Ride Home 1/10

Some days your legs just want to ride home. And it's good that my legs remain attached to me because the rest of me really wanted to go home too. It was a long day and I was looking forward to the ride, so much so that I didn't bother changing. Here's a tip: untuck your dress shirt. Otherwise, it gets all gross. I'm sure everyone who wears normal people clothes already knows this, but I'm relatively new to the normal people clothes game, opting most days for changing clothes. For what it's worth, and it's worth very little, I'm entirely ambivalent to questions about clothes, helmets, tire width, frame materials and I have strong opinions about lights (yes), pizza (yes, aplenty), shoaling (no), bells (yes, but use judiciously), and fenders (pretty much always). Anything else not covered, my answer is a shrug and pretending not to hear the question.
I saw two bumper stickers on cars driving on Mass. The first was "Pray for the Morons." The second was "I speak jellyfish."
There are certain times when you can tell that a driver you're biking alongside of is not paying attention and likely to do something stupid. Most of the time you can see the cell phone pressed up to his ear. This guy was driving a truck and the truck was dragging a trailer that carried one of those highway road signs used to indicate that drivers ought to change lanes due to some crash or roadwork. For only a little, I was riding in his blindspot, but I thought better of it and dropped back. When a driver in front of him stopped to reverse into a parking spot (ban parallel parking!), he started honking his horn and pulled into the bike lane, even though there wasn't nearly enough room to pass. He left enough room for me to ride by and I turned my head, shot him a glare, and sort yelled, but maybe just mouthed, "Heyyyyy, Watch the fffff'out." Jerks are jerks. At the next intersection, I rode to the far side of the crosswalk and didn't bother looking back, even though I knew he was behind me. I don't have a taste for confrontation. I do have a taste for pizza (see above).
I almost always "jump the queue" at the intersection of 11th and New York. Sometimes I cut between the stopped cars. Today, for the first time, I rode, illegally, on the sidewalk for 30 feet. I think it's worth it, since 11th below Mass doesn't have bike lanes and I prefer to put myself well ahead of the oncoming car (and bus) traffic rather set myself up for potential right hooks at H, G, F, or E. Or get stuck behind a bus at one of the bus stops along that stretch, even though that happens a lot anyway.
Lightless bikes on Pennsylvania. Good thing I (now) pray for morons.
I saw the couple with the Xtracycle and the kid trailer bike (I think I've mentioned them before) by the Capitol reflecting pool. I think that she drags the kid and he carries the kid's stuff. I don't know what that means, in terms of feminism or anything else.
I think it's rude to pass a bicyclist when he's stopped at the red light. I think it's ruder when that bicyclist is me, but I'm biased in that regard. It's also dumb when the light is going to change in two seconds anyway. And it's just plain dumb when you're just going to have to stop and wait at the next red light anyway. General rule of thumb: when stopped, defer to the person in front of you. General rule of index finger: don't point it/use for indexing only.
Jaywalkers! Do it better. Saw some guy who sort of stopped midway and then changed directions to a different corner entirely. Unless he wasn't jaywalking at all and running a route in a flag football game I didn't know was happening. If so, he totally shook the CB.
There might not be blogging tomorrow. Work [frowning emoticon]. But I'll be back (I think) on Thursday [smiling emoticon].


  1. With respect to queue hopping. I don't think it is wrong. I assume that the right 24-36 inches of every street is a bike lane, the city may not have gotten around to striping it yet, that's all. I ride up to the front of most intersections as if I were riding in my own lane. This practice only becomes difficult if there is a dedicated right hand turn lane or parked cars. Cars can't park within about 30 feet of intersections so car doors don't pose too much threat, and when there is a right hand turn lane I try to stay in the left 24-36 inches of this lane (since this is consistent with how turn lanes coexist with bike lanes normally.) Lastly I rarely queue hop if both the travel lane and turn lane are backed up since the turn lane may start moving unexpectedly, and they tend not to be looking for bikes.

  2. Jumpng the qeueueue is a toughie. I usually don't, but not always.It kinda dependes on whether I think traffic will be going fast after the light or not. If it will be, I tend not to, since I'll have just passed (and possibly pissed) the cars that are about to pass me.

  3. In general, I jump the queue if it increases my safety, and if I'm not likely to be passed right away by all the cars I just got in front of. I'm not going to get into one of those "cars pass while moving, cyclist passes at light" cycles that just piss people off. If I'm going to get passed again right away, I usually just take the lane like a car. That mostly seems to work out well.