Ride Home 3/16: Flannery O'Connors Love Connection

It was lightly raining and I wasn't happy about it. Not because the rain proved much of an inconvenience but mostly because I was upset that I didn't have a jacket with me. It's little things, like being slightly unprepared for a forecasted light rain, that cheese me off. Big things, like being unprepared for an asteroid strike, don't so much bother me. I do wear a helmet, so there's that. I decided to document my feelings during this moderately wet ride through a series of photographs, found here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. I didn't use Instragram because I don't think it has a filter for "piqued." Also, there's a reason why this blog is a written, rather than pictorial, representation of my rides. Some people take really excellent #bikeDC pictures. I am not one of them.
Very rare is the close call on Massachusetts, but today I was treated to some totally irresponsible driver making a left turn across my path at about 45 miles per hour. This would have been an utterly stupid way to grievously harm me. I can't say for certain that he was driving a black BMW, but it was definitely some kind of black sports cars. I cursed at him. I don't think he heard. The driver of the station wagon that pulled up next to me turned his head back to look at the driver or maybe me and maybe appreciated the complete stupidity of the entire situation. Not all reckless behavior is created equal. Sometimes I feel like the bicyclists are the mortals and the drivers are the Greek gods and each commute is the Iliad and bicyclists have agency, but really we're at the mercy of feckless, powerful beings with little empathy and many jealousies and strange motivations. This is also why I recommend you commute inside of a giant wooden horse.
The traffic situation at Dupont Circle is abysmal for bicyclists. And the traffic situation on Q street, which is a block north of Dupont Circle, but near the only open Dupont Circle metro entrance isn't much better. There's a bus stop that's on a bike lane. So, when the bus is there, it's not really a bike lane anymore. It's just some white paint that has a bus on it. Until DDOT approves of my patented "bike lanes protected by giant spikes" design, I guess we'll all just have to deal.
Very few bicyclists out. I guess the rain kept them indoors or maybe led many of them to take other means home, which I suppose means that they're not bicyclists any more. Great riddles of bike commuting! (Though this does highlight my longtime contention that bike commuters are just regular people, you know, like other regular people that get to work by other means. Like, if they don't have bikes, voila- they're just like everyone else. So maybe you shouldn't harass them for no reason?
At 11th and Rhode Island, I saw a Bikeshare rebalancing van. Also, a taxi came from I don't know nowhere to cut across some lanes of traffic and its driver sort off tried to shoo me out of the way so he could pull into the Diamond Cab HQ. I shooed.
I've been screwing up my left turn from 11th to Penn lately and end up in the right travel lane on Penn instead of in the bike lane. Then, when all of the cars are stopped at the red light, I walk in front of them to get back into the bike lane. There's nothing unsafe about it, but it just seems to lack grace and suavity and I don't much care for that.
I haven't seen a lot of Obama 2012 bumper stickers. Some, but not a lot. I mean, I'm not worried about his carrying DC, but I wonder if this means anything. As far as local politics is concerned, can someone please tell me whether I should support Shapiro or Biddle against Orange (in the April 3 democratic primary for the at-large DC council seat)? Here's what I know about the race so far: Shapiro has red signs and Biddle has blue signs. Shapiro used to be a council member in Prince George's County. Biddle was, briefly, on the DC Council, but got there is a sort of shady way and then lost to Vincent Orange. Biddle has a bikeshare membership. And that's pretty much all I know. If anyone is particular informed about these matters or feels passionately one way or another or if one of the candidates would desperately like the endorsement of the 37th most popular bike commute blogger in DC, let me know. I can then parlay this endorsement into becoming their representative on the DCBAC and then parlay that into something else and then launch my bid for mayor since I'll have not much else to do with all of my parlays and such. Except maybe go to Gamblers Anonymous. Do casinos take money orders?
Down Penn and up by the Capitol and down the regular streets at the regular pace (slow) and then home. Not a bad ride, but not the greatest either. But good enough! Anyway, have a great weekend, keep it real, and peace out.


  1. I prefer to commute strapped to a ship's mast, listening to all the Ambulances and Firetrucks drive by. What? Oh.....not those Sirens.

  2. I waited until late to leave work and avoid the rain, but I still got wet thanks to my lack of fenders. I did take a couple of seconds to ponder your fate, sans jacket...sounds like it wasn't awful, at least. Did you notice that drivers were a little extra angsty this evening? I had a nice gentleman with Florida plates honk at me on 15th south of the cycle track (heading to the tidal basin) and zoom around me, only to have to slam on his brakes at Constitution. As I filtered past him I looked right in his passenger side window, but he was eyes forward....oh, and talking on the phone. I kept pace with him and traffic until he turned toward 395...good thing he almost killed me.

  3. What is WITH the intersection of Q and 20th?! And why is it 942 times worse in the rain? I don't think I've ever done that intersection on bike since the Bikeshare station is a block away, but I do it every day on foot and rarely by car and I don't understand how it is such a disaster. Other than the fact that every other car is a cab. Cabs like to do things like run red lights and turn into pedestrians crossing the street.

  4. After admitting I did not ride home Friday evening (ducks rotten tomatoes), I offer to fit a giant wooden horse to your bicycle, making you a transportationally simultaneously bi-modal equine-cyclist for $100,000. (that's 2 animal references in one sentence. There oughtta be a prize for that!!)

  5. @petrus:
    Nice try, Rick Santorum.
    (http://dcist.com/2012/03/secret_service_names_for_romney_and.php )