ride home started like most: with people in the elevator mistaking my bike for luggage and wishing me safe travels. I'm not allowed to bring my bike into my office building, so I put it in a duffle bag. It looks like this:

I dinged my way across the Key Bridge to questionable effectiveness (so many headphones!) and then stopped to run an errand on M Street in Georgetown. Bike parking in Georgetown is abysmal. As in, there aren't even signs or parking meters to appropriate. I suppose it's because the sidewalks are already too narrow for even the pedestrians, but I would think they might be able to squeeze in a staple rack per block where the parking meters used to be. For this reason, I usually I try to only run Georgetown errands on Bikeshare days, but today it couldn't be helped.

Heading down M towards Penn/L St, I almost got hooked by a left-turning car with a triathlon sticker. You would think triathletes would be super aware of bikers, pedestrians AND swimmers in the streets. Especially when I'm lit up like a Christmas tree with all my lights and reflective strips. I guess to some triathletes cars I'm still just a surprise mouse squeaking by.

While waiting at the crosswalk in the left turn lane to get from M/Pennsylvania to L Street, a tiny, adorable puppy adorably tried to climb into my pannier. I told his owner he could come, but she said no.

A lot of people seem surprised that I take M and L across town every day, but really they're relatively easy to bike on (as streets without bike lanes go). During rush hour when the right lane is transitioning from parking to driving, cars tend to avoid it and I often get it all to myself. Even when there are cars there, the road is fairly overbuilt, so there's a decent amount of space. That doesn't mean I'm not counting down the days until the fabled M/L Street bike lanes/cycle tracks come true. This also probably means that I've become one of a hardy bunch of inadvertent elitists.

I saw another Dahon at L and Connecticut. It was white and pretty and new looking. I think it was a Mu, and I was jealous. Dahon owners are like Wrangler owners, so it's always a friendly, pleasant surprise to pass one.

Even though I live on L Street, because of the ludicrousness that is L Street reversing one-way direction for one block, I get to enjoy the harrowing excitement of Massachusetts to New York Ave for 3 blocks. Last week I learned @Nikki_D also shares this joy. When I'm on bike/my feet/public transport I often run into people I know and the city feels small and nice and friendly. When I'm in a car I feel overwhelmed by the fact that I don't know any radio stations or how to work the A/C.

Then I got home, folded up my bike again, and tucked it in under the side table by the couch where it sleeps at night. I don't have a poodle to post gratuitous photos of, so here's a picture of the dog I had growing up.


  1. Awesome post, Lauren! Love the global photos.

  2. Great post, Lauren. Keep flying the Friendly Skies.

  3. Well that was a quick answer. I spotted a TFTS button on the bag of a Dahon on Mass@10th NW last night and wondered if I'd ever figure out who was riding it. Now I know...

    1. Make sure you say hello next time!

    2. Will do. Usually I'm not behind a windshield in a car full of skis & people.

  4. Wow, your dog looks just like this one after it was stung on the nose by a bee! http://www.reddit.com/tb/pdstm

    1. Poor Mason! I think half the reason I adopted him was because he was so ugly.