Ride In 1/4

I might have a cold. I don't know if this is related to biking in the cold.
I intended a quick (ha!) trip to the DMV this morning on the way to work, but that fell through when I couldn't find my car insurance card. Whoops. So, I set off a bit later than usual on the usual route and in the usual winter biking ensemble, except with heavy coat in place of yellow jacket, though I suppose that's usual too, assuming we count whatever I wore yesterday as usual. My only departure from the usual was my decision to wear Chuck Taylor All Stars in place of my bike shoes. This was an unusually poor decision, as canvas and rubber hardly provide substantial protection from the cold. This might be why Eskimos do not built igloos from canvas and rubber. Well, one of many reasons, I suppose.
I've heard that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I'm not sure how many my scarf weighs (I rarely have my triple beam balance out when I'm unpacking my winter clothes), but I didn't quite finagle it in such a way as to make it possible that it would cover my face. Covering one's face seems to be an especially popular thing nowadays with bike commuters and has always been popular with Old West bandits and given the Ninth Circle-like temperatures (more Dante!), I should have tried a bit hard to arrange my scarf to allow my warm breath to heat my face. I didn't do this before leaving the house and awkwardly tried to do it somewhere near the Capitol. The best I could achieve was some lame knot and that still didn't even really work. So, now I'm considering a buff. Chime in with opinions.
Many more bicyclists out today than yesterday. I don't normally think of Washingtonians as a hardy lot, nor do I think they have much of a reputation as such, but I'm quite pleased to see so many people riding bicycles through this wintry, bruising weather. I saw one guy in a snow suit, even. Or maybe it wasn't a snowsuit and he's just a Ghostbuster. Can't say for sure.
I can't stress enough how much of a good idea it is to bring coffee with you for your morning commute. Not just beans, either, but the actual brewed stuff. Mine is in a stainless steel double-walled thermos that nicely fits into my duct taped water bottle cage. But isn't coffee a diuretic? I don't know, I'm not a scientist. All I can tell you is that a hot sip of coffee (or any hot beverage, except for maybe hot orange soda because that would be gross) mid-ride is pretty great, even when the coffee isn't that warm.
Oh look, I'm famous now.
I watched two bicyclists crash into each other at 15th and Q. They were heading south and one woman wanted to turn left onto Q, but as she did, the other woman behind her was trying to pass her on the left. Neither of them fell off of their bikes. It was rather low speed. The turning bicyclist apologized maybe 5 or maybe 1200 times. I haven't really pondered how best to turn left when heading south on the cycletrack. Maybe that's part of the survey that DDOT's been working on forever.
I briefly rode behind a guy who used a rubber band to keep his pant leg up. I think that this is a very good idea, especially if you have access to a lot of rubber bands or even just one rubber band and you're not using it for anything else. This got me thinking about some awesome new products, for people with long hair mostly, that's like half-scrunci, half-pant strap or maybe 100% both of those things, but not at the same time. Unfortunately, I think that bicycle riding might also suggest the keeping of hair in an updo, thereby negating the multi-use aspect of the device. I bet that Sham Wow guy could sell it though.
Woman on an olive green Velo Orange Mixte with pinkish handlebar tape rode past me in the opposite direction somewhere around St. Sophia's. I rarely see VO bikes in the wild.


  1. Definite yes on the Buff. It's not as warm as a ski mask/stocking cap, and that's usually a good thing. It's also thin enough to fit under your helmet if you choose to wear it over your head as well.
    And I love the rubber band thing. I use it on occasion, or the coiled bracelet-like thing on my work keys. So DIY!

  2. Yes you are famous, but inaccurately so.....

    "The 29-year-old started documenting his daily commute from the Stadium-Armory Metro to American University in January 2010. "

    'cept that daily commute didn't start until very late last year...

  3. Brian, I'll repost here my comment left on the Washingtonian because I want to take it to the source:
    I'm a fan of McEntee's writing, and he's given the blog a great title, but the individual blog posts need to have titles! He's giving DoS titles to the blogs in a Windows 7 era. Ride in/Ride out has to go! Maybe include shorthand like Ri/Ro 20120104, but add a real title to it, something that gives you an idea of something the post discusses, something that happens along the way or is dealt with.
    /bringing origin-gin-ality back!
    Pax et bonum.

  4. @ultrarunnergirl Do you have a particular brand/material of buff you suggest or approve? I'm a bit out of my league here.
    @Ken Yes, that's a little easter egg for longtime readers who know my up-from-Arlington hard luck story.
    @Petrus Well, the year anniversary is coming up and I'm going to need a new titling convention, so I will keep your comments in mind. My reservations about titles are two-fold: 1) I like using the day because it pretty much signifies that the commute is pretty much nothing special or different in and of itself and 2) titles are really hard to come up with, especially clever ones and I'd hate the drive away readers with titles like Ride In 3/2: Umm, yeah, that thing, er? or Ride Home 3/2: Umm, yeah, that thing, er? Part II. But I get what you're saying and I think I'll try to come up with a better naming convention. Also, thanks so much for being a fan of my writing and title and as always, thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. 2 comments

    Regarding titles: I like not knowing what your post is about; I discover as I read, which is rather like heading out on a ride and discovering what that day's commute holds.

    Regarding Buffs: I have one and love it. Or had one and loved it. Can't find it lately. It was made of something synthetic. If I have to replace it, I understand they now come in merino wool as well. I would try that.

  6. Forgot to check back here - I think there's just one standard "Buff". It's made of wicking material, feels like a light cotton, and I believe offers some degree of protection from the sun (SPF).