Ride Home 5/30: Extremism in Defense of Livery

Sometimes I ride on the grass. It's ok: I have a cyclocross bike. I mostly ride on the grass to not ride on the sidewalk. I feel like that gets me even worse looks from pedestrians. For some reason, a bicyclist riding on the grass seems wildly offensive to them. Maybe it is. Maybe they're all lawn care professionals and don't appreciate it. I don't know. I could ride in the road, but the road is full of cars that are backed up at a stupid traffic circle and I'd rather not wait unless it's strictly necessary.

Jackasses are everywhere. Maybe it's the driver who slows to nearly your pace and then changes lanes in front of you without looking, causing you to slam on your brakes to avoid meeting their rear bumper. Maybe it's a tattooed headphoned d-bag who elects to ride his bike on the wrong side of a two-way street rather than taking the barely two seconds to move over to the correct traffic lane. Maybe it's a bird that shits on you. Birds are the worst. We should really license them and require that they carry insurance. They should also wear little bird helmets. Sure, none of these measures will prevent the birds from doing their business on or near you, but lack of effectiveness has never been a good reason to forestall regulation.

Saw a guy speed through a stop sign, rather than stop at it, just to make sure that I didn't get in front of him. Not slow and then speed up, but from regular driving speed to extra fast driving speed into his right turn. First time I've ever seen that.

One last thing about cars and it's this: I don't understand why cars aren't limited to the speed limit. Like, technically limited, by a microchip or something. And here's how it would work: information technology has made it abundantly easy to share information, information like the speed limits on certain stretches of road. And GPS's and computer chips are becoming more common on cars. So why not have a limiter than maxes out a car's speed based on it's GPS location and the uploaded speed limit data? This certainly can't be a technical issue and since sooooo many people are always complaining about law-breaking in every comment section to every online article about any transportation issue I've ever read, clearly there must be some kind of desire for this to be implemented, right? If we're soon to cede all driving to robotic cars, why not take this initial half-step to jumpstart the process of no longer being in control of everything? Just an idea. Think of all the money we'd save on speed limit enforcement. Think of all the money drivers would save on speeding tickets. You wouldn't have to worry about compliance because benevolent technological paternalism would ensure it. I guess they could also put chips on bicycles' brake pads, but that might be a little harder.

Q street is a shoaler's paradise. Happens to me nearly every day. Today, I left the bike lane to pass a woman and three blocks later at the next red light, she rode back in front of me. I've decided that I'm going to be completely delusional about this and decide that she must've known something that I didn't, like there was some danger that we'd soon be approaching and she wanted to, perhaps, nobly sacrifice herself by riding in front. Sort of like, being the first over the top of the trenches. "There's lava up there. I'll ride into it and then you can ride your bike over me to safety" or "There's some zombie hordes. I'll ride first to distract them and then you'll be able to get by" would be the kinds of justifications that I would expect in these kinds of shoaling scenarios, not "I'm weirdly inconsiderate and even though only a few blocks ago, you demonstrated through the act of passing me that you wished to travel at a pace faster than the pace at which I was traveling, that will nonetheless prevent me from inhibiting your doing so." Much prefer the zombies and lava.

11th street again. Thought about going to 7th, didn't. Maybe tomorrow. I only travel downtown through odd, prime numbered streets, many of which seem to have bike lanes. I think I've cracked DDOT's numerology. Who needs a bike map when you have the I Ching.

Might have cut off a driver near the turn from 11th to Penn. I'm sorry. I signalled (with my hand, not with my semaphore flags) and moved over with what I thought was enough space, but who knows how the driver saw the situation and I'd rather acknowledge at least the possibility that maybe I didn't act in the best, most polite manner possible. I'm sure he's reading.

Superbiker on Penn. He pulled up alongside me at 10th and I said hello. He initially declined to pass, but he later passed me at 7th in what I hoped was an attempt to catch a guy with a jewfro on a mountain bike who had shoaled us both. I don't think it was a genuine attempt. As, he didn't and I'm sure he could have. He, the superbiker, rode up Constitution and I rode up the Capitol driveway and I totally smoked him and it had nothing (read: everything) to do with him getting stuck at a red light. I got my just desserts for "racing" by riding into some kind of drainage hole near the security gates at the top of the hill. It was jarring. I'm glad I didn't fall down.

E Cap and I avoided burgling anyone. A Street (SE, never NE. A Street NE is haunted.Probably) and I avoiding hamburgling anyone. Another great evening to ride a bicycle in DC, even without committing acts of petty larceny.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously, brilliant idea about devising a technological limit on speeding for cars. I hope someone from Ford or Toyota is reading this.