I wore sunglasses today. I wore them because the sun was bright and I didn't want the bright sun to strain my eyes. I like my sunglasses, but I feel like they make me look far too serious and sporty. Perhaps I can attach a fake nose and mustache to them to lighten things up a little. I just know that whenever I see a bicyclist in sunglasses, I tend to assume that they're very serious about bicycling, even more so if they're also wearing cycling attire, as I was this morning.Maybe it's something about not being able to see their eyes.
Even though I don't drive to work, I tend to do a lot of driving on weekends. I drive places where it's convenient to do so. I don't apologize for this. And, as my driver self, I'd probably be annoyed if the following came to pass, but I think I've reached the inevitable conclusion that it's time to make illegal all right turns on red lights. It's intimidating for pedestrians. It makes people run across the street. And it's a source of collisions. The desire to turn right on red causes too many drivers to block the crosswalk. And also causes too many drivers to swivel their heads to look for approaching cars and ignore crossing pedestrians. I think it might even make drivers more patient (eventually). Yes, such a prohibition would be unpopular and yes, when driving, I would probably be peeved by it. But I think that if DC were really serious about becoming a livable, walkable community, this is sort of a necessary step.
Down East Capitol and then through the grounds and down Penn, pretty much the same as always. Except it was hot. I guess summer is here for real now. Around 11th, a man on a bicycle pulled alongside me at the stop light. Ok. And then he decided that he would pedal in front of me, before the light changed. That's fine. Someday I'll come up with something to say when someone pulls up alongside me. Maybe I'll say "nice profile" or maybe I'll say "why are you next to me?" but I don't think either of these will elicit any sort of interesting responses. And then between 11th and 13th, I decided that I would pass the man who simply couldn't resist the urge to ride in front of me and then when I realized that the light at 13th was about to turn red and we were about to repeat the cycle, I decided that I would turn right on 13th and ride north. I'd never taken this route before.
13th, much like 11th, is amply wide for bike lanes. This is a reminder that the lack of bike lanes is a political problem and not an engineering one. 13th also has some little hills, This is a reminder that the lack of flatness is a geological problem and not a political one.
Plenty of bicyclists coming in the opposite direction. It's a pretty even divide between normal clothes and athletic clothes. Even with a shorter ride, I'm pretty sure that I still wouldn't make it to work without engrossing (not the correct usage of this word) myself. Also, a lot of cotton t-shirts. Cotton, while the fabric of our lives, doesn't make for the best bicycling attire. But, better than biking a polyester leisure suit. For any number of reasons.
Have you ever biked through Logan Circle? It's sort of, vaguely, safe to do, but the lane markings are very confusing. I didn't want to ride too far to the right, as that would force me on to Rhode Island Avenue, but riding too far to the left would've put me in front of a line of cars and my lack of familiarly with the traffic circle caused me to prize my being away from cars rather than closer to them. So, I rode sort of in the middle and might've just wholly ignored the lane markings, but I made it out the other side, took a left on R Street and then followed my normal route. I guess I would take 13th again, but there are better odd, prime number north-south streets for bicycling.
I don't recall too much being amiss with my ride on R, except for some road construction. I followed another bicyclist up Massachusetts. He was on a mountain bike and his post squeaked with each pedal. After the South African Embassy, I decided that I would pass him. I said "on your left," and rode by and never looked back. Don't look back. Never look back.
My sincere hope is that car horns, in the future, will be automated. For example, as "danger sensor" technology (you know- like how some high end cars come equipped with emergency sensors to avoid collisions or something), becomes cheaper and trickles down into lower end cars, it would make sense to have the car do the honking rather than the driver. Whenever the car senses trouble, it can honk. We've allowed drivers to honk for themselves for too long and all we've ever gotten from it is copious noise pollution and bullying by decibels. Honking horns are one of the worst sounds of the cityscape and it would be a real quality of life improvement to eradicate them.