Ride In 4/27: Green Folders

I'm terrible at guessing the temperature and dressing accordingly. On the days that I don't put on my gloves, my hands are too cold. When I wear a sweater, it gets too hot. On a good portion of my rides, I stop about five minutes in to adjust what I'm wearing. If I commuted by space shuttle, I probably couldn't even do this because I'd still be strapped in and experiencing G-force (which I think is the in-flight movie) and I'd have to remain uncomfortable for the duration of my trip (mostly from the talking guinea pigs). Bike commuting 1, Space Shuttle commuting 0. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, to stop for a bit and take off your gloves or put on a hat or remove a jacket or zip up your fly, but it does break up a little bit of the rhythm of things.
Many CaBi commuters by the park. I see a lot of bike commuters, but the ones on CaBis look the happiest. Except for the ones who look uncomfortable. Yesterday afternoon, I saw this guy on a CaBi who was just beaming with smiley positivity. Good for him.
There's a bus ad for Bike MS. It says "Don't just ride. Bike MS." I find nothing wrong with Bike MS or charity rides in general (ride a bike, have people pay you and give that money to a worthy cause? sounds great! Better than karaoke-ing or something), but I do find the "Don't just ride" bit a little objectionable. Do just ride. Ride for your own sake (that's sake, not sake, though I do like the idea of the latter. Nothing I like more after a long ride than some sake). If you're only ever riding your bike to raise money for worthy causes or to train so that you'll be able to raise money for worthy causes, you're really missing out on a great deal of quotidian fun (Quotidian Fun is the name of my-yet-to-be-IPO-ed daily deals site), to say nothing of practical transportation usage. So, yeah.
It's Friday and that means coffee. E Cap to Penn and then up 15th and over past the WH and then to G. Usual suspects, plus and minus, and some new suspects. I'm highly suspicious, so I'm referring to everyone as a suspect from now on. I admit that doing this makes me highly suspect. I suspect, however, that you knew this already. In any case, it's really nice to carve out a little time each week for some mid-commute coffee drinking (way better than post-commute sake sipping) with pleasant people and nice, bikey conversationalizing. My one mistake was not availing myself of Swing's plentiful pastry resources and since I didn't eat anything before leaving the house, I felt rather laggard for the rest of the trip (and the post-ride sake hit me really hard) and most especially on the going-up parts. The going-on-the-same-plane parts and the going-down parts were fine, which is ironic since going-on-the-same-plane-going-down would be a terrible thing if you commuted to work by plane (or by bi-plane, but mostly bye bye, plane! or Bye Bye Bi-plane, which is the never-staged prequel where Conrad Birdie is drafted to serve in World War I) unless you're just coming in for a landing, since then the going-down part is intentional. Why yes, this post has gone off the rails, but I'm going to stick with the aviation theme and get back on track, full steam ahead though I'm almost out of gas. Oh no. Something's gone terribly wrong.
It's common courtesy to ride on the right side of the cycle track, though common courtesy doesn't seem to be as common as it should be. I blame it on the lack of commoners. Thanks a lot, gentrification. Stupid gentry.
In case you're wondering, yes, I do think that there are certain norms in bike commuting and there is something of a rules-based system (though those rules don't necessarily match the TRAFFIC LAWS you might have seen written about on giant flashing pixelated letters at Hains Point. UPDATE: This.) and that bike commuters aren't all rugged individualists who just make it all up as they go along. I think that's something that maybe new bike commuters don't totally get and that's why there's so much shoaling and otherwise weird behavior. I don't know.
Because I was later than usual, I saw a guy on 15th who I normally see on Massachusetts. I wondered if he recognized me out of context, the way I recognized him. He has a puffy coat.
Does anyone have a good "thanks, driver" (actual gratitude, not sarcasm) hand gesture that's better than a thumbs up? Sometimes I'll do a little wave, but I want to make sure that my actual gratitude is being properly expressed if someone does me a nice turn. I don't want my friendly wave to be misinterpreted as a hostile wave (Hostile Wave is never-made sequel to Point Break), especially if the driver can't see my face. Like today, a driver slowed down so I could move over and not be forced to ride my bicycle into the back of a parked pick-up truck. I appreciated this and stuck my hand down to the side and opened my palm facing back to the driver, to indicate my acknowledgment of his kind deed. I just don't know if an open  hand and a kind-of horizontal flick does that. Maybe I should just write THANK YOU in marker on my hand every morning. You know, instead of doing it while I'm sitting at my desk as I wrap up this post.

As always, [see above] for reading.


  1. I find little need for an earnest thank-you gesture because I so rarely need to use one. When I do it's a wave or ASL's fingers-from-lips kiss blow with head bow while mouthing the words.

    Or, since I'm out in the open air anyway, I just say "thanks!". (Not "thank you" - the "k you" sound is misunderstood.)

  2. Leave the gun. Take the pastry!

  3. I was sad to miss #fridaycoffeeclub, but I'm off to upstate NY for fiancé-related duties...next week we can talk neighbors who commute 11 blocks by car.