3/20/12

Ride Home 3/20: Hex Nuts in my Bridge Mix

Another night, another dream, but always you. That's not a related in any way to bike commuting, but instead it's a lyric from German eurodance hitmakers of the early 90s, the Real McCoy. I'm tempted to end this post now and just walk away, self-revoking my blogging privileges forever.
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
But I'm not actually going to do that. We must press on, sort of like those guys in World War I, who went over the top of the trenches, knowing full well that they would be gunned down by machine gun fire or mustard gas or ravenous attack squirrels or maybe only the first couple of those things. I don't know in this analogy whether I'm the machine gunner and you, the nine readers, are the cannon fodder or whether it's the other way around, but what I do know is that once this was a bike commuter blog and I've drifted rather far away from that in these opening paragraphs and asterisks.
I saw a license plate on a jeep that read IMCUJO, as in "I'm Cujo," as in Cujo. I didn't know he knew how to drive. It is far too easy to get a driver's license in this country. First Cujo starts driving and then Cujo starts getting "confused" about red top meters. It's a slippery slope and if you're anything like me, you'd rather not have an evil ass nightmare dog slipping down this slope in your general direction.
Speaking of slopes, I'm inclined (get it?) to mention my ride down Mass, which saw me, briefly, riding behind another bicyclist for the first time in a long time. He seemed ok about the whole thing, except when we got towards the bottom of the hill, he veered into the right-turn only lane and seemed confused as to what to do next. I took that opportunity to decide to ride around him, then found myself on the sidewalk and then found myself trying to get off the sidewalk, then found myself back on the road and then found myself cut off by a minivan. I guess I found myself a lot of places, but I hadn't realized that I had been so lost, especially considering it's the same ride I always make. Another night, another dream, or something like that.
Profusion of bicyclists out. I tend to notice them more when they're about to inch out into my path. There's nothing, in my opinion, wrong with a bicyclist making his way to the front of a queue (of traffic, not like, at Wendy's or something) in order to be more visible and maybe get a jump on traffic. All within reason. It sometimes becomes precarious when the "jump" on traffic is the same as the "jump" into the approach of other oncoming traffic, so I don't like that part very much. Exhibit good judgment.
I ended up behind one of those guys that people "know" that they're faster than and choose to shoal, but I shoaled not, lest I be shoaled, like it says in the Bible maybe. Speaking of the Bible, I'm pretty sure if Saul were driving on the road to Damascus, he probably would've just thought it was sun glare. Anyway, I, rode behind this guy for a block because there wasn't enough room between cars to move out of the bike lane to pass him and it turned out that it was completely fine because it added roughly no time to my actual commute and I'll never understand for the life of me why people do rude things like shoaling and passing people within the bike lane. Seriously. Get a stop watch and time it. The amount of time you "gain" will ne negligible, if it exists at all. Empiricism. (I believe Empirical waists are really big in experimental fashion. I'm not an expert.)
Some problem on 11th. Many police cars and an ambulance. Only one automobile, which makes me think there was a pedestrian involved. The road was blocked to cars, but I rode through in the bike lane and no one seemed to mind.
Gather around everyone and hear the tale of the epic battle of superbiker vs. breakaway sweat pants. Gather in a metaphorical sense, whatever that means. Superbiker first passed me between 9th and 7th. I dawdled, since I don't like to pedal whenever I see a red light. The color red makes me lethargic. For example, I've never been able to eat a bag of Skittles without falling asleep. Not only was this guy clad in superbiker attire, it was team superbiker attire and he must've been on his way somewhere or nowhere because really, I never know these things. People don't give me their bike itineraries before they go places because bike commuters are not like small aircraft and I'm not the FAA. Not yet at least. Anyway, after the light turns green at 7th, I slowly push down on the pedals, superbiker already out front a good ways, before a guy, from this point forward known as "breakaway sweat pants," on account of, you guessed it, his shirt breakaway sweat pants, passes me and moves to pass the superbiker. On the right. Superbiker keeps pace, obviously, for he is super, but then drops behind the guy as he has to leave the opposite direction bike lane in which he was riding for some reason. So, sweat pants is in the lead, and it's one of those race-but-not-a-race-but-really-a-race sorts of things and he's stays in the lead through 3rd street, before a red light stops them both. Between 3rd and the Capitol, superbiker catches up and he's back in front going into the circle in front of the Capitol. You can tell that this "race" wasn't especially fast since I was able to keep pace, but still. Superbiker takes the path, breakaway sweat pants takes the road, but superbiker starts to open up some distance, even though he's slowed by the pedestrians and tourists and emu. And superbiker makes it to the top of the hill and defends the honor of superbikers everywhere and breakaway sweat pants guy goes I'm not sure where because he never reappeared on East Capitol, which is where the superbiker and I were headed. I saw the superbiker pass a woman on a Segway (not a tourist) and then I don't know where he went. With that story, I've managed to, once again, lower the bar for epic.
Speaking of bars, I'm wondering what the most appropriate post-bike commute beer is. Not the best beer, which we all know isn't a beer at all, but Tonic & Soda, a curiously non-alcoholic beverage that tastes terrible, but the one most appropriate to consumption after a bike commute, a bike commute being a physical, but relatively mundane, task that you do every day that isn't exactly super special, but requires some deal of minor exertion. So, not the beer that you would drink after a Century or a long ride, but the workaday beer of midweek, job-well-done-but-not-a-big-deal-but-still-good-for-you-for-doing-it tasks. I guess this beer could also taste good or be quenching in some way.
I went to the store, as is my wont, and bought a bunch of vegetables and some vanilla yogurt. Onion smoothies for dinner! Or not really. I should be good for blogging tomorrow morning, but I might be taking the evening off on account of Bikesnob ride at BicycleSpace. If you're attending, I look forward to seeing you there. If you're not attending, I look forward to seeing you through my palantir. Or maybe some other time.

5 comments:

  1. Oy, that traffic at 11th! I saw your tweet about it when I was about four blocks past on foot. Pretty sure that you were there before me. I don't remember seeing any bikes, though the numerous cars in the middle of the intersection and lots of honking were a bit distracting. Actually I think that intersection was at 12th, on account of the problems on 11th. Lots of red-light running by drivers this evening.

    I got shoaled (I don't think you answered my question about whether pedestrians shoal each other or if that's another word entirely) by a heavy-set man who I'd already passed, and who I then passed again not 10 feet from the crosswalk. But I guess it's not such a big deal.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You want epic? Check this out...this morning, I'm huddled under the building at 21st/Penn to avoid being struck by lightning. As I go to get back on the road, a lady stops me and we have this conversation:

    Lady: "do you know where Pepperdine University is?"

    Me: "California"

    Lady: "no, there's one around here somewhere"

    Me: "ummmm...I don't know, sorry"

    Oh, and I'm pissed that I have to miss BSNYC because of work...

    ReplyDelete
  3. My vote for best beer for after a commute home is anything you brew at home. Right now, I have a nice homebrewed english pale ale on tap. Tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Marc I think they do have a DC Internship Campus around 20th and Penn... But I like your answer better.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The fenders really highlight the whitewall tires as well, yet another feature that makes it one of the flashiest and fun-looking cruisers around Affordable Cruiser Bicycle.

    beach cruiser bike

    ReplyDelete