Ride In 1/20

Shall we? Let's.
Friday has come to mean one thing recently. Well, one thing other than riding to work in jeans. It's #bikeDCcommutercofeemeetupfuntimebreakfastifyouwantbecausetheyalsoservesomepastriesbutivenevergottenoneohyeahforgottomentionthatthisisatswingscoffeeandyoushouldcomenextweektoo (we're still working on the official hashtag). Anyway, I was alerted to this Friday "tradition" by friends of the blog and #bikeDC stalwarts Ed and Mary. Here's how it works: bike (or walk or take the bus or drive, but definitely don't pogo) to Swing's Coffee around 8. Go inside, order coffee, drink coffee and talk other people who have biked (or walked) there. It's not very complicated. Today's very special guest was none other than local businessman and bike shop owner, Erik from Bicycle Space (There's not like an actual guest list or a booker or anything. It's just kinda who shows up, but still, cool people show up). Also, it was very nice to meet Zoe this morning and previously Lisa and previously-er Eric and Lane, in case I haven't mentioned that I had met them through Friday morning coffee club or whatever we want to call this.
Prior to arriving at Swing's, it was a coldish and mundane trip down East Capitol and up Pennsylvania. I saw the guy I saw the other day with the old single speed and the leather mudflap and I also rode by a lady pulling a laden kid trailer and another guy on a bike that I thought was a CaBi, but just turned out to be a red bike. The ride was pretty easy-going, in part because I remembered to inflate my tires before leaving home. I took the Haul, now with front basket, and my pace could best be described as slow.
Does anyone know if bicyclists are allowed to ride on E Street? I know that the security gates block direct entrance, but there's a crosswalk and opening in the barrier maybe 30 yards down and you could access the rode that way. I almost asked some security types, but by then I had passed the entrance and wouldn't have wanted to double back anyway. I tend to find myself riding against traffic in the Ellipse Parking Lot and I don't very much like that.
I got the brewed coffee this morning (rather than an espresso drink) and I added as much half and half as my cup could hold. That's just a little superfluous detail that I thought you'd care to know. It's not in any way me just trying to come up with something to write about because I've managed to completely forget most of what we talked about or much of what I observed on the ride.
After leaving Swing's, it was back in front of the White House and up 15th. Rather than wait for the security station on Madison Place to allow access to some driver, I decided to ride on the sidewalk. It's quite narrow. I watched another bicyclist patiently wait, presumably just so she could assert her right to ride through the bollards or maybe just to not have to ride on the sidewalk. Freedom isn't free, I suppose.
Plenty of other bicyclists out today. I wonder what's going to happen with bike commuting modeshare hits 10%. Because, and I really do believe this, that it's only a matter of time. One north-south cycletrack isn't going to be enough. Speaking of which, please remember to follow the pedestrian signals when biking on the 15th street cycletrack. I don't want to see someone get clobbered by a left-turning car.
Whose street is it? R Street. If I were in charge of branding for R Street, which I'm not and never will be and would even question the need for, that'd probably be my slogan. Don Draper I am not.
Very slow going up Massachusetts. I don't know about bikes and gearing and things like that, but I have a dilemma. I typically like to "mash" (as in Monster) down on the pedals in a higher gear but at a slower cadence. It takes more effort, but generally seems faster. However, today that just wasn't happening, slow I rode up in an easier gear, but it seemed like it was taking forever. I don't really know what my question is, or even if I have a question, but it's something like pedal easier but suffer from impatience or pedal harder and suffer from exertion. I'll let you supply the necessary syntax that turns that string of words into a question.
I don't understand the need for tinted windows. What are you doing in there that's so secret? Because if it's something that you really feel like you need to keep secret from those around you, you probably shouldn't be doing it while driving anyway.
When I got to work, I locked up my bike and got some more coffee at the student-run coffee shop. This time an Americano, again with half and half (Now I'm just padding my word count).


  1. Going up a hill in low gears is like removing the band-aide slowly. I prefer to just rip it off and be done with it.

    I'll worry later what all that mashing is doing to my drivetrain.

  2. Bicycles ARE allowed on E St (by the White House, right?) You can ride right through a gap in the posts and keep going.

    That said, it's always full of school and tour groups and the like that don't ever look before blocking the entire roadway for pictures, so, proceed with caution.

  3. @JD Yes, by the White House. Thanks. They few times I've been by lately, which have all been in the past month or so, have been delightfully free from school groups, but you're right. With warmer weather it will become rather crowded and pretty much defeat the whole purpose of taking E and I'd just go on Pennsylvania to 17th (which will also be full of groups, but is much, much wider)

  4. I was doing a little too much mashing, which was causing some knee pain. I'm doing more "spinning" up hills in lower gears, and I'm not in as much pain now. For what it's worth....