Ride Home 5/23: Deutschland uber Alex

I'm so sorry.
It was only a little raining when I left work, but it rained more later in the ride and I have feeling that given the punctuated and intense nature of rain, it rained more on others than it did on me. My feelings about the rain are two-fold: firstly, I posit that it's previously rained worse and however badly it's raining now, it's rained worse before and I've ridden through it and survived so it's no big deal. Secondly, I posit (because I posit things. I'm constantly positing. It's sort of my default verb. "Where's Brian?" "Oh, he's positing something or other") that in the future it'll rain worse, so as bad as the conditions are now, it'll theoretically be worse at some future date. So, considering that it's both been worse in the past and will be worse again in the future, no matter how bad it is now, it's not really that bad. And that's the sort of trick I play on myself when it's raining. Does it work? Well, I still get wet, so you're free to judge.
About getting wet: here's a thing you can do. Stand in the rain for 37 minutes. Dry off. Stand in the rain for 39 minutes. So, was the 39 much worse than the 37? I doubt it. In short, what I'm trying to say is don't rush. It's not worth it. Wet is wet and it's not really a big deal. The goal of riding in the rain, in my humble opinion, is just to get home and since rain, for whatever reason, seems to induce drivers to do crazy shit, just take your time and do what you can to minimize your risk. And some suggestions on that:

  • Be deliberate
  • Be bold
  • Don't ride scared
Those are some bullet points. Make of them what you wish. I think it's important when you're riding in the rain to be as not miserable as possible and to be cognizant of everything that's going on around you and to refuse to subordinate yourself to other people around you, especially those in cars. They have a roof. They can deal. Take all the room you need. You don't have a roof. Unless you have a roof on your bike, which is weird and different and certainly some kind of after-market add-on. 
I've thought before "moped?" but I've dismissed this thought. Others have not. 
I watched a town car driver u-turn his car over a median. Wow. I encourage you to go outside and for a moment observe the lack of law-abiding behavior by everyone. You can even discount driver speeding. Just watch everything else. It's crazy. And, yet, totally mundane. As a blogger (whatever that means), it barely even interests me. Everyone breaks the law. All the time. It's boring and not worth spilling virtual ink over. 
Mass to Q to 11th. This is my jam. 
On 11th, by Mass (Massachusetts is a diagonal street. I leave it at Q and then cut down back down to 11th to cross it again), the driver of a pickup truck elected to cross the bike lane feet in front of me in order to stop or park or both. I braked and I left the bike lane to avoid his bumper. The driver of a white Cadillac slowed and gave me ample room. After avoiding the pickup, I decided to make the point of trying to thank the driver of the car that slowed to accommodate me. I don't know if he really got what I was trying to do. Gratitude is very hard to express, especially from a bicycle. I really ought to commission Crane to make some bikey thank you notes. It would be expensive, but my thank yous aren't so common as all that. 
Please tell me how upset I should be that I ride down the wrong side of the road near 11th and Penn in order to facilitate my left turn. Am I horrible and evil or is this just an acceptable part of riding in the city? I'm riding pretty much on the yellow line between the two lanes. Am I a monster? I don't seem to be hurting anyone, but maybe I'm giving "all" "bikers" a bad name through my wanton disregard of traffic laws. I can change if you think it's important. 
Catching another bicyclist riding up Capitol Hill gives me more satisfaction than it probably should. 
I rode down East Capitol behind a woman on a Biria. She seemed nice. She "almost" got sideswiped by the driver of a black truck. She snickered, maybe at me. I snickered, sort of at her. In the mean time, some guy in superbiker kit passed us both. He was on a mountain bike and was wearing sneakers. He shoaled us both at a red light, near the Supreme Court. (Supreme Court House? National Hall of Justice? What should be the name for this place?) I don't really understand what goes through someone's mind when they decide to pass other bicyclists at a stop. Presumably it's not "these people are going to think I'm a jerk, but them me do this anyway," but maybe that should be what a shoaler thinks. Embrace the approbation. It had stopped raining by the time I made it home. Don't think it's rained since. Maybe again tomorrow, but who knows. 


  1. Look on the bright side...you got beer.

  2. You are going to love the new bike with disc brakes in the rain. Stop with confidence, my friend.

  3. I got drenched on my way to an event at my daughter's school. I dripped on the floor all evening. Turned out okay, though.

  4. I shoal all the time, if I'm fairly certain I'm going to pass the people by when the light turns green. Then it's just called "passing."