5/10/12

Ride Home 5/10: Saccharine Trees and Aspartame Skies

No, it's still not Friday. The plus side of that is #fridaycoffeeclub tomorrow. And two more TFTSs, so those are both unalloyed goods (like iron?) and something to looked forward. So, huzzah for for all that. So, let's talk Thursday or more specifically this Thursday. Um, it was cool. I left work around 5:20 and got home a little after 6. In that time, I rode my bike and I made a new friend. I don't know his name (he was a youngish guy on holiday) but we biked together from 15th and Penn to near Union Station. He was from Mumbai and took out a Bike & Roll bike to tour our fair city District. He asked me for directions back to Union Station and initially I gave him some terrible directions that involved his taking E Street. I live here and I bike here every day and I still can't give good bike directions. I suggested that he follow me and we biked and chatted (he's staying in Richmond, in DC for a couple of days, touring the Capitol tomorrow, and visiting New York next week) along the cycle track. He talked about how great it was to cycle in DC. Note to self: don't bike in Mumbai. I apologize to the other bicyclists in the cycle track because I couldn't quite figure out if I should bike in front of him or next to him and I was sort of all over the place. Anyway, I took him over to Louisiana and pointed out Union Station (he initially thought that the Botanical Garden was Union Station) and he thanked me and was on his way. I regret not giving him my button (or shaking his hand and actually introducing myself and learning his name) because India has a billion people and I'm sure TFTS would go over really big there. Self-promotion fail.
What happened before that was my riding down Mass behind a guy on a Surly Long Haul Trucker and then my losing him and seeing him again at the bottom of the hill after forgetting about him and then deciding that I would continue to follow him through Dupont Circle instead of taking Q. He dodged and weaved through stopped cars and I stopped behind them, turned to stone by the sight of a police cruiser (if I get a rap sheet, I'll never be able to serve on the DCBAC. Oh yeah, still haven't heard back about that. Need to follow up), but I eventually made it through some green lights and out the other side of the traffic circle and down Massachusetts, which should, frankly, only be advertised as a one lane road since parked cars and turning cars and delivery vans render it as much anyway. Life is about managing expectations. Before 15th, I saw LHT guy again, but he kept going and I decided to turn on to the cycle track and take that for a few blocks.
I have a suggestion for one bit of traffic enforcement that will manage to close the entire DC budget gap: ticket drivers who block the box and Vermont and I. You will make all the money. Also, you will reduce the terrific indignity that pedestrians and bicyclists are forced to suffer as they pick their way through the three foot gaps between bumpers. For shame.
I don't know what's worse: when someone accidentally runs in the bike lane or when someone accidentally talks on the phone while driving. I mean, people wouldn't do those things on purpose, right?
Many bicyclists along East Capitol. I rode behind a woman who spent every few pedal strokes adjusting her right pant cuff. I wonder what the trouble was. It seemed to really bother her. My right cuff was rolled. I wasn't wearing socks. Five bicyclists converged around Lincoln Park, each of us making some kind of illegal turn. Whoops.
I'm about to take a CaBi to a work event. So, there's more bicycling in my immediate future and I'm pretty happy about that. It's a gorgeous night. Here's to more spring.

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