Ride In 4/24 and Ride Home 4/24: Flaubert and Ernie

So, I didn't get a chance to write up this morning's post. But I did get enough time to send myself an email at the end of the day and recap some of the things that I planned to write about. I wanted to do this before I made the ride home, you know, in order to preserve the integrity of the memories because that's a real thing or whatever (or in case I get Inception-ed). Here's the email:
When you're in Baku
penn bollard, DDOT email, need of official vest
11th is a mess
R Street u-turn
VO BAC appointment
sometimes there's nothing you can do. jerks are jerks
Jersey Strong bumper sticker
Armenian genocide counter-protest
lady asking me for directions to georgetown, no left turns for cars
chasing the guy up the hill, him passing me at crosswalk
I will annotate.
When you're in Baku: This song was stuck in my head for much of the ride. You can thank the Official Wife and her former Peace Corps colleagues. She's at State now, so who knows what kind of YouTube will be coming my (and subseuquently your) way.
penn bollard, DDOT email, need of official vest. Penn bolllard refers to this:
I guess that DDOT has reinstalled the bollards on the Penn Ave cycletrack. Poorly. I sent an email, from the bike lane on 11th while stopped at the red on L (not that L, the other L). I blocked the bike lane and I apologize to the cyclist who rode around me, but I figure that since I was doing "official business" (tweeting DDOT about a bollard), it was ok, but I figured that maybe if I were deputized in some way, perhaps with a snazzy vest or maybe a sash, that would give me greater allowances to do stuff like this and maybe bicyclists would understand. Also, any combination of deputization and vests works for me.
11th is a mess- Some people say that the Fort Dupont park trail has really good singletracking or mountain biking or something (clearly, I've never been), but I like something a little bit more hardcore and extreme, so I just ride on 11th. Do bikes come with triple suspension?
R Street u-turn- I thought about going up 11th to Euclid, but once I passed R, I decided to turn around, hence the u-turn. I always wonder why drivers make u-turns and bicyclists don't. Well, there you go.
*Addendum. I forgot something in my initial email, so I sent myself another email on the way home and it read "Garbage Truck"
Garbage Truck- At 11th and Rhode Island, there was a garbage truck that was first in front of and then behind me and the other cyclist (the one was passed me when I was tweeting DDOT about the bollards) and the driver of the garbage truck decided to politely tap on his horn a couple of times, so as to suggest that we move ourselves from the bike lane that he could turn right onto Rhode Island. Per Rule 1 (Don't mess with garbage trucks), I moved over and looked back and smiled at the driver in the car that I pulled in front of. She smiled at me, mostly because I think she realized the rather silly position that we were in vis-a-vis the garbage truck. And no, I get that I didn't have to move over and maybe I even should've turned around and told the driver to suck a lemon, but we're at a red light and there's plenty of room and they're driving to do a job and since it really wasn't putting anyone out, I just moved, as did the other guy.
VO BAC appointment- I've emailed CM Vincent Orange and requested that he appoint me to the DC Bicycle Advisory Committee. This isn't a stunt. So, Mr. Orange and I haven't exactly seen eye to eye on a number of issues and I'd request that all of you email him to express your support for this appointment, but I'm pretty sure that your emails would have the exact opposite effect. I listed a few compelling reasons why I'd be a good appointment and, though I didn't state it, I would be willing to "go Rugova" and wear an orange ascot to all meetings. I'll keep you posted.
sometimes there's nothing you can do. jerks are jerks- This is mostly a message for new cyclists. Sometimes no matter what you do, no matter how legally and safely and appropriately you ride, other people (in cars, on bikes, on foot and definitely on war elephants) are going to be jerks to you. And this shouldn't really be surprising, because they are also jerks to people who are driving or walking (but not the ward elephant [UPDATED: this was a typo, but see comment below] part. those guys get a way with a lot of stuff). I think that bicyclists as a group make the mistake in thinking that if WE just do _________ better, then everyone will be nice and wonderful and there will never be any problems. Some people's just jerks.
Jersey Strong bumper sticker- Saw a bumper sticker that said JERSEY STRONG. Pretty self-explanatory.
Armenian genocide counter-protest- I ride past the Turkish Embassy. Today, there was a bunch of guys out front with Turkish flags and signs reading something like, "The Armenian Genocide never happened" and "Armenians are liars." Here's a bad picture:

