Ride Home 3/29: NBA Playoff Predictions

Since I've become famous, I've had to make a lot of adjustments in my life. For example, I can no longer use generic brand toothpaste. What would the tabloids say? But the one thing I haven't quite gotten around to in the nine hours since my meteoric ride to fame and fortune is hiring a publicist- something, I'm told, perhaps by publicists themselves, that is vital for all celebrities. That means that when it comes to managing my publicity and/or dealing with the media, I still have to do it myself, like some common hobo. And I had cause to deal with the media this very afternoon, when I wanted to send a "gift basket" (put anything in quotes and it sounds mischievous/threatening) to the person that made me famous through her vast influence and couple of inches of newsprint, Alex Baca of the Washington City Paper.  She's the one who undertook the rigorous surveying and longitudinal studies and overall number-crunching (NOM NOM NOM) that determined that this here very bicycle blog is the "best" and I wanted to thank her for her complete lack of taste and judgment. So, I sent her a series of increasing cryptic and threatening emails whereby I arranged to meet her at her workplace and give her one (1) official Tales From the Sharrows button, in a sort of reverse bribery situation. Maybe that's called I kickback. I don't know- I'm not an expert or a council member or anything. So, off I rode, down Massachusetts and Garfield and Cleveland, reversing the route I undertook this morning, except that my lack of patience/fear of running late led me to take the sidewalk for a little on Garfield before crossing the street midblock and merging in front of some cars to get to the bike lane. On Cleveland, according to the speed cam, I hit 32, which I believe under the Gray administration would equal a fine of roughly $17 gazillion dollars had I license plate visible so they'd know where to send the ticket 3 weeks later. Calvert proved mostly ok, but I really don't like the intersection with Connecticut Avenue, which is ironic since I was born and raised in Connecticut and also because I don't know what irony is. The intersection with Columbia Road is kind of a pain, so I just rode to the south side of Columbia and waited for the other light to change rather than try to make a left from Adams Mill. Often times it's easier to cross the street and rotate your bike 90 degrees than it is to wait to make left turn. And by easier I mean, easier if you don't like waiting.
I'd never been to Washington City Paper HQ. The outside of the building looks like this:
Not Helvetica
I called Alex and while I waited, I got to see the "best of" in print for the first time. It looked like this:
I wanted to take a couple of the copies of the paper for like signing autographs and putting on eBay and stuff (HAHAHAHAHAHA!), but I could only fit one copy in my trunk bag. Maybe I'll pick up some more tomorrow. I was happy to see it wedged between "Best long-running neighborhood feud" and "best neighborhood email list" aka PRIME REAL ESTATE. 
Now commences the I BLOG YOUR WALK HOME portion of the blog. Alex doesn't live too far away from her workplace and not always far enough to bike, unless she's going somewhere else after work and sometimes that thing happens where it takes longer to bike (with the locking and the unlocking) than just walking. Conversation was easy and flowing, which is rare for me since I have the social graces of a scofflaw ocelot. We walked down Champlain and then Florida and W and that was pretty much it. We spoke for a while on topics of mutual interest (bikes, blogs, beer, bridges) and somehow while standing there my chain managed to somehow fall off, which takes my mechanical ineptitude to all sorts of new places. And then I took a picture of Alex and her new TFTS button and might have insulted her thereafter, perhaps by using the word "addled," so I'm pretty sorry about that and pretty sure that I'm not "winning" this again next year. A million thanks to WCP!
The Fourth Estate
Alex happens to live near the 15th street cycle track, so upon my exit I salmoned for a block (sorry!) before riding the track the remainder of the way. It was crowded and everyone was riding in the other direction. And many of those riding in the other direction were attempting to pass many of the others who were riding in the other direction, giving me no small degree of concern as the bike lane isn't especially wide and I'm not especially indestructible. As with all things bike-related, I encourage patience and not crashing into things. Heading southbound, it's all stops at each light until H and then it was crowds by the White House and even more bicyclists on the other side where the cycle track picks up again. 
I love the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track and I know that drivers love it too because they ALWAYS DRIVE IN IT. Today, the box-blocking traffic on 14th causes a few eastbound drivers to pull directly into the bike lanes, you know, rather than not doing that and was quite unsafe and illegal, but it's the unsafe part that I like the least. And then, at 11th, there was a taxi driver who had pulled his taxi right into the bike lanes and put on his left turn. I rode around him and looked back. I said "what happened?" in the way that I talk to Ellie the Poodle when she takes a tissue out of the trash can and rips it up and then looks all innocent and stuff. He sort of pointed to 11th, so as to indicate that he planned on turning. Note: there's a left-turn lane immediately to the right of the bike lane and I'm not really sure why he wasn't in it. So, then I was all like "I gotcha. It's cool," even though I didn't really get him and it sort of wasn't cool. And then the left turn arrow turned green. And the car in the left-turn lane turned left in front of me, since I wasn't going anywhere. And then the taxi driver honked! I thought about taking a picture, so as to provide some visual evidence to this ridiculousness, but I thought that that might seem threatening and I felt like I'd just let it go since I was the only bicyclist affected. Oh, taxi drivers. You so crazy. 
Didn't get passed or shoaled on Penn and then it was a quick trip up the hill (The Hill). It's starting to get really crowded. There was a grandma in a sari taking pictures of her grandkids (I'm presuming this relationship based on ages. I didn't stop to ask) posing all funny-like with the dome in the background. It was pretty funny. 
The cavalcade of seeing people I know continued when I passed D. along the sidewalk along East Capitol. It's very neighborly in my neighborhood. He and his wife were taking the dog out for a walk and we talked for a while about houses and the purchasing thereof and when I finish this post, I plan to send him the contact information for our real estate agent and mortgage guy. I'm really a full service local bike blogger. 
Friday coffee tomorrow, since it's Friday. You should come. 

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