Ride Home 1/18

Long time readers of the blog, or those who happened to just randomly have read Ride Home 8/4, will know that sometimes I blog with the Lifetime television show Dance Moms playing in the background. Please comment if you have any insight/theories on Dance Moms. I lack them.
Colder than I wanted it to be on the ride home. I guess the wind was at my back, though.
What's the deal with some people (in this case, drivers) thinking that they can "outsmart" the system? I see this mostly with lane changes. I don't really get it. I can't tell you the number of times I've ended up in front of drivers who I previously watched weave in and out of different lanes, as if there's some secret formula to getting home faster than only lateral movement can solve. I don't get it.
At the intersection of Mass and Florida and 22nd and 22nd (yes, there are two of them, sort of), what I do is briefly ride on the sidewalk, across the crosswalk and then wait at the light at Q. This is pretty much what I do every day, mostly because I don't feel like waiting to left turn at a full stop. It's my little gift to drivers. You're welcome. Anyway, I did this today and found myself in front of two bicyclists who were already waiting at the light, but behind the crosswalk where I crossed. I'm a fan of falling in line behind bicyclists who've already arrived (maybe from deference, maybe because I overlearned the lessons of first grade and line leaders), but the geography here doesn't make sense, so I ended up in front of them. One decided to shoal me and I guess that's ok.
Read this if you like good bikeshare data analysis. Does anyone have a good explanation for the "afternoon surge"?
Some of the most jaywalky pedestrians are at the intersection of Q and Connecticut, circa Circa. Bike blind, too. Every single day at least one of them sees that no car is immediately bearing down on him or her and decides that in spite of impending arrival of me on a bicycle, that there's no reason to stop crossing. And this is normally after a brief pause, a moment of recognition that's immediately dismissed. It makes me feel small. It hurts my feelings. (Ok, not really, but it's annoying) As a result, I almost never make the light at 19th and then I have to wait light a normal light-waiting rube.
My favorite Lawrence brother is Scoff Lawrence. That's apropos of nothing. I'm confident that at least four of the nine of you who read have stopped and are currently in a different browser window (or TAB!) removing me from your RSS. Whoa.
I wanted to take a detour and visit DC's (if not America's) favorite bike shop, BicycleSpace, to look at some Konas, and maybe even one with disc brakes. I was planning on taking a picture of my favorite one and then putting it to a reader vote about whether I should get it or whether I should get it. But I pretty much turned on auto-pilot (note: bike doesn't actually have auto-pilot) and ended up and 11th and then Pennsylvania and I figured I would go another time.
Ran the red and Penn and 7th. My excuse was being distracted by some pedestrians who looked like they were about to dangerously walk into traffic. My bad.
I try to make it a point to ride in bike lanes. I know that a lot of cyclists don't, or maybe don't care. That's fine with me- I'm not really an evangelist and you should do what you want and ride where you feel like.  So it just kinda cheeses me off (TFTS's official hokey phrase for annoyance), when people idle their cars in them. Especially when there's an parking spot right next to it. This isn't virgin ground- the topic, not the bike lane- and I'm sure I'm written about it before. But seriously, why do people do this? People who I believe to be otherwise fairly well-meaning and vaguely cognizant of the world around them and not intending, necessarily, to make my life harder or worse in any way. Anyway, I see it everyday at pick-up time at the Lutheran madrasa/daycare on East Capitol and 3rd-ish. Is this the lesson you want to be teaching your children? (Note: said for effect (affect?), not for actual smugness)
The driver of the 96 was messing with me. I think on purpose. I don't have any so-called "proof," but it seemed that way. And isn't "seeming" just as good as evidence? I'm not a lawyer, but that sounds right.
Anyway, Dance Moms is coming to an end. The Official Wife says that she is enjoying herself immensely. I just shouted at the screen "WHERE'S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE, BROOKE?" so I'm probably not having too rough a time with it either. Something special-ish in store for tomorrow morning (if anyone, between the Dance Moms and Lawrence brothers, is still reading).


  1. Didn't you shoal the guy who then shoaled you? Seems pretty fair.

  2. Yeah, but I didn't mean to. It's just kinda where the road dumped me out.

  3. Penn Ave in the morning is my bike-blind jaywalker hell...and of course, everyone is wearing black (I leave before sunrise) because that's what you wear in winter. Given the gloominess of the season, with the short days and all, you'd think that people would wear bright colors in winter...I'm also leaning toward proposing legislation mandating that pedestrians must wear lights or reflective gear. This would not only increase safety, but create new marketing opportunities for clothiers (?), like reflective neckties, or scotch brite pantyhose...

  4. @Brian - I don't know, sounds like a pretty weak excuse.

    @MM - I like it - legislation that actually stimulates the economy.

  5. "I see it everyday at pick-up time at the Lutheran madrasa/daycare on East Capitol and 3rd-ish"

    Yes! Me too. Parked in the bike lanes, adjacent open parking spaces be darned.

  6. The Kona Sutra looks sweet. Not sure why it wasn't on my shopping list, given that it fit my lone criterion ("pretty greenish color of some sort").

  7. I hate to come across as the "humanity sucks" commenter, but I think drivers stop wherever they want (even when there's a parking spot within a few feet) because it is simply less time/trouble for them. In a word, inconsiderate. They figure they'll only be there "a few seconds."

    I agree with the Q Street/Dupont Circle area jaywalkers. I think that small area is a great candidate for a No Cars Allowed Area.

    There's simply not enough room. Crowded sidewalks + narrow streets lined with parked cars + slow-moving one-lane traffic (because it's always too congested with turning cars, traffic circles, lights) make it possible to cross the street at almost any time in a two-second dash. People get used to that pattern.

  8. This whole time I've thought that Brooke was 14. I guess being 12/13 partially explains why she's not much taller than the 9-year-olds.

  9. That church at 6th & East Cap is the bane of my commute. I always turn left at 7th so I'm trying to look over my shoulder to merge into traffic so I can turn, but I also need to keep an eye on the parents trying to parallel-park their battle tanks so little Billy won't have to walk home.