Ride In 1/17

It really wasn't that bad. I thought it would be worse, but it wasn't. I don't know if you can be inoculated against bad weather, but you can at least be habituated to it and I think there have been just enough bad days this winter so far to make today seem not totally terrible. Or maybe it's just because it was a few degrees warmer than the truly terrible threshold. I don't know.
There's a secondary (or maybe tertiary, I can't remember) consideration that goes into picking my bicycle ensemble on cold, rainy days and it's locker space. I have a locker at work (thank you employer!) where my bike clothes live during the day. This locker is of moderate size, but there's only so much room to hang clothes and in winter, when I layer like all get out, I tend to stack clothes on top of other clothes and this inhibit their ability to dry. Not a big deal on most days, but changing back into very wet clothes after a rainy morning commute isn't my idea of fun. In fact, it's my idea of not fun. So, rather than wear 37 different layers on top and bottom, I decided to wear my most superbikerly bike pants and a thermal long sleeve shirt and the standard yellow jacket and hope that they would keep me warm (they did) and hope that they find their way to dry by later this afternoon. We'll see. I mean, I'll see. You'd only see if you came here and looked and I think that's much more of a commitment than you're willing to make. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
I think the worst thing one could wear on a rainy commute is one of those tiny cowboy hats. But second to that is cotton sweatpants. I rode behind a guy in a pair of gray sweats and I felt bad. Nothing quite soaks up water like cotton.
If you honk at a fire engine because its blocking your way, you deserve a beatdown. Whether or not that beatdown is delivered by firefighters is totally up to them.
I put air in my tires this morning and I think that helped. Remember to inflate your tires sometimes.
Between the White House and R Street, I only saw two other bicyclists. No bikeshare bikes. This is about what I expected. I did see a number of pedestrians in the cycle track and I had to yell "stop" about to turn his giant black SUV across the cycle track in front/near me, but this is nothing new either. I think "stop" is probably the thing I say the most. Its short and to the point. I also sometimes say "no" but I think that's much less clear. I don't give a crap if my saying "stop" hurts someone's feelings. I do give a crap about arriving at my destination safely.
Who buys a yellow car?
The climb up Mass wasn't so bad. I saw what might have been a motorcade. At around the midpoint, I found myself riding behind another bicyclist, who also seemed to be not having fun in the rain. I "on your left"-ed her rather than dinged and when I passed by, I looked over and said "this fucking sucks." She said something like "yeah, it's awful" but I can't be so sure since I head ear flaps over my ear and I'm not really great at hearing anyway. I decided to drop the f bomb for its amplifying effect. I'm sorry if I offended her, but I don't think any cyclist out in the cold rain has an internal monologue free from considerable cursing. Maybe LDS missionaries.
Like surveys and hate mysteries? Or maybe just like mysteries and abide surveys? Anyway, local DC bike type John wants your input to help solve "bike mysteries" like what foot you drop at stop signs (if any) or how many lights you wear. Take it here. I eagerly await the answers.
That's pretty much it. Sort of boring. Drivers seemed unable to deal with the rain, as usual. I don't get there, but it's not really a "bike mystery" so I'm not going to spend too much time thinking about it.


  1. I am glad I'm not the only one who doesn't always love the bike commute, especially in the bad weather. But I did find this pretty hilarious blog about winter bike commuting that cracked me up and made me feel a little better about it. Pretty much no matter how bad it is, at least I'm not stuck in traffic, right?

  2. That's always been my thinking too. If I thought it would be easier or more enjoyable to go a different way, but I don't. In fact, to me, it would be much worse, no matter how much dryer or warmer I'd be. Because I'm an impatient commuter and I put in a premium on moving forward over my temporary discomfort (to a point).

  3. Speaking of SUVs, the driver of an Xterra almost ran me into her in Washington circle. I believe this is the proper phrasing to describe a situation where a vehicle pulls out in front of you leaving you little or no time to avoid running into them. She looked right as she pulled into the one-way circle (think about that...) from 23rd, right in front of me, stopping in the road (and in my way) once she realized I was there. I gave her the underhand point/shoulder shrug to silently say "WTF are you doing?". She responded by giving a similar shoulder shrug to me to say "WTF are YOU doing?". Since she was at fault, I had to end it by scowling at her and giving a more violent underhand point/shrug, with a head shake thrown in as the crushing blow.

  4. The "economy of shrugs" really interests me. Sometimes I wish we could just talk to the drivers and explain what we're thinking, but most of the time, I like the fact that the whole thing is just unbridgeable. I mean, how hard could it be to actually understand that someone on a bike might not want to be smashed into a car? The constant reminder of "not getting it" just shows how much farther we all have to go, I guess.