In some ways, blogging your bike commute is like eating an empanada. In other ways, it's completely different.
It was brisk this morning, but ultimately a pleasant ride. It could have been less windy, but unfortunately, the Mayor has yet to install the much needed wind cameras and start issuing tickets to the Anemoi. Some people say that this is just a cash grab, but I'm pretty certain that less windy streets would be safer for everyone, especially if they have structurally unsound umbrellas or if they're wearing billowy pirate pants. How many times must our pirates and M.C. Hammer impersonators have to struggle through the wind before someone does something about it?
Today, I created my own wind (no, like that. that's gross) through my half-hearted attempts at whistling some Dusty Springfield. Much of my bike commutes are spent with pursed lips, which when you write it down, sounds a lot weirder than it is, unless, it's really weird to whistle in public, which it might be. Anyway, you see some weird guy on a bike whose face mirrors that of a guppy, it might be me. Some people breathe heavily when they bicycle, as they exert the effort needed to get into the RED ZONE or whatever and since my goal is never to do that on a commute, I find whistling to be a rather effective inhibitor. Cheaper than speed cameras.
On East Capitol, by the Supreme Court, there was a traffic cone in the middle of the bike lane. The traffic cone had another, smaller cone perched atop it. I don't know what that means.
Saw one of my favorite bike commuters today, the woman on the blue Canondale. I don't know why I like her so much. Maybe just because she's a regular. I rode behind her for much of Penn, but I don't know how exactly we split along 15th. Maybe it had something to do with my turning onto the street and her making it to the cycletrack. Oh well. I've never quite been able to figure out how to talk to other fellow bike commuters without being awkward about it, but that problem isn't reserved to only bike commuters. Plus, what's there to say? "Notice you ride your bike to work at roughly the same time I do the same thing. Are we friends now?" Like I said, awkward.
I forgot to mention this yesterday, but I saw a driver pull an awesome u-turn at a red light, through a crosswalk and from the far right lane, across three lanes of stopped traffic. It was impressive. Silver BMW. I drive a good bit (on weekends mostly) and I rarely feel compelled to make u-turns, but I see drivers do it a lot. I've always thought that the risk far outweighed the reward, but maybe that's not the case. I don't really know.
[Fourth wall alert: YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME/JUST BE CLOSE AT HAND.]
That's the no-left turn sign at 4th and Pennsylvania that some local do-gooders had previously noticed has been installed incorrectly and subsequently did good in correcting it when it fell down. Well, it's now been adjusted further by the proper authorities, maybe, and it rests on the lower pole rather than below the "Obey this signal" sign. Did it stop the guy from making a left turn? Naw, but it's only a sign, so it can't really do more than advise anyway.
15th was crowded. All sorts of bicyclists out. Almost seemed like too many, given the relative cold. I need to readjust my expectations. Bike commuting is here in a big way. And so is my hypocrisy. I passed the guy in front of me at 15th and P as he was slowing to stop at a turning-red light. And I passed him on the right. I've become everything I hate. But here's my lame excuse: I was following the bike lane, where it sort of bulges out and he was stopping in the middle of the lane. And here's my other lame excuse: he didn't signal his turn. But I recognize that these are both lame excuses and you may throw lettuce at me the next time you see me. I don't know what would make for appropriate contrition. Maybe volunteering at the bike valet for Lumen8 Anacostia. In fact, depending on your creed and belief system and there guilt associated therewith, maybe you can receive absolution for your bike scofflawism by doing good deeds for WABA. Sign up here.
There's been construction around Sheriden Circle forever (or maybe for the past month) and today it resulted in a road closure and my having to ride on the sidewalk past a bunch of embassies and their driveways. That stinks. Driveways cutting across sidewalks aren't fun for anyone. Then it was off the sidewalk for a bit and then back on the sidewalk until Wisconsin and then off the sidewalk again. I wish I had the temerity to take the lane, but I just don't, at least not when I'm riding considerably below the speed of car traffic, which is considerably above the posted speed limit.