Word on the street is that the weather is nice. I'm disinclined to disagree with any word on any street, so let me confirm, for those of you read this from your subterranean bunkers, that this morning was exorbitantly pleasant and I met its warmth and sunshine with too many layers for the occasion, and found myself almost immediately uncomfortable. I make lemons out a lemonade, or something like that. I think that's called alchemy.
The nice weather inspired many to take their bicycles with them to work and the bike lanes saw their fair share of use, which to my mind, is not really enough. I want bike congestion, darn it! If this make me sound crazy, so be it. I won't be happy until the streets drip with chain lube, though that might make things slippery and cause an excess of gunk to build up on your rear cogs. Sometimes I wonder how a larger constituency of everyday bicyclists (people you use their bikes from real-life transportation) would actually impact the policies and politics of DC. The way I see it, and this is myopic and twittish, is that the residents of DC vote for DC politicians and if the residents of DC want slower streets and more walkable neighborhoods and bike lanes and the like and essentially want make it more difficult and slower for car commuters from other jurisdictions to enter DC, then we can pretty much do that, right? Congress would never let us impose a congestion tax, or at least not a monetary one, but can't the residents of DC essentially impose a other kinds of secret taxes on out-of-state drivers that essentially makes it really unpleasant to bring your car into DC. Like with speed cameras and parking tickets. Wait, are they doing that already????
Some things worth reading:
On the L & M cycletracks and other bike lane stuff
On Director of Planning and her Brompton (ok, the Brompton part is incidental)
The DC Bicycle Advisory Committee Meeting from last night
I have a plan for eighth graders and it's not "put all of them on a barge and sink it in the ocean." It's much more reasonable and it involves their school trips to DC and a national bicycle licensing scheme. Ok, not really licensing, but training. Step 1) Establish a national bicycle training scheme and make it part of school 2) Instruct eighth graders on bicycle operational and let them get some certificate for the completion of this training course 3) have them take their 'final exams' in Washington, DC when they come here on school trips. We'll associated patriotism and love of country with safe and proficient bicycle operation and this will be a great and totally feasible thing to do. Everyone can get a certificate and it'll have a bike and bald eagle on it and you can hang it up in your room or whatever. You're welcome, America.
I haven't encountered too many school tour groups yet, but they'll be here soon. I encourage you to be patient with them, especially when they're blocking bike lanes, which will invariably happen on every commute through the more touristy parts of town for the next 7 months. Might be worth switching up your route, but that's up to you.
I rode behind a woman who had a Globe Haul, sort of like mine, but blue and with an IGH. Rare to see another one in the wild. I also saw Jon, who probably also saw the woman, since she was right on front of me, but I doubt that her bicycle was of as much interest to him as it was to me.
Please yield the right of way to bicyclists turning from Pennsylvania to 15th, especially when those bicyclists have the green bike light.
I don't remember when I first saw this guy or where I last saw him, but this is a picture of a man who clearly cares about his bicycle and Brooks products. He's got a leather pant strap. I'm sorry- I mean, trouser strap.
One of the worst places to have your dog sniff another dog is in the middle of a cycletrack. I think they only teach that in advanced obedience classes. When this happened, luckily, it was Kyle leading the pack of cyclists coming the other way and he had the good sense to stop for the dogs. I hate to suggest that other bicyclists wouldn't make the same decision, but I could certainly imagine a scenario in which someone trying to preserve their momentum and SAVE PRECIOUS SECONDS swerves around the sniffing dogs and perhaps collides into me. Here's the thing, people who try to SAVE PRECIOUS SECONDS, you're on a bike. There's only so fast you're going to get anywhere. If you need to arrive at work 4 seconds faster than you would have otherwise and can only achieve this 4 second time difference by doing stupid things like swerving around sniffing dogs rather than slowing down for a bit, then maybe bike commuting isn't for you. You should try a jet pack. Those go plenty fast and are plenty reckless. Jet fuel is expensive, but time is money, right?
I worry about pedestrians walking into the street from out of view behind parked cars on R Street. Car traffic tends to get backed up and this creates the illusion that traffic isn't flowing. Except it is, in the bike lanes. Expect bicycles.
There was a guy on a road bike and he was wearing a red windbreaker and sneakers and he just absolutely left me in the dust riding up Massachusetts. For a while, I tried to keep up and I mostly succeeded, sort of, but then I just sat back and said "screw it." I actually said this, aloud. I can't say that he was objectively fast, but he was certainly faster than me. I watched him for a little while and saw driver after driver refuse to leave the right lane to pass him, even when the left lane was totally open. I don't really get that, but it's hard to say whether they were passing him too closely since, after only a bit, he was a hundred yards in front of me. I ended up settling in behind another bicyclist and I pretty much stayed behind her until I got to work. I wonder where fast guy went.