Roads seemed empty today. Is it spring break? Have people vacated the city for reasons that might or might not be related to imminent Balrog attack or maybe a high pollen count? There were even extra bikes in the Bikeshare stations I passed, meaning that everyone didn't give up their cars for bicycles, or at least not CaBis. There was also a downtick (is that a thing?) of bicyclists on their own, non-Bikeshare bikes along my normal route, so I guess that's not it either. Maybe everyone just took public transportation today, perhaps to stand in line outside of the Supreme Court. Nothing prepares oneself for standing in line like standing in line waiting for a bus.
|Characteristically terrible picture.|
I try to be conscientious and not ride too close to the bicyclist in front of me. No story there, just sharing. Sometimes it's hard to know how close is too close, but not really. If you can touch the person in front of you, you are too close. If your front wheel is next to his or her real wheel, it's too close. If he turns around and says "STOP SMOTHERING ME!" you're too close and he might have some mommy issues. The new book by Bike Snob has a section dedicated to annoying cyclist-to-cyclist behavior and this is one of things he mentions. The technical slang term is "wheelsucking." So, don't do that.
I did wind up riding behind a guy who maybe wasn't going as fast as I would've liked to ride but also was going too fast for it not to be awkward for me to ride around him because in so doing, I wouldn't have really created enough "separation" so I'd then just be riding in front of him by about 10 feet, which seems sort of passive-aggressive. "Yeah, I'm going to make this effort to pass you, but then I'm just going to ride 10 feet in front of you," would be a thing that someone who did that kind of thing would say, if they were forced to say anything about it, which presumably they wouldn't be.
I rode up 11th and passed a guy walking around his white van. When I rode past him, he made the requisite "whoa" noise, the noise made by someone who isn't looking and would never expect that a bicyclist might also be on the street. He sounded a big indignant as well. If I were passed at the same speed and with the same distance between us by a driver, I wouldn't be so much indignant as forever grateful for their care and concern. But it's a perceptive thing I guess.
11th is a light climb. I never remember that. Lots of cyclists coming in the other direction, both on the bike lane parts and the non-bike lane parts.
Rode behind a guy on R who's bike sounded like squeaky bed springs. I don't think that's a good sign. And then I rode behind some other people, none of whom were wearing clown makeup, which is great because that'd be petrifying. No CaBis on R, though I did see a rebalancing van. I also didn't notice any special enforcement efforts. The scourge of cycling scofflawism will apparently remain in our midst. You can feel about that however you wish.
Yellow bike, leopard print yellow and black bartape on his fixie, all-black converse and green canvas backpack that looked like it came from a military surplus store and he was in front of me for the entire climb up Massachusetts from the Islamic Cultural Center to Wisconsin Avenue. His pace was plodding and deliberate, not slow but could've been improved with the addition of other gears. In sympathy, I rode behind and I didn't change gears and we mashed together and I don't think we even stopped until Garfield. I can't say I terribly enjoyed it.
I screwed up around Ward Circle and wound up riding around the circle instead of across it. Stupid circles (yeah, I'm going to blame the street layout and not my own poor decision making. That's cool, right?)