Ride Home 1/17

My bike clothes were still wet. I neglected to change. I suppose I could have changed socks, since I somehow managed to bring an extra pair, a pair of off-white wooly ones at that, but I didn't bother. I wore my yellow jacket and my bike shoes and I didn't put on my gloves and hat because they were still wet and unnecessary respectively. With my yellow jacket and black pants, I felt like a bumblebee. When I was 8, our arch-rival in-town soccer team was the Stingers. I kid you not- they were coached by a man named Buzz.
I've been having some issues with my front light. I think it might be waterlogged or maybe possessed by some demon, but probably the former. The on/off button doesn't seem to work consistently. In either case, I'm summoning an exorcist or electrician or maybe not doing anything because it'll probably sort itself out eventually.
I know that when you move states, you have to get your car retitled. What I don't know is when a driver gets entitled. It's a lounge chair with a window. How hard is driving, really?
Cross-wind had a way of slowing me down. I felt like a caravel in the doldrums. Pretty slow going in a lot of places where I normally go (relatively) fast.
My brakes continue to squeak. What kind of noises do disc brakes make? Soothing whale sounds, maybe? No sound at all? I don't know if I screwed up in placing the pads when I replaced them or if it's just the consistent lack of cleaning them, but the squeaking seems to be getting worse. I'm losing my street cred (Note: I have little to no actual street cred).
I spent a good deal of the ride home singing/mumbling/whistling Christmas songs. That's weird/belated. Sometimes when riding, I forget that I'm part of a much larger ecosystem, in which people can observe/deride me. But, really, who cares? If you want to be self-conscious, don't ride a bike. If you really want to be self-conscious, blog your bike commute.
There's a giant hole on 11th and L (not that L, the other L). It's mostly filled-in, but I wouldn't want to ride into it. The results could be disastrous. I can't imagine it'd be much better for drivers. Someone should complain.
I probably don't share with you as much about 11th as I should. Or at least could. It's someone between two and three lanes wide, at least below (south of) Massachusetts, where it gets interesting. It has no bike lanes. It does have a number of places where cars empty out of parking garages. And bus stops. It has some of those. Each day is a sprint and I bus my hump to get through the lights as quickly as I can. Why? I dunno, I just do. I take the right lane, but not the right turn lane. It generally seems to work out. There's an H & M that I pass. Also, a non-branded hotel. Sometimes, like tonight, I jump the light at the intersection with E, where I move left into the turn lane, which I normally skirt in order to turn left into the bike lane on Pennsylvania. So, that's 11th.
At the intersection of Penn and 7th, the bicyclist behind me told me that I didn't have my helmet light on. I said thanks and turned it on. Thanks. She seemed nice, but I didn't know what else to talk about. "So, bike lights, huh?" just doesn't seem like much of a conversation-continuer.
I guess they were #occupyingcongress tonight. It seemed rather calm. Unless of course, acoustic guitar is the MUSIC OF RAGE, but I'm pretty sure it's not. Tons of police out, including bicycle police. I've seen police, in Budapest in 2006, spoiling to crack some heads concerning an anti-government protest. I can assure you that this wasn't the case. Everyone seemed rather polite, including the officer who told me to not ride up the sidepath where I normally ride. I asked him "in the street?" and he said "sidewalk." He must not know the law.
I took Constitution up and it was fine. At the other side of the Capitol, I rode back onto the grounds and then back to East Capitol. No protestors up there. Just a few people walking home. No one on bikes. Some guy taking a picture of the dome. The same picture that everyone who takes a picture of the dome takes.
I took a brief sojourn to Port City Java to pick up coffee. We basically ran out of beans this morning and had to use a "light roast" brought back to us from one of the Official Wife's Peace Corps coworkers. It tasted like [a liquid that isn't tasty]. Inside, some Russians were sitting at a table, talking about real estate, or so I guessed based on the floorplans one of them was holding. I'd love to know what kind of real estate in DC appeals to Russians.
From there, it was a straight shot up North Carolina Ave to the park and then not much further home. When I got home, I discovered POODLE MAYHEM, which consists mostly of ripped-up tissues and clothes removed from the hamper and strewn about the bedroom. This is what passes for excitement in my non-bike commuter life. I can't say that I mind.


  1. "It's a lounge chair with a window."

    I liked that line. Was thinking about it as I was sailing to work today (had the wind behind me on the MVT to Old Town). It raised the question in my mind -- is a recumbent a lounge chair without a window?

  2. That's a good point re: recumbents. I'd say they're more of lawn chairs with windows, but I don't know how plush the seats are.