Ride Home 2/29: What happens when you cross the International Fig Line?

I'd like to quote from one of my favorite bike bloggers:
Arrived at work mostly soaked, but not in bad spirits (like a poltergeist?). Might be crummy for the rest of the day, so it could be a wet ride home. And if not, I'll expect the worst so I can be pleasantly surprised by something marginally better. "Expect the worst so you can be pleasantly surprised by something marginally better" is the slogan for next year's buttons.
And did I expect the worst? No, not really. In fact, I didn't even think that rain would be much of a possibility, so I didn't bother changing and when it really started raining, quite late in the ride, but still maybe 5 minutes from home, I was ill-prepared. I mean, not that I would've been much more prepared in my other, still-wet-from-the-morning-clothes (not much one can do to prepare for rain; you get wet, it happens), but I didn't especially enjoy having my work clothes soaked through. Yet another reason to get a job at Sea World (first reason: delicious fresh chum)- you can ride home in your wetsuit.
Before the rain started, it hadn't started and I rode much of the ride in (and through) a quiet fog. There just wasn't much going on. There was at least one of those drivers who does everything in his power (which admittedly isn't very much) to try to get in front of the cars in front of him by driving past them on the right. It didn't work. Sometimes you can tell that a driver around you is going to be trouble. First way you know: look for the Maryland license plate. Other hints:

  • the driver is lined up at a weird angle relative to the road markings. Like not exactly parallel to certain lines and definitely not perpendicular to others.
  • the driver isn't really where other drivers normally find themselves. If ride ride the same route every day, you have a pretty good sense of where to expect cars. When someone is where you don't normally see a driver, then it might be a sign that something went wrong. 
  • They're not driving and they're not stopped. They're doing something in between. 
  •  The driver is looking around, perhaps frantically. 
I'm sure that there's other things, but those are the ones I can think of right now. Add more "tip offs" to the comments if you have them. 
[Fourth wall alert: The Official Wife is having some "straight talk" through the tv with Holly from Dance Moms right now]
All sorts of problems with cars in Sheriden Circle. There was an event at some embassy and the valets (the ones who park cars, not Mr. Bates) were having a hard time getting the cars out of the road and the people out of the cars and car traffic backed up accordingly and I'm sure that drivers who weren't attending the soiree were appropriately miffed. Though, it's hard to tell appropriately miffed drivers from others. For the first time, I rode around the circle on the sidewalk on the inside of the circle. There is no crosswalk on the other side of the circle to exit onto Massachusetts. Pedestrian fail. 
One of these days, I'll count the number of drivers who can't but have one or two of their car's wheels over the white strip of the bike lane. Not that this will "prove" anything. Although I suppose it proves two things, the first being that a white stripe of paint will not necessarily keep you protected from a driver and the second being that many drivers, while they would never admit it to a camera crew that would never ask them, are constantly breaking the traffic laws. But we all know that only cyclists have the monopoly on scofflawism. 
Not a single bicyclist in either direction on Penn. Guess everyone was at the Wizards game. 
I don't find parked cars to be aesthetically pleasing. I guess I don't find operational cars to be particular beautiful either. Is there an aesthetic case to be made against the east side of the Capitol being used as a parking lot? Probably. I guess cars are just too much part of the firmament and I doubt that my photo montage of "cars parked in front of famous buildings, thereby ruining one's appreciation of the architecture" wouldn't play especially well as I barnstorm it across these United States. Guess I'll need to barnstorm something else because I am very much committed to barnstorming something. "Very much committed to barnstorming something" will be on the buttons the year after next. 


  1. I'm starting to think Dance Moms may be the only thing ever shown on evening television.

  2. I'm glad I'm not the only one whose wife is obsessed with Dance Moms. I get The Walking Dead, she gets Dance Moms. I guess it's a wash, but I think my show is objectively more awesome.