Ride In 3/15: Michael York, Peppermint Patty

Yesterday, on a Wednesday in March, Capital Bikeshare broke its all-time ridership record with 6313 rides, beating the previously established record of 6044 from July 4th, one of the most touristy and out-and-about days on the DC calendar. I contributed approximately zero of those trips, but the Official Wife was one and I suspect that many of you contributed others. Bravo! I wouldn't hazard a guess at to whether we'll break the record again today (although I did hazard that guess yesterday and totally nailed it), but it might be close. Breaking records is great, but I'm starting to wonder about the upper bounds of the system. For the more mathematically inclined, I'd like to set you this challenge: is there a maximum reasonable number of trips that we can anticipate before the system can't handle any more with the current number of bikes? Would some combination of empty docks and full docks and the inability to rebalance them quickly enough make it impossible for Bikeshare, following the already established basic patterns of demand and usage, to cross a certain threshold? Get at it, boffins! I'd gladly post your results and that will ensure they'll reach an audience of nine, including my mom.
It was another morning ride in morning weather that I lack the ability to describe adequately in prose. Or in verse, really. It was the kind of weather than embraces you when you're stopped and misses you when you roll through it. I wasn't kidding about the lack of ability to describe it, as that previous sentence shows. What I can describe, in words, but better with a photograph, is that pothole on East Capitol.

I think that an entry-level road bike isn't a very good choice if you're looking to purchase a bike for bike commuting. That's just sound random idea that I have apropos of nothing, except for the number of people I see commuting on them. But then again, I encourage you to commute by bicycle and if that's the bike you want or the bike you have, using that is still vastly preferable to not commuting by bicycle, unless of course, you don't want to, which is also fine.
Police: I'm just going to assume that if you're making a u-turn across the Penn Ave bike lanes, it's because there's an emergency somewhere.
For a block, a man driving his Volvo was using the bike lane as a non-bike lane and this was somewhat terrifying to me and I looked back a couple of times so as to suggest that perhaps he should no longer do this. He then tried to make an illegal left at 14th, but was shooed away by the DDOT traffic helper (I don't know what else to call this position. He's not a crossing guard. He's a guy that stands there and directs drivers not to block the intersection. Traffic helper seems about as good of a term as any).
Again, the White House was closed off and rather than try to ride my bike on the sidewalk past what was something like 11 zillion school children in matching bright green shirts, I decided that I would just up 15th and cut back over at I (Eye). Along 15th, I (ego) was passed by a superbiker in all black kit who didn't really seem to know where he was going but was going to get there fast! Mount Vernon trail's thataway, man!  But then I (ego) didn't cut back over at I (Eye) and rode up Vermont and through the traffic circle and found myself on 14th street. SPOILER ALERT: 14th street was wonderful! Rather than the stop and go of the 15th street cycletrack, and the hordes of cyclists riding directly at me, I had a bike lane all to myself and a fairly straightforward, and maybe even marginally faster, ride to R. Who knew? I mean, other than all of the people who already knew, but for some reason, didn't tell me. Thanks a lot, guys.
Four-times shoaled at 16th and R. And guess what? No one was "quick off the line," nor were they especially quick thereafter. Such is life.
If you were wearing a raincoat today, as one woman riding in front of me was, I think you got the weather wrong. People who wear superfluous coats are history's greatest monsters.
I spent a lot of the last ten minutes of my ride whistling "Love is a Battlefield." Nothing says "I'm taking the lane" like Benatar.  I'm very badass.


  1. (Sorry for the R-rated turn...)

    My spouse saw "MotherFuckingBike.com" and asked when I found time to appear in the "Tour de Fuck You" segment. Not me, but the facial expression in the window is probably what I look like far too often.

  2. Re: 14th Street, I knew. AND I TOLD YOU, months ago. You tried it and said there were "lots of lights." How soon they forget!

    I have taken to giving anyone with a tire in the bike lane and plenty of room to the left (like on Euclid the other morning) a solid pat on the vehicle hindquarters.

  3. I have, admittedly, started commuting on my new (to me) road bike, but that's only because my new commuter CX bike still hasn't come in yet...entering week 7 of that saga.

  4. I agree that an entry-level road bike is not the best commuter. I wish I had a steel-frame CX bike with skinny road tires, and eventually I'll probably get one.

  5. Guess what?

    Your photo is no longer operative. They filled the pothole on E. Capitol sometime Thursday.