Ride In 2/29: A Flinstones/Mad Men crossover episode would feature Mastodon Draper

I used to think that the bike commuters of DC were like the itsy bitsy spider and were washed away by all the rain, but it turns out that they're more like the Little Miss Muffet spider, in that they're badass and will go to no small lengths to scare people away from their dairy products. Or at least that they're willing to ride in the rain, so good for them I guess. There was a little bit of a drop off in numbers, but not nearly as much as I was expecting. It's hard to stop riding to work once you've developed the habit. Unless for you, it's not, in which case, that's a fine choice too.
Friends don't let friends ride in front of them without fenders. Strangers, unfortunately, have no say in the matter. I know it's the same wet that falls from the sky, but it seems worse when it's sprayed in your face from the back of someone's tire. She didn't have lights on her bike either. Since most bicyclists also drive (this is a real stat, but I'm not going to look up the source), does everyone drive around habitually without their lights on? I know that it's an after-market add-on for your bike, but shoes are an after-market add-on for your feet and I don't see too many people biking around without those. Get lights.
The other day I got new pedals and today, thanks to a 6 AM delivery from LaserShip (this caused no small incredulity from the official wife, both that they came so early in the morning and the delivery company was named Laser Ship. She thought I was making this up), I got my new bike shoes. They're of the SPD variety, so that's something different for me. I spent the time between making the coffee and drinking the coffee trying to attach the cleats. I should have waited until after drinking the coffee. First impressions? They're good. Seems easier to unclip from these style pedals. For anyone thinking about making the transition to clipless pedals (don't ask my about the clip-in, clipless, Clipse, clipper ship distinction or why anything is called what it is), I recommend a bike commute as good practice. With all of the stop lights and stop signs, you'll get really good at clipping and unclipping, pretty quickly, too. Or you'll fall over, not being able to unhook your shoe from the pedal. So think of that as incentive. Being used to clipping in, I didn't get the pleasure of falling over this morning, but there's always tonight. Even though they're pretty much superfluous for the commute, I like biking in bike shoes. But I also like biking in regular shoes, hence the reversible pedals.
Got out-guiled by a CaBi rider that I had earlier passed when she moved into the right turn lane at the intersection of Penn and 15th while I got stuck at the light in the cycletrack. Out-guiling is one of my favorite hobbies, so that stung a little. My decision to stay in the cycletrack and wait at the light didn't have any profound impact on the overall time of my trip, so, to that effect, it didn't really matter. But who wants to wait a lights when you can position yourself so as not to? Just don't tell WJLA. While I won't eat my helmet, I'm waiting for the same hard-hitting journalism-like-substance to be applied to local drivers.
Saw Kyle on 15th street. He said "TFTS Rules!" and I responded like the woo girl I am with a high-pitched "woo." And he's totally right, if by TFTS, he's using the well-known and not obscure at all acronym for That Friends Television Show, which did rule its time slot for a number of years in the 90s and early aughts. Unless of course, he was referencing an entirely different TFTS, one with which I'm much more closely associated.
Less bike traffic than usual for much of the remainder of the trip. Usual amount of car traffic. I arrived at a stop sign at the same time as a woman I suspected of being Australian. Not because she was munching on vegemite-covered eucalyptus, but from her accent. Fewer parents walking with their kids lately. If I was responsible for the well-being of a child unit, I'd take that child unit out in the rain all the time. Not to toughen him up or anything, but just to make sure that he's not a Gremlin.
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.


  1. I was, in fact, implying that tropical flowering trees rule... much like San Dimas High School football rules, too. I'm really surprised you caught that.

    But you're blog is also pretty neat. Where else could I enjoy reading recaps of my awkward social interactions from the sharrows? One day I will share a fully-formed thought with you on my way to work... when I grow up.

  2. I did not ride in today. With my bike still out of commission, the thought of CaBi-ing in the rain was unappealing.

    And I'm considering SPD pedals, so I'm anxiously awaiting further review.

  3. ", I'd take that child unit out in the rain all the time. Not to toughen him up or anything, but just to make sure that he's not a Gremlin."

    --> or the wicked witch of the west....or was it east, or NW?

    @Jon: sorry to read your bike is out of commission - I commiserate as mine needs the head tube bearings repacked & relubed (the squeaks are quite pernicious sounding). When you look into SPD I would recommend you look at Speedplay frog pedals as well. I use them for commuting and have for many years. They do not use a spring to stay attached so very easy in / out at those unfortunate red lights, and the pedals are by design double-sided. Best of luck.

  4. @Ken - Thanks for the advice. I'd like pedals that I can use with regular shoes, and for which they make bike shoes I can walk in. I'd heard SPD recommended before but not the Speedplay. I'll definitely check them out. I have weird feet so it's hard to find comfortable shoes. Every extra option makes it a bit easier.

    My bike should be ready to go tonight or tomorrow, but I'm working from home tomorrow, so either way my next commute should be back on the bike.

  5. I also didn't bike to work today. Not from any apprehension about cycling in the rain, but more from not wanting to keep my precious Bianchi outside today. Work has a bike rack, but no covered bike storage. Pedal wise, I use Crank bros eggbeaters. They are on a few of my bikes so I can use the same shoes. The cleats are fully recessed in the shoes I use, so are good for walking around. No duck walking for me!

  6. I enjoy this particular post title a lot.

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