Ride In 3/29: A Rebuttal

The Washington City Paper has mistakenly declared me the "best local bike blogger" and I meet this award with gratitude and skepticism and more gratitude. I'm glad that the recognition made proper mention of Ellie the Poodle, sandwiches and my rambling, which I'll take as a compliment whether or not it was intended to be one. It's always been a goal of mine to be "local alt weekly" famous, which is the equivalent of being able to dunk on a 6 foot hoop. In either case, that hasn't stopped me from blasting Tina Turner all morning and strutting about the office like a proud peacock. It helps that I have a large assemblage of peacock feathers, glue, ample free time and no shame.
I'm also glad that I was able to accomplish this feat without having to take any money orders from Jeff Thompson, though I don't know if they made their way to Alex Baca through my "shadow campaign," about which I will deny everything until subpoenaed. All I'm saying is that if Sulaimon Brown's bike commuter blog didn't spend so much time trashing WashCycle maybe things don't turn out this way.
Writing this blog gives me great pleasure and that others (you, presumably) might enjoy reading it makes it that much better. Thank you all. One thing that I was really glad to have mentioned was button campaign. If, let's say, buttons were to become available again (same bat price, same bat channel) and the proceeds were to be once again directed to WABA, would anyone be interested?
Today's weather was much like yesterday's, except maybe it was windier. It was a terrible day for "Wear Trash Bags to Work Day," so it's good that that's not a real thing. Otherwise, it was sunny and temperate and a great day for bike commuting. Spring won't last as long as we want and soon it will be summer and riding will go from "comfortable chore" to "better than sitting on a hot Metro car, but only a little," so, if you're inclined to commute by bike, I suggest giving it a go in the coming weeks rather than holding off. Though, presumably, if you're reading this, you might already commute by bike which makes this advice seem redundant. Or maybe you just like bike commuting vicariously and are playing in a Bike Commuter Fantasy League and you're reading this blog to determine my "stats" for your upcoming draft. (I don't play fantasy bike commuting  any more. It's just gotten too commercial.)
At the base of the Capitol, I saw Adam, friend of the blog and sometimes commenter (and BikeSnob ride ride marshal). He was riding to work, which is somewhere near Judiciary Square and perhaps even related to judiciary things. I rarely see people I know on the way to work, more frequently seeing them, which isn't especially frequent, on the ride home. I'm sure my conversation skills perfectly mirrored the two cups of coffee I had to that point imbibed, which is to stay stilted. I take my coffee stilted and with two sugars.
I didn't want to take the same as always today, so at 15th and R, I didn't turn left. I rode up to Florida and the up the hill past Meridian Park. (Tip: just stay to the left when the cycle track stops.) I spent much of the ride up the hill dreading the idea that someone might be salmoning down the hill. I even practiced cursing out this fictitious person ahead of time, just so I'd be ready- it's always a good idea to have your invective ready to go. otherwise you say things like "jackhole." I don't normally ride to work this way because of the unpleasantness of riding up that hill, which is the first of three "climbs" so to speak on this etape way to work. It turned out to be too unpleasant, mostly because I resigned myself to going slowly. Wearing normal people clothes helped me in that. In bike clothes, it's far to easy to convince yourself that exertion is enjoyable.
To be straightforward about it, getting around Columbia Heights on bicycle confuses me more than it should. Euclid and 15th is two ways, but it won't take me west after 16th. I don't know anything about Fuller Street. Maybe it has a haunted mansion or an old shoe factory? Who knows? Not me, so I didn't take it, which I think is wrong. And then there are a bunch of other streets, which I thought at the time would all take me east, which would only work if there was a bizarro me with a bizzaro job and bizzaro office at Catholic. I figured that I'd just turn on Columbia Road and that would be fine, which is was. There's even sharrows and a bike lane on it, which are new features that are pretty great, though not totally contiguous. The sharrows-lane-sharrows configuration one isn't something I'm totally crazy about, but I guess that's what we've got and beggars can't really be choosers. It's sort of like if a road went from gravel to pavement to gravel over the course of a mile. Sure, you could still drive on it, but maybe it's not optimal.
Adams Mill and Calvert have bike lanes, Cleveland, my second biggish climb, doesn't, but easily could. Garfield, the first part of my final ascent, does, but then they stop. It's not exactly a connected network, though it's completely bikeable the whole way. I think I only a few other people on bikes after Columbia. One guy was leaning forward with his road bike at a red light, as if to say "Look at me, I'm leaning" and one guy had a really, almost unnaturally, squeaky bike and then there was a guy who, if I'm not mistaken, was carrying a suit, on a hanger, with the hanger tucked into the rear neck (?) of his sleeveless shirt. At that point maybe it'd just be easier to wear the suit


  1. I would buy a button - I only recently discovered the blog, so I missed out on the first round of button purchasing opportunities.

  2. Congrats on the Nobel - I mean, WCP - award! I look forward to seeing you bike around town with your peacock feathers spread out :)

  3. Wow, that makes all us readers cool by association. We read the best bike blog in town. Congrats!

  4. Buttons! I need buttons! How else can I festoon?

  5. If, let's say, buttons were to become available again...would anyone be interested?

    Heck, yeah! I need a TFTS button on the saddlebag of each of my bikes. Will you do button delivery in a tux as well?

    Congrats on the City Paper shout out. =)

  6. I would send money for buttons and shipping. Unfortunately as I'm out of the "bicycle delivery" radius, other options would not be reasonable.

    But you're always welcome in Jacksonville, NC if you want to blog my commute.

  7. Ha. And my conversation skills no doubt mirrored the NO cups of coffee I had consumed. As did my ridiculous cab driver ire-earning merge across Penn.

    Would definitely buy buttons.

  8. Congratulations! It's a well deserved award! And I'd agree; best of the DC bunch.
    I'll buy a button.

  9. I vote for buttons with flashing LEDs...fashion and function!

  10. From #37 to #1! Congratulations, well deserved.

    Also, flashing LED buttons would be awesome.

  11. Since I go up 15th to Harvard every day, I've found that the easiest thing to do is to move to the right travel lane at U St, use the sharrows for a block, and then get in the bike lane as it reappears on the right after V. Usually I get to the right by just leaving the bike lane before U after the car traffic has passed, but sometimes I just stop at the light at U then use the crosswalk. It all depends on light timing and the amount of traffic. This is probably a much more complicated explanation of this than you wanted or needed or can even use if you ever do this again, but whatever. I leave it to you to follow or not follow my advice.

  12. Congrats for the well-deserved honor.