Ride In 4/16: Hook, Line and Knuckleball

I'm suffering from an overabundance of goodwill from this morning's ride. It was simply too nice and we all simply got along far too well. Where were the honking drivers, the shoaling cyclists, the oblivious pedestrians, the jackass pogo-ists? To tell the truth, they were all probably still there, but for whatever reason, I was awash in philadelphia (brotherly love, not cream cheese) and it was a pleasant reminder that your bike commute is exactly what you bring to it. Accordingly, you should bring your bicycle. Otherwise it's just walking or even worse, maybe you're just sitting on a saw horse making circular motions with your legs.
I don't know if it was weather that brought out such feelings or perhaps I've inhaled some noxious fumes that have scrambled my once cynical brain. The weather was certainly enjoyable, so that must have played a part in it, but then again, I have been inhaling a lot of noxious fumes lately so I wouldn't want to rule that out either. It's supposed to be hot today, like near 90 degrees hot, so you might want to consider that for the ride home, though I suspect that you already have. You're much more diligent than I am- why ever did I bike to work in my eskimo ensemble???
I rode the usual way and waited for the light to change on Pennsylvania, mostly because of the police officer idling in his cruiser behind me. I don't need to be another citizen bicyclist warned/ticketed for engaging in illegal activity. Turns out that my waiting didn't dramatically impact my commute as I caught up to the bicyclist in front of me who opted not to wait.
Then I turned on 11th and wound up making some weird, bad decisions whereby I turned right onto E and then mad u-turn midblock and then turned right back onto 11th. I don't know what possessed me to indulge in this kind of stupidity rather than just dropping a foot and waiting patiently, especially since I had already exhibited patience only moments before. Perhaps I exceeded my maximum patience limits. It was dumb. I watched groups of cyclists riding down 11th in the opposite direction. This is the ride I make every afternoon. For whatever reason, it seemed dangerous. I think they might have been riding too close to the side of the road, thereby suggesting to drivers that they could be passed when there really wasn't enough room. Don't ride too close to the side of the road.
City Center progress:

Sidewalk blocking regress.
Some words of fitness. Bike commute for the purpose of improving fitness is like driving to work to improve your hand-eye coordination or taking the bus in order to get better at Sudoku. It's an entirely ancillary benefit and I'd caution anyone against using exercise as their primary motivation to commute by bicycle. Not because it's not exercise (which it is, for the most part), but mostly because it's so much more than that. Anyway, commuting (getting to work) and exercising (getting a work out) have two rather distinct goals and whereas the rather is very inward focused, the former is much more about co-exisiting with others. Just as you wouldn't scream "WHERE DOES THE 9 GO?" at your fellow bus passengers (I hope), you oughtn't treat your fellow commuters (bike, car, walking, pogo stick) as if they need to indulge you on your personal fitness quest. So do try be aware of that. Also, if you're wondering about my bicycle commute and level of fitness, I think I can safely say that I'm as fit as someone who rides to work every day and absolutely no fitter. And that's good enough for me.
I tend to use hand signals when I leave the bike lane (you know, because sometimes there are cars and people and construction equipment in them) and I've always had relatively good success with the drivers behind me. My hand signal is primarily me just sort of holding my left hand down and out (in Paris and London?) and it's just enough to indicate that I plan to move over a bit, but only for a little while. Of course, it doesn't mitigate the need to make sure the driver behind you isn't going to run you over, but it helps.
Mention the other bicyclists on R Street? Why would I do that? (It was crowded. People behaved with varying levels of sensitivity to the needs of others and with respect to traffic laws and norms. That last sentence might be an anodyne synopsis of every single post I've ever written.)
I felt good riding today. I think the warmer temperatures might agree with me. I'd even suggest a lunchtime bike ride, but I've already eaten lunch and I don't think my afternoon appointments would enjoy seeing a hand-scrawled sign on my door that reads "GONE BIKIN'" though I'd very much like to have one of those signs, perhaps even the words etched into wood. Next year's fundraiser, I guess. Gotta work on my etching first. And my gerunds.

1 comment:

  1. I find the right-turn-u-turn-right-turn method of proceeding through a red to be one of the most passive-aggressive and annoying ways of proceeding through a red. Had I seen you do it, I would have judged you for it.

    I guess I feel that if you're going to be a scofflaw, you should at least own it.