Nothing like the balmy temperatures of late January, where the thermometer will probably exceed 60 today. I'd complain, but I'll save that for when the sea levels are washing away the remnants of our civilization/bike facilities in the apocalyptic doomscape that will be our post-climate change future. It'll be more appropriate and dramatic then. Now, I'll just savor the opportunity to ride to work along with plenty of other bike commuters and parallel and separate (hopefully) from even more car commuters, who are really missing out on the joy of a morning bicycle ride. Two of the riders on East Capitol this morning were sock tuckers (I thought they were wearing knickers) and one of the sock tuckers was using her morning ride to talk on her phone to someone, a social activity I think is less than advisable. Sometimes because it makes other bicyclists around you think that you're some kind of crazy person.
Pencil-vania avenue? No, I don't think so.
For some time on Penn, I rode behind a person bundled up in long pants, helmet and and hat and in a yellow reflective vest. 3 blocks behind her and I finally realized it was a woman and this led me to think about bike clothes and androgyny and the cycle chic movement as a way of 'genderizing' bicyclists and I didn't know whether it did that in a bad way or a good way and then I realized that I was way out of my depth, both for thoughts on a morning commute and in general, as I have limited knowledge about a wide variety of subjects and practically no ability to engage in deep thinking. But if anyone has any thoughts on bike clothes and androgyny and WHAT IT ALL MEANS please feel free to email me or send me a copy of your zine.
I wanted to get a picture of tented General McPherson, but I couldn't get my camera to work with my gloves and I didn't want to take my gloves off. I think it looks ridiculous and I worry that the 1% is going to counter-tarp Samuel Gompers and soon all of DC's statuary will be covered in plastic and then I'll have to listen to someone explain how this is indicative of something about post-modernism or post-post-modernism and then I'll have to keep myself from yawning and rolling my eyes and I won't be able to and will then have to deal with the social awkwardness. This is a reductio ad me argument and I don't think it's especially compelling, unless you're the me in question.
I saw Jon on 15th street. I said "hey Jon." He was dragging a kidless kid trailer. I think he was leading the bunch of cyclists recently released from the thrall of the red light at Rhode Island. I love seeing people I know on the bike commute, especially when they're actually people I know and not just people like "that bike messenger with the yellow bike."
Not much special on the crosstown. If you time the lights right and really hustle, you can get from 16th to Dupont without having to stop. I rarely muster the requisite hustle. Today I almost did.
There's a special kind of dickishness that compels a driver to get out of queue and pull into a travel lane that is about to disappear a hundred feet later causing him to merge back in and maybe advance position by one or two places. There should be a name for this. I saw the driver of an ivory Mercedes do this and he cut off the driver of a white BMW to get back in line. It was like Godzilla vs. Rodan.
Never quite know what the driver of a car with diplomatic plates is going to be like. Total crap shoot. Maybe more like roulette. Anyway, sometimes you get lots of space, sometimes not. Mostly not.
Every once in a while, I'll try to see if I can catch up to a bicyclist who's out in front of me. Today, I almost got to the guy on the orange Motobecane and I think that if I had another 10 seconds before he stopped to cross the street, I would have done it. It's not so much a competition as just a way to break the monotony. Of course, had I caught him, it would have been a competition and I would have one. Bicyclists are excellent self-rationalizers. Ask one about stopping at stop signs some time. Anyway, the guy was wearing jeans and I think a Bern helmet and maybe some Chrome shoes. Bike commuter 2.0. or something.
I'm really looking forward to the ride home. Won't be long now.