1/3/12

Ride In 1/3

I'm thawed and ready to blog. As advertised, it was quite cold this morning, but it was dry and there was more than a hint of sunshine and the wind was only moderate and for the most part it was just another normal day for bicycling. Though perhaps not for Bikeshare, since there was nearly a full dock at Lincoln Park, which is normally quite empty around the time I pass. Maybe the rebalancing van got there early or maybe people decided to go to work some other way. Or maybe everyone just decided to extend their holiday and sit on the couch and watch old episodes of The Wire while their bichon frises nestled themselves deeper into their owners' slankets. But I'm guessing they just drove or took the bus in or whatever.
I find that biking in the cold isn't nearly as off-putting as biking in oppressive heat and humidity. My not-yet-trademarked solution for dealing with it is to wear more clothes and a hat and gloves and sometimes a scarf and replace my think yellow jacket with a winter coat. Some people say that you should leave the house slightly cold since you'll warm up along the way. While that's probably good advice, I'm a delicate flower and I don't like to be cold when riding my bicycle at all, so I just bundle up past the point of reasonableness and if I get slightly warmer, who cares?
Fashion on 3rd St NW Orange cable-knit (?) wool dress over leggings, black motorcycl-y boots, a red three-quarter length coat and a full balaclava covering her face. I'm not sure that the diktats of cycle chic allow for full facial covering, unless it's by some fancy scarf/pashmina/scarfmina. I'm not an expert.
By the time I got to the end of Pennsylvania, I felt like I had been riding forever. This was definitely one of those days when I wished my commute was a few miles shorter. I don't know if it was buffeting winds or the sapping cold, but I felt lethargic and sluggish. Maybe it had something to do with the extra pounds I was carrying in my bag (some leftovers in a glass container, 30 some odd buttons, precious Krugerrands), but it's not as if knowing why you're going so slowly makes any difference. Still have to get to work. I think that's one of my favorite things about bicycling commuting. You see, I'm something of a take-the-easy-way-out-er, especially as far as physical effort is concerned. Run a mile? Um, how about 7/8 of one? Lift weights? Yeah, maybe not really. Ride your bike on the weekend for 60 miles? What if I just stopped about 40? You know, that kind of stuff. Bike commuting doesn't really afford you that option. You have to go to work, so you might as well just get on with it. I guess I could always take the bus (no Metro during morning rush hour), but that hardly seems more convenient.
Someone rode past me today and yelled "Tales From The Sharrows." This was the first commute "shout out."  I have an idea of who it was, but I'd rather pretend that it could be anyone really and that Tales From The Sharrows has achieved some sort of cult status amongst DC bike commuters so that at any given moment, literally, tens of people might yell my blog title at me.  I'm so delusional proud. Though, I couldn't help but notice that "Tales From The Sharrows" is a bit of mouthful, so if anyone fells compelled to yell something at me in the future, I've compiled a list of acceptable words/phrases below:

  • Sharrows!
  • Jackass!
  • T-F-T-S!
  • D- (hold up homemade fence sign)
  • USA! USA!
  • Any line or series of lines from any of the original Star Wars trilogy, preferably something by Chewbacca.
Bike commuter volume mostly back to normal on 15th. You really don't need to be "avid" or "hardcore" to keep biking through winter. You just need to want to do it. 
Whaddup, radio girl? I could barely even hear the music today. I also couldn't help but notice that your left toe clip occasionally scraped against the road, making occasional scrapey noises. I wonder what kind of "creative class" job radio girl has. I almost wanted to talk to her, but I've really sworn off talking to other bicyclists since I moved away from the friendly confines of Arlington. Maybe some day. 
After an unfun ride up Mass, on the downhill after Wisconsin, some guy in a grey BMW zoomed in front of me from the left lane to the right only to find himself rapidly approaching a row of a parked cars and merged back into the left lane as I continued to ride along in the door zone. I think I said "nice move" and "what a fucking moron" to no one in particular. I was sour from the climb, but it was wrong of me to call him these things and even more wrong of me to be so accurate in my assessment. 

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