5/19/12

Ride Home 5/18: Jos. A Bank Robbery

Illegal car parking massively inconveniences everyone. Illegal car idling is also rather inconvenient, especially for bicyclists who were hoping/relying on there remaining an open lane. When confronted with a blocked lane, my suggestion is to come to a full stop and turn around, making sure to make eye contact with any approaching drivers in the lane into which you're about to merge. Trying to blend into traffic seamlessly, I've found, is a bit more harrowing than trying to appeal to the good nature of a driver to let you move over. It's also more risk averse. 
Greek Festival. It's here. You can get Greek foods (greek yogurt?), purchase Greek wares (που?), and hang out with all of your favorite DC area Greeks and grecophiles. I'd recommend biking there, since I'm not totally sure about parking, but the bike routes from the south and east involve considerable hills. So maybe take the bus. 
At least twenty motorcycle police officers parked outside the British Embassy. Hope it's not a Lawrence of Arabia appreciation ride. Presumably, it's part of some security protocol for someone or another. When I see lots of people engaged in the act of "security," I always think about resource deployment and labor productivity. And also how motorcycle engines make really coool vroom vroom noises. 
I watched a woman on a CaBi ride on the raised median (and then off it) at the intersection of Florida and Mass. Sometimes it just makes more sense to wait in line. It was especially awkward when she tried to get back onto the median at the other side of the intersection. Please don't ride bikes on the median. It's not safe and you're going to have to get back on the road eventually. 
Traffic-mageddon by Dupont Circle. It probably had something to do with the two bicyclists I saw and not the hundreds of cars. I think I might have a bit of a persecution complex. I just assume that drivers feel uncharitable and blame bicyclists and bike lanes for all of their woes. I doubt that this is totally accurate, but I've never actually pressed a driver on this point. I've also never pressed a panini on this point and I've had an unused panini press for a number of years. 
It's one thing if you pass someone while stopped because you're in a great hurry and plan to jump the red and really hustle when you're on the other side of it, but it's a totally different thing when you do it, then wait at the red, then dawdle. Why ride in front in the first place? I don't understand. Any thoughts? I've got two working theories and only one of those theories is that people who do this are inconsiderate assholes who think they're better than everyone else. 
Salmon on Q, riding the opposite way through a bike lane already mostly blocked by a few mail trucks. He said "Sorry." I ignored him. Unlike at at a fancy breakfast buffet, in bike lanes I ignore the salmon. 
I think that getting hit by a flatbed truck that's carrying a porta-potty would be the worst all of things. 
Very few people on Penn and East Capitol and the only ones that I saw were people that insisted that they would be riding faster than I would. Two shoalers on Penn and one guy on East Capitol who was willing to leave the bike lane to pass me while moving, narrowly avoiding the car who was attempting to pass us both. He was superbikerly in nature and while my pace wasn't slack, he was looking to ride faster. Which is fine, or would be fine, if the streets didn't have stop lights every few blocks. A less mature me, one of year's earlier bike commutes, would have made a point of riding on his back wheel and maybe even trying to pass him if the time and situation were right. But that's pretty immature and I'm glad I've graduated beyond that phase of this whole enterprise. I'm pretty sure the sequence of bike commuter ascendence goes from 1) craving acceptance to 2) demonstrating superiority to 3) renouncing all slights and riding wholly within oneself. Of course, this is just a construct, but maybe a useful one. I wish more people tried to get from 2 to 3. 
If my track record of soccer predictions holds true, I've got Chelsea winning, so it will almost assuredly be Munich. Have a nice weekend. Good weather for bicycling and picnicking. 

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