Who expects a dump truck to drive on the sidewalk next to the Capitol? Not me. I was mistaken. So I found myself patiently riding behind a dump truck on the sidewalk, not quite sure whether I had room to pass or whether it would even be prudent to do so. And then I was passed on the left by a guy on a CaBi. And then then woman that I had ridden past earlier zipped by on the street/parking lot on my right. I don't like to think of bike commuting as a race, because it's not, but I also don't like to suffer being impeded by dump trucks on sidewalks and I didn't very much appreciate the fact that other bicyclists managed their way past while I buffoonishly dilly-dallied behind. Oh well. I made my break and left the dump truck behind and that's pretty much all I have to say about the time I rode behind a dump truck on the sidepath next to the Capitol.
Brilliant morning for bike commuting. The sky was cloudless of the color of my living room walls, a grey that I thought was grey but was actually tinged with an underlying blue. Now the morning sky has turned to an afternoon one and it's just regular sky blue and while that's nice, I much prefer the look of the morning one. Temperatures were fine and barely cold enough for the heavy jacket I was wearing and too cold for that hat that I kept on until 15th and Mass. You could tell it was a good day for bike riding since the CaBis were out. (Speaking of which, here's part 6 of the 489 part [I hope] series of posts by Justin Antos on Capital Bikeshare data analysis. This one is concerned with the 'natural' balance or imbalance of the system. My theory as to why certain neighborhoods send more bikes into town during the morning than they receive in the evening is pretty simple: it's a combination of workaholism and happy hours. In either case, rather then coming right home at 5, maybe you're staying late at the office and less likely to bike home at nice or maybe you're getting drinks after work and less likely to bike home thereafter.) And not only were the CaBis out, but the CaBi racers were out and they were pushing hard and running lights and trying to pass people. Here's a good red light not to run: the intersection of Constitution and Pennsylvania by the National Gallery. There's a left-turn arrow there and if you miss the green light, you're going to ride right into someone's oblique left turn.Just a suggestion.
In any case, I made my way up Penn and didn't foolishly run into anyone, though I was passed at points by a wispy bearded hipstery looking dude on a LeMond and a District Velocity-kitted out superbiker on a Bianchi. It was like Bikeyface come to life and I was in the middle of it.
I'm in the market for a mid-weight jacket, something heavier than my yellow windbreaker and lighter than my navy pea coat. Yes, I ride in a pea coat sometimes. Suggestions?
It's really something to see a pedestrian get really mad at a driver who really almost hit him by really refusing to yield while the pedestrian was really halfway across the crosswalk. It wasn't one of those ambiguous situations where the guy just stepped off the curb and the driver felt like maybe he could complete the turn before the pedestrian was really in the intersection. Nope, the driver just turned and almost nailed the dude. The pedestrian screamed something that I thought sounded like "Trabajo!" but I don't think that's right. I asked the pedestrian if he was all right and without looking at me, he said yeah, and then continued his angry, blustering muttering. To a certain extent, all road users are self-centered, but I think that the self-centered ones that have the capacity to inflict the most harm ought to be held to the highest standard. With great horsepower comes great responsibility. (That is why I support equestrian licensing)
I saw Kyle again today. Either he was late or I was late or we were both late.
On R, I'm pretty sure that a truck I saw had a bumper sticker that read something like "Instead of putting something on your heard, support licensing instead." I'm not totally making this up, because it almost certainly had some of those words on it, but I didn't get the most prolonged look. I'd love to know about the anti-helmet, pro-registration faction or if this bumper sticker has anything to do with bicycling or maybe is just about unlicensed contractors? I don't know. Seeing everything through a bike-y prism confuses a lot of issues.
I wish I were about 4 inches taller. I think it'd make bicycling easier. Maybe not. I don't know.
Spotted during my ride up Mass. I'm sure I was bicycling awesomely at the time. I saw a bicyclist coming downhill just riding in the left traffic lane, which is a pretty rare occurrence. Makes sense though, especially considering how stop-and-go car traffic is and how dangerous downhill sidewalk riding might be. I heard a downhill sidewalk rider ding his bell no fewer than 10 times at a pedestrian wearing headphones. Seems rude, but understandable I guess.
Rare spotting of two other cyclists between Wisconsin and Ward Circle on Mass. Almost never see anyone in the morning, even though there's always a bunch in each direction every evening. Just a good day for it and I'm pretty content.