Ride Home 2/14: Catherine of Tarragon

About four rolls of the cuff on the right pant leg of almost every pair of work pants I own is an unmistakable splotch of bike grease, visible to the world only when I'm riding home and apparently unavoidable in making. It's really not a bother. I noticed it today when I forewent changing back into bike clothes, which has been my habit of late. I'll wear bikey clothes in the morning and street clothes at night and let that mean what it means. My only concession to changing is slapping on an additional pair of socks because, according to my feet, it's still winter. My feet, after all, read the Farmer's Almanack.
The unmistakable single honk of a driver who either doesn't understand why I was riding mixed with car traffic or simply didn't want me there greeted me near some red light along Massachusetts, most likely courtesy of the driver immediately behind me. I wonder if he appreciated my effort to stay four feet off the bumper of the blue Prius in front of me. I bet not. At some point, I ditched to the sidewalk, only to make my way back onto the street a hundred yards down the road. Of course, I didn't ditch until well, well after the honk, which made me the victor in some sort of "battle" for the roadway. I didn't even bother shrugging at the honk, much less geting mad. It's just noise and there's no use letting that bother you.
I'm getting tired of Q Street, but I took it anyway, mostly because that's what I do, but partially because I had to mail an empty envelope (don't ask) and I was looking for a street-side mailbox in which to drop it. I'm guessing that the USPS doesn't have extra IT resources or anything, but it'd be kind of cool if the locations of all dropboxes were tagged somehow and available on the interwebs. Unless of course, that's already the case, in which I'd like to thank those that made that possible, but criticize those who've failed to publicize that fact.
Parallel parking is disruptive and it should be banned. I've beat this drum before. All I'm saying is that if drivers are going to get mad about everything that IMPEDES TRAFFIC FLOW, like pedestrians and bicyclists and stop signs and adorable baby goslings who need to cross the street, then let's ban parallel parking too.
11th street from Mass was a complete and total clusterfuck (technical term), most likely caused by a broken down commuter bus at the intersection of 11th and New York. The back-up had profound repercussions, like the driver of a gigantic tractor trailing screaming at the driver of a subcompact to make way for him, followed by the truck driver blasting his horn and the subcompact driver getting startled, then angrily mouth "where do you want me to go?" since she, too, was stuck at a red light. Car traffic didn't abate until after New York Avenue, but even New York was backed up. And backed up with total assholes, like the passenger of a taxicab who saw fit to roll down his window and actually tell another bicyclist, an older gentleman on a racing bike, that "Sir, your light is ridiculous." His front light was bright and blinking and apparently that offended the sensibilities of the man in the taxi so much that he thought enough to say something. The bike guy said "what?" and Taxi Asshole said "You're going to blind someone" and then the taxi drove off, at which point I said something along the lines of "Yeah, how dare you" to the bike guy and we rode together for half a block. The bike guy said "I was confused because I thought I knew him, but then I heard what he said. Clown." Clown, indeed.
I found myself stuck in the far right lane until G, which was a pain and then it was even more of a pain getting back over left. All in all, I'd say that traffic was well worse tonight than on a non-Valentine's night and I blame the idiocy of the "holiday" that demands people go out to dinner and buy sad flowers from Safeway for their partners because that's almost literally the least they could do. My wife told me not to make a big deal about it, but I did anyway. I think she really appreciated that I got Cool Ranch instead of the normal kind of Doritos.
Anyway, it was bad and I tried to warn everyone, but you know, #tweetswhilewearinggloves.
Lots of people in shorts. Still not warm enough for shorts.
East Capitol saw me a bunch of other bike types, one of whom was super, two of whom were mostly normal looking, but one can never tell, I guess. Kentucky took me to Safeway and Safeway was crowded, especially by the sad flower section. Frankly, I think some of the guys would have been better off by mesclun greens. In Safeway, I overheard a woman on a cell phone say "Oh, you mean like for women, not for dogs." For real. Anyway, happy remainder of Valentimes. This blog post, like all blog posts, is dedicated to the Official Wife, because of love and stuff.


  1. I've got to say, I really feel for you (and anyone else) who has to ride against the grain on the 15th Street cycle track every day. Knowing what you have to put up with and considering that I pass you on 15th just about every day, I want to make sure that your hand gesture is a friendly wave and not some attempt to get me to go back to my side of the yellow line. Apologies if the latter.

    And kudos on keeping your cool during the slo-mo crash. I'm not sure I would have handled it so smoothly... I would have at least given one of my trademarked (and TFTS approved) death stares.

  2. @Kyle- No, they're all waves and virtual high-fives and whatnot. So, you're cool. And you don't normally appear to be racing people. Unless you're doing it all secretly. I get why people move over also- the southbound pavement is, how do you say, total shit. If it weren't so bumpy, I doubt it would be as bad.
    Thanks for the kudos, but I think I kept my cool mostly because I blamed myself for going so fast that I couldn't stop in time. I'm so acculturated to "bikelash," I guess I even apply it inwardly.