The snow and ice from yesterday is gone and it was brisk, if only a little, and sunny and the roads were dry and it seemed like a normal winter day, if normal means those conditions. With the amount of variability we've had in the weather lately, it's hard to know any more. I did find it cold enough to wear my winter coat (with lapel button) and heavy gloves, though I suspect that this afternoon won't require it but I'll wear it anyway, mostly because it's easier to wear than throw in my bag. The gloves I wore for half of the trip, but I took them off when I went to take a picture of the newish Bikeshare station at Pennsylvania and M in Georgetown. Were Georgetown a medieval Hungarian walled city, this intersection would probably have a name like (translated) West End Gate, but to the best of my knowledge, this isn't/hasn't been/never was the case and Georgetown's medieval Hungarian past is lost to a history that never was. Anyway, here's the picture.
|Bike station. Sun, foregound.|
I should have kept my gloves on.
This was the only picture that I snapped today, but it's certainly of the poorest quality. I saw that the lobbyist trap was still out and I wanted to photograph that as well. But I didn't want to rouse the suspicion of the Capitol Police, gathered about not too far away. I didn't want "But I'm a bike blogger!" to be my last utterances as I was dragged away to Capitol jail for surreptitiously (or not so much) taking pictures of VITAL SECURITY MEASURES PERTAINING TO NATIONAL SECURITY. So I was all smooth like and made "tourist."
|Dome of the Rock, if The Rock were Speaker of the House. I think Disney is actually making this movie.|
|West (North?) Portico (?) [Senate?]|
|Supreme Court. Roughly 100 miles away|
Easy going on Penn, but I decided I'd eschew 15th and ride non-cycletrack Penn up through Georgetown and then take Wisconsin for a bit. For old times sake, maybe. No matter how I went, I was bound to encounter plenty of bicyclists and this made me quite content.
I can't say for sure whether there are officially sanctioned sprints in front of the White House, but there are definitely unofficial ones. People race across there likes there's a prize to be one. Maybe they're just showing off their super speed for el Presidente. Also showing off for el Presidente this morning was a hooded mannequin placed in a cage signed "Shut Down Bagram." The mannequin was wearing an orange kit. I think that's Rabobank.
I should ride the west side of Pennsylvania more. It's open and has a gentle incline and there's little in the way of car traffic. The only downside is Washington Circle, but I've found that ignoring the traffic signals and just riding when it's clear seems to work pretty well. I would have maybe taken either 20th or 22nd (?) or one of the other streets that goes north to Dupont Circle, but I was vaguely committed to not taking Massachusetts today. You know, to spice things up. Picante.
I took 28th, which is a quiet street that goes basically nowhere. It ends at R after a surprisingly unfriendly climb. Plenty of bicyclists coming in the other direction.
R is narrow, but wide enough for a bicyclist. Not wide enough for two cars and a bicyclist, so I pulled into a gap between parked cars and waved the driver of a Mercedes past me. He didn't seem especially appreciative. I guess having to drive slowly behind me for a couple of moments already irreparably ruined his day. Sometimes doing minor niceties like this, ones that basically require no real effort on my part, is easier than not. While I don't necessarily mind revving engines behind me, I can't say that I'm especially fond of them either.
If you tack on "dude" to whatever exasperated expletive you mutter to yourself after a driver passes you too closely, it makes it a bit more rakish, if not more acceptable.
Big problems with an N2 bus at Ward Circle. It seemed to have missed the turn and ended up on the median and was subsequently blocking the southbound Massachusetts egress. That sucks.