The elementary school lacked bike parking, so I locked up to a fence, inside the "no electioneering" zone. That way it avoided getting covered in flyers or being "John Galt-ed" by some overzealous and larcenous Paulites. After casting my hopefully not hopeless vote, it was a quick trip a block up 15th before recommencing the regular route for the morning ride, which by in large, proved regular.
It was a glorious springtime morning, in spite of the continued cold. Bicyclists were everywhere and I was happy about it. For the most part. I worry about writing the next few sentences because I was going to write "How does one say this without sounding paternalistic?" but then I realized that there's no non-paternalistic way to even pose that question, so instead I'll just slide into a story about younger siblings, of which I have one. Her name is Wanda and she's a "professional" fortune teller in rural Pennsylvania*. Anyway, you know how when you're a kid and you're used to having your own room, but then your parents have another kid and you have to share and you're all like "hey, sibling, I love you and stuff, but I remember when I had my own room and it was kind of awesome." Well, it's sort of like that. I couldn't be happier about the number of people who are taking to bikes as their means of commuting. Really- I can't. There's an actual restraining order, from a judge and everything. But it's just sort of crowded now and it's hard to share mom & dad (aka the limited bike infrastructure in town). I just need to get over it.
*factual details concerning my sibling might have been changed for the purpose of telling a good story. I'm the Mike Daisey of bike bloggers.
In each group of six bike commuters stopped at a red light along 15th, there's always at least one of each of these kinds of people:
- The Gunner: You know, that guy who's gonna get to the front because THAT'S WHERE HE BELONGS because he's LIGHTNING FAST, even if he isn't. And he'll jump the light in order to prove it.
- The Ignorer: He or she won't look at you or won't look at anyone. None of you are there. You might as well not even be there.
- The Wobbler: It's a shaky start for the wobbler and when the light turns, you better give plenty of room. It's not that he's bad at bicycling; it's just that being surrounded by so many people makes him nervous.
- The Sigh-er: You know, the person who recognizes that she's in a group of people but would rather not be because it's sort of annoying and dealing with the Wobbler and the Ignorer and the Gunner is just not what he signed up for.
There were bunches of bunches along 15th today and there are only going to more as it gets warmer. One of the people heading in the opposite direction, I think, said "sharrows" as he passed me in, what I presumed at the time but would be sorry if I mispresumed, was a "funny" voice. Thanks for the shout out, dude. Sorry I didn't know who you were/insinuated you had a funny voice. It sounded Framptonesque.
There might as well be a bike speed limit in bike lanes. Go to fast and you'll end up riding into a pedestrian who misjudges your speed. Every day on R street it seems like it's going to happen and not because I'm really going that fast.
Some exciting developments in campaign signs: there were homemade spray painted Ron Paul signs along Massachusetts. There's also something called a "Mitt Romney" running for President. Either that, or someone with a WASP Plutocrat random name generator has way too much money to spend on signs. And theres Terri Galvez, who is represented by a pink elephant. And someone else named Kabel, maybe, who made me think of Battlestar Galactica (Lords of Kobol and whatnot) and also a person named Jill Homan, who I thought was Bill Homan, who brought to mind Balint Homan, well-known (haha) Magyar politician, intellectual and author, so I'd vote for her, were I allowed to vote for members of Republican National Committee.
Then the work day happened. My working resembles my blogging, in that I do much of it at a computer. And then the day ended and it was time to bike home, which I really wanted to be enjoyable. It was ok, but made markedly worse by a burning throat and scratchy eyes, the result of some sort of terrible pollen/ragweed/dander/toxic fumes and it was fairly miserable for a little while. I'm not normally felled by allergies, but this stunk.
I passed the polling place at a church on Mass. Ward 3 voters, based on my cursory view, tend to be old and white. I am a politics and demography expert.
The people biking up Mass in the afternoon seem so much more interesting that the people on the same route in the morning. How can this be? Perhaps my bar is lowered. Or maybe, the "suffering" of the incline brings out a more interesting aspect of their true character. Or none of those things.
I'm going to quit Q Street. I prefer not to render the details of the minor slights and annoyances that befell me and the rather major (comparatively) delay caused by a large moving truck. I much prefer to render bacon.
No one passed me on Pennsylvania, but I suspected that a few bicyclists behind me considered it. They were more than welcome. It's just that they wouldn't have gotten anywhere any faster since the lights and traffic would pretty much preclude it.
Yesterday evening, I followed a guy up Capitol Hill and he grunted a good deal, perhaps because he was on a fixed gear bicycle. I'd never like to hear that again, so I'm considering taking up a collection to buy him a new bike. Occasionally, when I want my bike to go faster, I go "hup hup hup" the way I imagine Lawrence of Arabia might have suggested as much to his camel. Much like Lawrence of Arabia and Dick Van Dyke, I have a tremendous problem with Ottomans. Ataturk 4-eva.
East Capitol and Kentucky brought me to the grocery store and I loaded up on the usual things I buy at the grocery store and biked them home. I derive a great amount of joy from biking home my groceries, in no small part from the annoyingness of getting them home any other way. Who wants to surrender a prime parking spot or pay for $4/gallon gas just for some cantaloupe? Even if I didn't bike to work, I'd still bike to the store.
New buttons are here. More details to come.