Ride In 1/6

Back to work, back on the bike. I guess if I'm well enough to bike in that means I'm well enough to work. Or maybe it's the other way around. In either case, it's Friday and its warmer and swarms of other cyclists were out, taking advantage of a mild, bright winter day. Two years ago, I took all of winter off from bike commuting and I'm not sure that this broad brush approach was the best idea. It's easy to shelve the bike (if you have big shelves) at Thanksgiving and not take it out again until March, but then you miss days like this.
There's a particular kind of thwack that a phone makes as it falls face down onto the pavement from my jacket pocket. Sort of like the sound of a slap to the face. Good thing my screen was already broken. It didn't appear to be much more broken when I picked it up and, thankfully, it landed in a bike lane and not a few feet over. You know, with the oncoming steamrollers and marching bands and such approaching. Another advantage for bike lanes. It's never a good idea to keep anything in your jacket pocket, especially phones or keys or eggs, if you happen to transport lone eggs by bicycle. I guess I just got lazy and forgot this. Once in Denver, I wiped out on a pile of leaves and my keys fell out of my pocket. I realized this when I got to work and went to lock up my bike. They were still there when I went back. For anyone familiar with Denver, this happened at Colfax and Broadway, so you can understand how happy I was. (Colfax and Broadway has unsavory characters)
I was meeting top Washingtonian bicycle blogger MG at Swing's Coffee for another button exchange. (She ordered before 12/31 so it's legit). I took E Street or whatever sidewalks and paths mirror the long-closed street in front of the White House. There's no clear path there for cyclists and I found myself riding maybe wrongly down the one way street (?) after the path sort of ended. Maybe the street was actually the Ellipse, which is actually a parking lot. The redesign should make it better, assuming that funds are ever made available, though I don't necessarily think "pedestrian promenade" makes for the best bicycling route, but if it's wide enough, it'll do. And there's a bicyclist in some of the winner's renderings, maybe even on a Brompton.
The hand-off went smoothly. No pictures this time. I really like the idea of a bicycle commuter morning coffee club. It seems so civilized.
Swing's is on 17th, so I rode that past Farragut and then decided that I would take Connecticut up to Dupont. Normally, I avoid streets like Connecticut, even on weekends when they're less trafficked. I've never taken it during a morning commute either, but it was perfectly fine. It's about 19 lanes wide (approx.) and the right lane was empty except for an occasional delivery van. At one point, I noticed a guy riding right off my rear wheel, but I don't know where he went. Maybe I dropped him when I unleashed a super burst of super speed, but this is highly unlikely since I am incapable of actually doing that. In trafficky roads, I tend to think it's a pretty good idea for bicyclists to stay pretty close together in the way that ducklings might. On open roads, the same kind of wheelsucking is a bit less desirable.
Don't bike in Dupont Circle. I mean the traffic circle, not the neighborhood. It's not fun, even when it's not busy. It might be slightly better than Washington Circle though that's doubtful. Not as good as Columbus Circle. Thomas Circle is better. Logan Circle is better. Here's an idea for someone: best and worst circles in DC for bicycling. General advice for a circle:  do what you need to do to be safe. No place to be hesitant.
It was Massachusetts from Dupont to work and that was more or less fine. (Connecticut and Mass today- maybe there could be a 6 state "New England" ride in the spirit of the 50 states ride but without so much effort and with a bowl of clam chowder at the end? If not for Maine Ave, you could do it faster than you could eat the chowder) In fact, it went better than it had the previous couple of days, so I'm pretty happy about that. The last thing I want is continued arduousness.


  1. Bob Jonese, Esq.January 06, 2012 3:18 PM

    Now that you mention Colfax & Broadway, I have Five Iron Frenzy running through my head. Not that that is a bad thing, at all. As an aside, writing that that always seems wrong. Unless it is read aloud, then all is well.

    Anyway, Five Iron Frenzy. Nice.

  2. I was wondering if you were back on your bike today as I rode past a bike locked to a sign at massachusetts and cathedral -- a truck or car had flattened both. I thought I might see a photo of it here. also, I wanted to let you know that my black bikeshare fob got flattened by a taxi cab last week--my new fluorescent fleece jacket has lousy pockets.

  3. @Anonymous I didn't see that bike and thankfully it wasn't mine. When about about did you see it? Tough luck about the black fob. Mine got busted too, but now I feel much more "man of the people" with my replacement red key. those black key people are such snobs, you know?

  4. I saw it on my way into work at about 10:30. I think the bike was locked there yesterday as well but the sign was standing then. I have so few chances to be snobbish, I'll miss my fob snobbery.


  5. "I was meeting top Washingtonian bicycle blogger MG at Swing's Coffee for another button exchange. (She ordered before 12/31 so it's legit)."

    I would SO cry foul if there was some kind of inside job going on here.

  6. No inside nothing going on here! I ordered prior to 12/31, but do not trust the post office. I know they want those buttons bad!

    Also, on a non-button note, I wanted to talk about a previous post where Brian cycled over the "new" Maine Avenue. I agree with you that it will not solve the problems that exist there, and there are a few things that concern me, such as placement of the light posts obstructing some of the sidewalk and a weird strip of fencing that I think is unnecessary. However, it will be better than it was, I believe, and on that section I tend to avoid the sidewalk anyway if I am heading south. I just take the street. Since the street has been adjusted to eliminate one of the lanes (at least at the beginning of Maine Avenue after the stoplight at the 14th Street bridge exit, I am HOPEFUL that this will be an improvement. We'll see how much I'm tearing my hair out when May rolls around and the tour buses start parking there. OH, and GREAT to see you this a.m., and feel better!