It's Sunday before noon. This ride took place Friday, after 5. Scene set.
I didn't ride directly home on Friday. Instead, I stopped downtown. It was the Official Wife's last day with her now former job at the Peace Corps and I was going to meet her to help her bring home some of her stuff.
I rode Mass, which is increasingly congested lately, perhaps in part from cars with diplomatic plates not being moved from the parking lanes before the restrictions are lifted. I think the a Secret Service cruiser had pulled up behind the parked sedan and was either in the process of issuing a ticket, or something else, since I'm not totally sure that the Secret Service can issue parking tickets and I'm almost completely sure that it would go unpaid if issued. Prior to that, I saw an adult roadie with a kid roadie in tow, both in Lycra kit and I really regret not taking a picture, because it was kind of cute. Maybe cute isn't the right word. I rarely see young kids fully decked out in cycling gear and I'm not sure I've ever seen one during an evening commute.
I rode past Q and down, elected to turn down 20th and then elected to jaywheel through the red, inconsiderately delaying a bus that was pulling off from the curb. I get mega bonus asshole points for delaying a bus, since that inconveniences like 30 people. Way to go, me!
Then it was quick turn onto New Hampshire and then down 21st. The car traffic through downtown is abysmal. I don't know how drivers put up with it everyday. I guess it's either from a) a tremendous preference to drive over other means of travel or b) a feeling of captivity with driving as your option to get to and from work. Congestion, however, doesn't distinguish between the two types. It also slows down bicyclists. I weaved around a bus, filtered between the two lanes of cars, and then down through midblock on the other side of M, where there's a courtyard. I know that you can't bike on sidewalks downtown, but can you bike through paved courtyards? (I did, regardless).
Locked the bike in front of the Black Rooster, where there are four or five racks, all but one of which was full, went inside with my bag and had it filled with items to be brought home, including at least one plaque and not including one giant chocolate cake, which was transported home by the Official Wife on the Metro. I'd like to believe that I could've transported the giant chocolate cake by bike and that might be true, but only if we're all willing to accept something at the end of the trip that no longer possesses the outward qualities of a cake. For what it's worth, I'd really like to read the @DCalerts tweet "Traffic on L Street. Bicyclist hubris, cake all over roadway. Expect delays."
Instead, it was a quick shot down L and I took the lane for the most part. For a while, I was tailgated by the driver of a black BMW and that's heartening because I've been worried that all of the sudden that I no longer knew the preferred car of assholes, but it turns out it's still a black BMW. Anyway, L Street, in it's current configuration without the cycle track is fairly thrilling.
L to 11th to Penn. I think. It's been a while and commute memories tend to bleed into memories from other ones if I don't write them down quickly enough. Was this the ride down Pennsylvania where the guy shoaled me at a red or the one where he stuck behind? Was this the one where the pedicab was passed too closely by an overaggressive CaBi rider or was it the one where the CaBi ride slowed down in the middle of the cycletrack before turning onto 4th but gave no indication that he wanted to turn and almost turned into me? It was definitely the one where the driver of the Maryland-played ivory Escaladed pulled a midblock u-turn and then ignored me when I tried to give her a "what the hell are you doing?" shrug/scowl (not to be mistaken for the shrug cowl, which is what Batman wears when he doesn't want to wear the full cape). During my slowing to properly give the shrug/scowl, another bicyclist zoomed past me. Apparently, there's no class solidarity when it comes to passive-aggressive chastisement.
Watched a driver making an illegal left turn against the light almost hit a cyclist and then saw that that cyclist had a Tales From The Sharrows button! It was Samuel Moore and this was my first button-sighting-in-the-wild/why-the-hell-am-I-using-hyphens-this-way and it was very exciting for me. Sam was heading towards the Capitol Hill Club, and I decided that I would ride along since that was generally the direction that I was heading. We rode through the circle and then down First, crossed Independence, and then up C. We talked about his new bike (sweet!), nonsensical placement of cones (nonsensical and anti-cyclist!) and good ways to get passed over-question-y security guards (Sam once said he was going to the RNC and that worked. I thought it was just an excuse, but it was actually where he was going). Anyway, it was a real pleasure meeting him and riding with him and I'm sure there are many other things that we talked about in our five minute ride that were far cleverer and more interesting than the few things that I'm capable of remembering now.
C runs into Pennsylvania and then there's North Carolina, the park and then home. There were many hockey fans around.