Ride Home 1/13

There are very few better bike commutes than the one on a Friday afternoon. I mean, maybe you work uphill from a candy and beer factory and each ride in takes you past a field which contains beautiful flowers, ridiculously attractive people sunbathing and adorable baby puppies scampering, but most of us don't have that ride, so the one at the end of the week that takes us home for a couple or triple of days off is pretty much as good as it gets and that's pretty darn good. It's especially good when it comes at the end of a work week that could best be described as [expletive deleted]. So what if it's cold? And so what if it's windy? And who cares if packs of ravenous wolves are chasing you? Well, I mean, the last thing would be pretty bad. It would rather dampen my enthusiasm about biking home, actually- though it might make me faster. Wolfpack hustle and such. Nonetheless, I've never been chased by a pack of wolves, ravenous or not, so I barely even worry about that. Anyway.
I didn't wear my bike shoes today. I wore a pair on Vans. They're the closest things to slippers that aren't actually slippers that I can wear in public. I mean, when I'm not wearing slippers in public, which is also quite frequently. Though I've never worn slippers to work (when I biked there). I like the Vans because they slip on. Laces are for suckers. I'd like a bumper sticker that says "My other shoes are Chuck Taylors." It'd be factual, at least.
Ran the red at Massachusetts and Garfield. Only by a little.
I think the wind was at my back, or at least not at my front or at my side or beneath my wings, since I didn't especially notice it impeding me as I made my way home. I' feel myself fairly lucky in this regard. Wind is something I rarely think about in the context of my bike commute. I've never not ridden because it was too windy. But I guess it makes a difference, or at least it could make a difference, though it didn't seem to tonight. Maybe it's because I wasn't wearing my parachute pants.
Sometimes it's fun to ride on the sidewalk. But only for a little and only when you can use your sidewalk riding as a way to get around a long line of stopped cars. Although, ideally, I wouldn't. I just lack patience sometimes.
I think I rode behind someone on Q, but I can't remember any of the details. This morning, I rode behind two different people on Q. One was a guy on a Dutch style bike. The brand I didn't recognize, but there was definitely an umlaut or two on the downtube. The other was a woman on a blue bike and she had two u-locks dangling from opposite sides of her rear rack. It looked weird. It's funny how in America, United States thereof, we buy sporty bikes and then turn them into everyday boring commuter-style bikes by equipping them with after-market racks and fenders and baskets and whatever. I did it too.
I stop at pretty much the same lights every time I ride 11th. I find this soothing. Something about the daily rhythm of stop and start. For all of the variability of the commute (the bread and butter of this blog), it's the sameness of my ride home that I think I like the most. I love being able to know at what lights I'm going to be able to check my phone if I need to. Or adjust a glove. Or just take a break.
E Street makes a curious diversion. I mean, it was fine. While I was riding it, I styled myself the "E Street Bandit" because I felt I was riding bandit-y. I don't know what that means.
Sometimes it's an excellent idea to stop for a beer on the way home, especially when friends are happy hour-ing at a place near your route. Stop in, take a drink, hang out a bit and head on home. Well worth it.  This was around Union Station. The street around there is a DISASTER. I'm fairly certain that they use it to test lunar rovers or something because it's just that craggy and pocked. Go ride it. Seriously.
And then it was more or less a straight shot home. I rode behind a woman who didn't have lights on her bike and I wanted to say something, but didn't. You hear a lot about women being an "indicator species" for bicycling and being "risk averse" and whatever, but I wonder if the percentage of lightless woman bicyclists equals that of men bicyclists. I bet it does. I don't know why.
No commutes until Tuesday. Signing off, TFTS.

1 comment:

  1. Bars are tempting--every time I pass one on the way home, wherever I happen to be, I want to stop in. Beer and warmth can sound far more alluring than a hard saddle and biting winds.

    I rode to Union Station this morning and I passed a woman angrily shrieking to herself about how she was going to kill someone--it was scary. Between the terrifying roads and colorful characters, it's a fun place to be.