Ride Home 1/2

As I was leaving work, I saw a driving superbiker. Not driving his bike, but his Subaru, with his bike, front-wheel absent, atop the top of his car. From the stereo and through the closed window, I heard the rumbles of "Sexy and I Know It" and written on the side of the bicycle in capital letters was LOOK. To the best of my knowledge, this wasn't arranged for my amusement.
Turns out that it remained cold during the day and I even saw some snowflakes (aka Jeebus dandruff. Ok, that's gross) between the downhill and uphill of Mass before getting to Wisconsin. Just a few and no real accumulation, which I appreciated. I don't quite think I'm ready for snow-biking, mostly because I haven't yet trained my team of mush dogs to drag my bike through the wilds of Washington. Training the mush dogs is the hardest part of winter riding. [There's a lot of real winter bicycling tips on other blogs]
Across from the Observatory, I saw two guys on bikes absolutely crushing the climb. They were wearing jeans and sweaters and the bikes looked like old jobbers of no special quality. Good for them. They were riding about a foot from the curb and jumped the light to stay ahead of the onrushing car traffic. Perhaps their haste was from sheer willingness to not get run over.
Very quiet and relatively easy until Q and on Q was fine too. Maybe they secretly added more bumps and cracks to the road, but to the best of my knowledge, DDOT only works the other way. Road conditions are what they are and it's best not to fret too much about them. You get the ride you get. (I'm working on a book of nonsense phrases about bike commuting. I hope to option it for a tv movie)
Ample jaywheeling opportunities tonight.
When I wasn't jaywheeling, I felt pretty invisible, mostly to pedestrians, though one guy with a Michigan license plate moved his car within a foot of my rear wheel in order to turn right onto 16th. I know that it's not personal, but I'm rankled by the lack of concern for my right of way. It's nothing to be upset about, but after the tenth person steps out from the curb in front of you without even a moment's thought, it gets frustrating. But this is a city and that's just how it goes.
There's no leading pedestrian interval at the intersection of 11th and H. That means that you should be ready to go at the moment the light turns green, especially if you're taking the lane. From H to Penn, it's pretty tight and you're better off in the middle of the right lane than wedged between the travel lane and the sidewalk. Many drivers turn right along that stretch and you're pretty much in a potential right hook situation at each block.
On Penn I saw a very tall man riding a CaBi. It was the same proportion as a regular sized person on a BMX bike.
Out of respect for Jerry Orbach, Johnny Depp and other actors who've played law enforcement officers on television, I try not to do anything too scofflawish in front of uniformed security personnel. And I didn't really mean to, but I timed my crossing based on the pedestrian walk signal in the opposite direction and screwed up and rode through the red before it was my turn. My bad.
Pizza delivery guy parked in the bike lane by the park. I gave him a look and he gave me some sort of surly grumble. I'm glad we reached an understanding.


  1. [There's a lot real of winter bicycling tips on other blogs]

    Yeah, but your description made me laugh, and that's good enough for me.

    It was the same proportion as a regular sized person on a BMX bike.

    I see those sometimes too, usually on people who look like they received it hand-me-down and can't afford a new one. Of course, there was also the lady on a community bike ride I led who borrowed her teenage son's mountain bike...I admired her attempt at least!

  2. Glad you liked the mush dogs. They 're unfortunately totally imaginary , though on cold days, they would be quite appreciated.
    Bike handmedowns are tricky. On one hand, it's great that people are riding, especially without having to make a big initial investment. On the other hand, I wonder to what extent an uncomfortable experience on a poorly sized bike does more harm than good.