Bike commuting, in a lot of ways, is like Stravinsky's Rite of Spring: at first, it makes you crazy. But then you get habituated to it and pretty soon pretty much only enjoyed by old people and the pretentious.
I saw a guy who had a trail-a-bike and his trail-a-bike had a trail-a-bike. That's double-trail-a-bike and that's pretty intense. He must experience some serious Tony Danza Effect. ("Why?," you may ask, "is it the Tony Danza Effect and not the Tony Micelli Effect?" Well, primarily, because it's not a real thing so who cares what I call it. But secondarily, Tony Micelli, while a lovable character is sort of supplanted by Tony Danza the actor, at least in terms of my recollection. Some fictional characters manage to supersede the actor that plays them and in other cases the actor's personality/name still manages to supersede the character's name and in other cases the actor's previous characters manage the supersede the actor's current character (every time we watch the increasingly boring Ringer, I ask what Buffy is up to), but in all cases, this has nothing to do with bicycles or bicycle commuting, so I'm going to stop now)
I prefer to ride in the street, but I'll ride on the sidewalk where it's legal if it allows me to go faster. I'm opportunistic like that. Principles are great, but I'd no suffer car traffic when I don't have to. And yet, I found myself riding through Dupont Circle, instead of on Q. I don't know why I made this departure from the usual, especially since I was riding during a normal commute time when the Circle is a bit of a mess, as is the other side of Massachusetts Avenue, but this was my choice and I didn't really have much choice once I made my initial decision. It was all stopping in the Circle itself. I was one car back from a jitney and the driver of a rather large SUV moved from behind me to next to me and I resisted the urged to turn around and ask what the benefit of such maneuvering would be. While I could've tried to filter between the two rows of cars, I thought better of it and just decided to wait for the light to change. I was bored, so here's a picture:
|Stopped cars, stopped lives.|
When it did change, I managed to squeak by towards the right, making my way past the stopped traffic and then around the one parked car (which probably should've no longer been there parked) and then down Massachusetts to Thomas Circle, where I temporarily diverted to the sidewalk, jaywheeled the next light and then made it through again when the light turned green.
I elected to ride down 15th and accepted that that would take longer than going another way. I spent much of the time riding behind a woman who slung a tote bag over her left shoulder. Is it uncomfortable? I don't know and I didn't ask. There were many bicyclists heading in the other direction. I sort of wonder what it would be like to commute like a normal DC bike commuter, heading down from Columbia Heights in the morning and back up in the afternoon. What's it like riding up Meridian Hill after work? Neat? Not neat? Other adjectives?
An X2 bus blocked the crossing at I. Me and tote bag had to squeeze through the crosswalk with the pedestrians. The pedestrians didn't like it. Blame the bus driver.
Down 15th to Penn and I accidentally shoaled when the light turned green. There was a lurch from the bicyclists in front of me and I thought that they were going, but they opted against it and I was already going, so I declined to stop. "But there was lurch!," is what I would say were I delivering some sort of Seinfeld-style routine concerning my shoaling. Sorry.
And then I saw Jack Evans. I tweeted. He tweeted. I appreciate his pretending that he knows who I am. Big WCP fan, I bet. In any case, I'd like to make some sort of BINGO card with pictures each of the CMs and mark them off as I see them when I bike past the JAWB. Thus far I've seens Jack, VO, and Tommy Wells, so I've got a long way to go before I fill out the card. Note: indictments and shameful resignations will reset it, so I've gotta work fast!
There's a Bike Route sign for the Ballpark on 4th Street and Penn, but there's really no good place for a bicyclist to turn, so when the woman in front of me slowed down, passing past her was a bit awkward.
Is there more to write about the last mile and a half? Probably. I think someone nodded at me as he rode past on 6th as I edged forward at the red light. And a driver was mildly obliging as I left the bike lane to get around the UPS truck. And there are a number of families who sit on their front stoops, talking of Michelangelo and/or their kids' schoolwork and/or of nothing in particular. Sometimes I hear guys talking about the NBA and of the relative values of the bench players of the Miami Heat, but I didn't hear that today, mostly because those guys weren't about. I love my bike commute.