4/18/12

Ride In 4/18: Gym Neighbors

Misty and chilly.
They say that misery loves company and that must be why there's so much traffic in the morning.
People who block the bike lane are history's greatest monsters. Except for these guys.
I stopped to allow a woman and her daughter to cycle across the street at a crosswalk. I'm unclear as to whether bicyclists at a crosswalk have the same rights as pedestrians. I sort of think so. I think I felt compelled to stop because of the "Judith Light Effect," because the woman totally looked like someone who would be a lot of made-for-tv movies or something. I'm not going to stop naming "Effects" until I have I've coined one for  every 80s sitcom actor. This is real bike advocacy.
I really enjoy the sound of wide mountain bike tires on the pavement next to the Capitol. It's a low whoosh that reminds me of a sci-fi space engine noise mixed with the final spin cycle of a washing machine. I rode behind a guy today whose bike was making that noise and I'm glad he didn't turn around to see the stupid grin on my face.
A good amount of bike traffic on Pennsylvania and I didn't get over in time to make the right on 11th, so I followed everyone else up to 15th. So much for iconoclasm. I noticed my new bestie Sebring in front of the JAWB. I thought about leaving a note, but I worried that Homeland Security might feel compelled to explode it, like they do on a airport tarmac when there's suspicious luggage. This might be why the Riddle doesn't take vacations- what could be more suspicious than rolling luggage festooned with question marks? (Yeah, that's back-to-back days of Batman references. Strange)
My handlebars are exactly the same height at the top of the security bollards at Madison Place and for some reason that suggests to me that I should really slow down and walk through them rather than ride through. No other bicyclist I see seems to have this problem. I might just be uniquely terrible at handling my bike (FUN FACT: that's true), especially as far as navigating it through tight spaces is concerned. Almost every day, my bag brushes against one of the posts. The other night, I had my stainless steel coffee mug inside and when it brushes against the metal pole, it clanged. I'm glad they didn't take me out to the tarmac over that.
Black women bike. In fact, a lot of them do- I see them every day, along with white woman, Hispanic men, red-bearded Estonian-Americans (presumably), guys who wear mesh shorts, and that lady with the purple helmet. Bike commuters are pretty diverse crowd and one that can't be easily defined by race, creed (Creed?) or color. Anyway, now Black Women Bike DC is on the twitter, so follow if you'd like to know what that group is all about (hint: much of it pertains to black women and biking).
Less crowded on 15th and on R than usual. Maybe people didn't bike today because of the rain or maybe I was just a little earlier than usual or maybe the crowds headed down to 11th since I've been talking it up so much lately (note: that is doubtful).
I very much enjoyed these tips from our friends in the UK. It's good to let things go.

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