Ride In 4/17: Hot Saws

I'm feeling a bit harried today (I spent much of my lunch assembling my DC tax return. Good news on that front, though it'll be cancelled out by bad news on the Virginia front. Filling out multiple state returns stinks. There might even be a California one of the horizon, but I think I'm going to go to a professional for that one), so I think this shall be kept quick. It was a lovely morning, except for all of the pollen, which caused my eyes to both tear and burn and my nose to drip and generally be gross. Nonetheless, the temperature was pleasant, the humidity low and the marauding zombie quotient rather small. Even if my head didn't feel so great, at least my BRAINS were secure in it.
When a member of the state security apparatus is not only patrolling the intersection (presumably for unsafe things and/or threats to national security) and he's doing so by standing in the bike lane, it's best to be abundantly cautious when passing. You can try to say hello, but you might not get acknowledged.
STOP THE INTERNET: Women in dresses were on bikes!
I got stuck at the green (because I was in the center-lane bike lane and I wanted to turn) at Penn and 11th and I think it's the first time I've been on a bike, standing perpendicular to the oncoming rush of bike traffic. There really isn't sufficient room. Will the political will ever, ever be mustered to fix the design of those lanes? (Prediction: nope)
11th is really quite wide and there's no reason not to take the whole right lane. There's ample space and limited congestion and drivers will pass you if they'd like.
I think I've noticed more Surly bikes out recently. Good choice, people riding Surlys. I highly recommend them. Note: I am not a paid endorser, though I would be. I also think that Batman would ride a Surly, but that's just conjecture.
[Fourth Wall Alert: They've changed the interface for blogger and it's very white and very sparse and it makes me feel like I'm blogging in a snow drift. I don't know why Google seems to be insistent on oppressing me with minimalism, but I can't say that I enjoy it.]
The usual shoal-shoal-shoal on R. I'm not going to let it bother me. It is what it is...annoying.
Drivers failing to signal before turning is one of the most hazardous things that I encounter on a daily basis. Well, technically, their almost turning into me is the hazardous part, but were they to signal, I made be able to make adjustments so as to avoid that. It's a frequent problem for cab drivers, apparently, whom I notice doing it with a great deal of frequency. I suspected that a cab driver would be turning from Q onto Connecticut at Dupont and I move out of the bike lane into the travel lane, whereas the two bicyclists in front of me remained, thereby being endangered by the careless cab driver. This is the kind of traffic problem (oh, I'm sorry, I mean "crime" for those who might like to be starkly moralistic and legalistic) that's mundane and avoidable and it's avoidability is so mundane, we even avoid mundane conversations about it. It's not an engineering problem- it's a people thing. I don't know the best way to convince people to be bothered into doing preposterously simple things so as to forestall potential calamity, but it'd be nice if there was more emphasis on trying to sort that out instead of thinking about everything as an "accident" or in terms of "bikes vs. cars."
Guy with a trail-a-bike weaved through stopped car traffic at 34th and Massachusetts and would have hit me had he hadn't. He rode up Wisconsin and then across stopped car traffic to Observatory Place. There was no kid on the trail-a-bike, though I appreciate his gumption in commuting with it. Unless he's just using it to bring about the "Tony Danza Effect," which is employing the hallmarks of the caretaking of children by a man to bring about better behavior from drivers. To the best of my knowledge, this isn't a real effect, but that's not going to stop me from coining the term. I look forward to hearing your examples of the Tony Danza Effect.
That thing happened where I was following another bicyclists up a hill and he looked back and saw me there and thought that he should pedal faster, even though I had no real intention of wanting him to go faster and was more than happy just to pedal along behind him. I must be getting too close. Even weirded, when we got to the light across the street from school, he looked back and just kind of stared at me. Maybe he recognized me from my overall famousness, though I doubt it. As we biked up hill, we passed another guy and that guy was riding an old Trek aluminum road bike that was red in frame, red in the seat with red bar tape and red tires. At the same line where the stating took place, the guy dismounted and proceeded to light a cigarette. A Marlboro Red. Now that's commitment.


  1. Batman on a Surly? No way.

  2. A Marlboro Red? Really? Are you going all Mike Daisey on us?

  3. I could sorta picture Batman on something like this... only with more gadgets probably


  4. I rode with the kid trailer today, and it was like a magnet for cars doing unwanted things.

    There was a woman turning right on red onto 14th who couldn't complete her turn because of other cars, and ended up blocking the bike lane (She was going to get a green light in 6 seconds, according to the crosswalk countdown, so her haste was a little ridiculous - she easily could have waited).

    There was the guy turning right out of Thomas Circle from the center lane who almost hit me (I asked your buddy Jack Evans if we could get some police enforcement at the circle a few weeks ago, and he says he's doing something about it, but I haven't seen a cop).

    Then there was the car on 14th who swerved out of a line of stopped cars, across an empty lane, and a little into my lane.

    And there was a cabbie who did something unexpected and I locked up the brakes avoiding him, but now I can't remember what he did.

    Luckily all these things happened AFTER I dropped my daughter at school, so it was just an empty trailer.