The primary reason I took Bikeshare (aside from the 2 minutes in walking time that I simply did not want to do) was because I was meeting up with some people downtown (including the Official Wife, woo!) for a bikey happy hour and I figured that taking CaBi would give me more options for the second part of the trip. The "more options" basically means Metro, which we ended up taking, but more on that later. (I guess. It's not a "I blog my Metro ride" blog or anything, but I'm willing to branch out.)
Caution tape. It's back.
|Roughly 7 miles away.|
I chose one of the newer CaBis, with the solid front rack. Always choose new CaBi over old CaBi. They tend to ride slightly better. And they're less scuffed and I'm just really vain and don't want to be seen on a scuffed bicycle.
It was a nice night for a bike ride home (good thing most are because I don't think sleeping in my office would very comfortable), and though my fingers were a tad cold, I wasn't overly put out. At least, not by the weather. I was put out, a bit, by a gigantic tow truck towing an equally gigantic dump truck. It was like the Devastator of trucks, except that Devastator is already the Devastator of trucks. It was super huge and one of those reminders that "sharing the road" is a sometimes preposterous idea. My idea of "sharing" was staying the fuck out the way because I'd rather not be flattened, crushed, maimed, devastated, or in any other way, brought to some sad end by the driver of a vehicle that weighed more than my house (the truck, not the driver, who seemed of average weight, at least based on what I saw of his elbow). And mission accomplished, but not like in that Iraq way, but in the real way where I actually stayed out of harm.
A little down the hill on Mass, I decided to get over the sidewalk, mostly because I don't ever feel comfortable on a CaBi descending a little but more slowly than I'd prefer. The sidewalk isn't great and I was worried about getting a tree branch to the eye. This is why all bicyclists should be required to wear goggles. Either the swimmer kind or the nutty professor kind. Your call.
For some time on lower Mass, I was behind a bicycling woman who was talking on her cell phone. This is always weird. Her phone-talking prevented her from alerting pedestrians to that fact that she was about to pass them too closely. That's a serious abnegation of duty. My ding envelope only extends so far, but I did what I could.
I saw a woman biking in tights that were patterned with a Jackson Pollack-type design. I also saw a guy who was wearing a shiny, silvery helmet that could best be described as Buck Rogers.
Q gave way to 15th (it didn't really give way. I just turned) and 15th was fine, but there were all sorts of police cars and flashing lights and backed-up car traffic and hubbub for reasons that I still don't fully understand. Perhaps it was a suspicious package. In any case, the combination of flashing lights and bad traffic always results in a terrible mess for bicyclists, the guppies of the fish tank that is the city.
I approached Lafayette Square and there were more sirens and blocked off roads and I asked a police officer if I could turn left and head down H and she didn't seem to have a problem with this, though I didn't really understand what she said and I hesitated a little because I didn't want to have my CaBi shot out from under me, like in the worse episode of Gunsmoke ever. H was empty for two blocks, but the traffic picked up again after 14th, but that's where I docked, so it wasn't a big deal.
Here are some bikes that I saw when walking to meet the Official Wife.
I'm not sure if there's anything remarkable about them, but I was bored and I figured taking pictures of things would be a good way to pass the time. Here, for example, are some cars:
And some bike lanes:
|New York Avenue, before 13th.|
And here's a restaurant where they had some professional cycling on one of the tvs in the bar:
|You can't see it.|
Anyway, downtown was a mess of drivers and pedestrians and bicyclists and everyone broke the rules and hated each other and seemed miserable. Some drivers didn't make it through an intersection (I forget which one) before the crosswalk light was activated and a bunch of us ended up the middle of the street prior to the driver being able to get out of the crosswalk. The driver decided that the presence of us pedestrians (Is the Walking Dead a show about pedestrians? I've never seen it) wouldn't be enough to stop him from driving forward an angry man smacked the car and yelled something like "Don't kill us!" (It wasn't that, but something like it). Another guy, walking the other direction, responded to the angry man, snidely, "You don't have to hit a car. He's trying to drive, you're trying to walk. Geez" (or something to that effect) and this is what counts as civic discourse in the crosswalk. Pedestrians have very little class solidarity, it seems.
Happy hour, while brief, was great and I enjoyed seeing everyone. Apparently, I missed others who arrived after we had left. Next time.
We decided to Metro home and I'm not really a Metro expert and I'm pretty sure I've forgotten everything I've ever known about how to comport myself on the Metro. Other than standing on the right, which I know how to do. It was crowded, but we waited an extra minute for the next train, which wasn't crowded. So that worked out. I saw some people holding the doors, which is another thing one isn't supposed to do. Ok, I guess I know the two things you're supposed to know if you ride the Metro. But those are just basics. I also learned from the Official Wife that it was a good idea to move to a certain end of the train (the front end) as that would be less crowded and put us closer to the exit at our home station. Here's some Metro ambiance:
|A poster for Game Change.|
|Dollar coins. C'mon, America.|
And then it was three blocks of walking and we were home. Huzzah, multi-modalism.