The actual protest and counter-protest took place during the afternoon and I rode past it. Turks on one side of the street, Armenians on the other and they shouted and yelled and that was pretty much it. I'd say "Only in DC," but I'm pretty sure this kind of stuff happens in every city where there are Turks and Armenians, so pretty much everywhere.
lady asking me for directions to georgetown, no left turns for cars- Drivers ask me for directions a lot. This morning on Mass, a woman asked me for directions to Georgetown. I assumed the neighborhood, but I should've (maybe) assumed the university, so I just aimed her in the general vicinity. Turn left on Observatory, I suggested, and left again on Wisconsin. That's pretty much the way to Georgetown. Problem is that you can't (legally) turn left on Observatory. Or pretty much anywhere else along Massachusetts. So, my directions weren't that good. Don't ask bicyclists for car directions. Their responses will probably not help you.
chasing the guy up the hill, him passing me at crosswalk- This happens sometimes. You're climbing the hill and you pass someone along the way, but then you stop somewhere to cross the street and he makes a big point of riding up and waiting in front of you. It actually happens kind of a lot. It's really not a big deal if someone passes you while riding uphill and it's certainly not "negated" if you shoal them at the next available opportunity. There's no negating in bike commuting!
And that was this morning's ride. The home one took me past the Armenian-Turkish yell-fest (not official name) and then down Q in the usual way. At Q and 18th, a young woman drove her VW Bug up next me and she had a panting dog in the passenger seat. I really wanted to pet that dog. Instead, I furtively (I hope) kept looking at it, but no more than one quick glance at a time. Dog probably thought I was shifty.
I saw this lady:
You can barely see what I'm about to write about. 
She was using a yellow barrette to clip her cuff. That seemed sort of novel. She left me at 15th. "Bye!," I could've said, but didn't.
What about the rest of the way home? I dunno. Normal, I guess. I rode in the wrong lane to make the left the 11th and Penn, but that seemed mostly ok. On Pennsylvania, I saw an SUV with some window decals in the back that said SWAGG TRAFFICKERS. I don't know what that is, but I could very much use some decals that say SWAGG TRAFFICKERS. Next button campaign.
At East Capitol and 2nd, Ben (who I met at a Friday Coffee club), pulled up alongside of me and we rode up to the Park together. There was a guy on an Xtracycle behind us who really seemed desperate to pass us. It's always nice to ride with someone. Also, the pavement on East Capitol from 2nd to, let's guess, 8th (?) has been milled and the ride is bumpy. I assume that they'll re-pave. Or, maybe NIMBY-ism has finally merged with constitutional Originalism and now all neighborhoods have to revert to the conditions that existed when the homes were first built. So, worse roads, but we might get more hitching posts and you can probably lock a bike to a hitching post.


  1. I think E Cap with the milling would be kinda scary on skinny tires, so good thing I have 32s! Seriously though, the only thing that really bothered me about it was the now-elevated concrete bus pads, which might be dangerous to cyclists of they aren't paying attention, particularly in the dark.

  2. Speaking of buttons, have you started mailing them out? I don't remember if you noted a timeframe for button delivery. Thanks!

  3. I notice your "ward elephant" typo, and point it out here not to criticize, but to suggest how awesome it would be if each Ward had an elephant, and the respective councilmembers took the elephant to work instead of driving.

    I think this would alleviate nearly all of the "councilmembers making illegal turns on PA Ave" problems that we have. It might introduce other problems, though.

  4. @Jon- I have updated the post to highlight your excellent comment. One of the first suggestions I will make as member of the BAC will be that each ward gets an elephant. I do not know if this is within our purview.