3/9/12

Ride In 3/9: Burt Baccarat

There's an important lesson to be learned about yielding the right of way to your fellow bicyclists when the situation calls for it and the lesson goes something like this: failing to yield the right of way to a fellow bicyclist when he's riding straight and you're turning right while also blowing through a stop sign is kind of a jerk thing to do and you never know when the bicyclist you've mistreated is a member of the very powerful #bikeDC bloggeratti, who might be desperate enough in his search for anything to write about that he might reference something that wasn't actually that big of a deal and about which he can remember no specific details. [Note: I'm not convinced that the #bikeDC bloggeratti is especially powerful, nor that it's even a real thing.] Accordingly, I've decided to endorse the 11th commandment of bike commuting: Thou shalt not be a jerk to a fellow bike commuter. I'd like to thank Moses and Ronaldo Reagan for the assist on this one. (For what it's worth, I don't have strong opinions on coveting, false idols or speaking ill of Republicans, fellow or otherwise.)
Windier and colder than I wanted it to be. I even wore gloves. Wind was especially whipping along Pennsylvania. Didn't seem to slow down the drivers, but this caravel was having a hard go of it. After seeing another driver make a u-turn across the bike lane, I think it's time to talk about some solutions to this fairly serious problem. I have a couple of ideas, one of which involves gators, but I think the most workable would be to simply install white bollards every 3 feet for the entire length of the bike lane. Space them wider than that and drivers will pull right through. Space them narrower than that and you'll probably have spent the entire city's bollard budget. Also, that wouldn't be necessary. This winter has shown that bollards can be removed, and fairly easily, so really, enough is enough. The Illegal u-turns are an absolute pandemic and it needs to be stopped before someone gets really grievously injured. And if the bollard thing is too exteme, I mean, DC was a swamp the judicious deployment of a dozen alligators, with the proper training and deputization, would also get the job done.
Good crowd at coffee this morning and some new faces too. Here's some information about the Ride on Washington and your opportunity to join the ride for its last couple of miles. You should try to look extra-fatigued so you can pretend that you camethe whole way from New York. (When people ask, just say "yeah, I rode from New York" and simply elide the "Avenue" part. Just don't do it on a Bikeshare bike in that case because that would totally blow your cover.)
Yes, this is a picture of a flyer. What? 
If you'd like to support Pete (PedroGringo, Dirt, @I_am_dirt) in his fundraising effort for this ride , you can do so here. As of this posting, he's $87 away from his goal.
When we left coffee, Jon and I rode past the White House through the rather imposing security perimeter that smushes bicyclists and pedestrians together between metal barriers and gates and walls in a way that's pretty uncomfortable. This didn't stop another bicyclist from dinging his way through the crowd in a manner that I thought was a bit pushy and totally unnecessary. When there's that little space, I'm not sure that bicyclists should really expect the right of way. At the security bollards at Madison Place, a woman walked in front of me and was all like "thank you, thank you. thank you" for my not running her down. Is bicyclist behavior really that bad that such pleading and gratitude is considered necessary? Geez, guys. If it is, yikes.
Fine going on 15th, though there was a driver who blocked the lane at Rhode Island by not being able to fully pull into the driveway at that hotel. That was kind of annoying, but nothing worth losing sleep over. I remember being struck by the rather wide variety in bicyclist attire, ranging from those shivering in shorts to others sweating in winter coats. Why can't it just be spring? My calendar says spring. Sure, it's a calendar from the Diamond Wire Spring Comapny, but still. And for all of you season "literalists" out there, I'm fully aware that spring doesn't start until the Easter Bunny reads that "Pastel Proclamation." Like everyone else, I learned that in high school science class.
If I told you that I have a love-hate relationship with the last 3 miles of my commute, would you believe me? Would you have reason to doubt me? Are you that distrusting and am I that dishonest? It's slow and uphill and I can't say that I especially care for it, except for when I do. Some day I'll live closer to work and I'll look back fondly on these rides, but on windy days after a long week, I have a hard time enjoying it.
Saw this:
A question for these trying times.

It's a pretty good question and one fraught with meaning and symbolic importance, especially when written over the crossed-out animal avatar for a Christian holiday. Paganism, folks, is on the march in Cathedral Heights. Don't say you weren't warned.

2 comments:

  1. Kegasus is 71 days away... someone is getting a little anxious. (I assume the spray paint was in your left hand when you took the pic, luckily it wasn't reflected in the bike shelter glass)-@SamuelMoore

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  2. @SamuelMoore You've figured me out. I just spray painted it for something to blog about. Also, because I love me some kegasus and I don't care how many bus stops I need to vandalize.

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