Ride In 6/20: BPA Free Since 1909

Right proper scorcher today. Don't overdo it. If you would like some real tips about keeping safe in the heat, here are some. If you'd like fake tips, I'm more than happy to oblige:

  • Turn your bike's air conditioner to 11
  • Travel with a penguin. They only go places that are cold!
  • Fill your shoes with sorbet.
  • Put a margarita in your water bottle. 

It wasn't too hot when I left this morning, but it was hot enough to drift towards unpleasantness at certain parts of the commute. I don't typically mind the heat and I figure I can always reduce my exertion by like 15%, calculating that will add about 15% of extra time to my ride, meaning about five minutes more. I can live with that. That's the idea. 

As many of you are not aware, I have a keen interest in fashion. I used to work on the runways of Paris and Milan. (I unloaded luggage for Delta). Unfortunately, my deep and abiding love of all things sartorial doesn't translate into my own sense of personal style. I consider myself a snappy dresser, but only because all of my clothes close with snaps. Buttons are exhausting. In any case, today tended to be a dress day (rather than a skirt or pants day), at least downtown, and most of the dresses were of the type that I would call office dresses, which are essentially cocktail dresses that are boring. Some had sleeves, most had hem lines that hit just above the knees and for the most part, it was a monochromatic, dark color extravaganza, insofar as anything monochromatic and boring can be an extravaganza. One woman, at least, wore pearls. Another had a turquoise necklace that even a roadside New Mexican tourist trap probably wouldn't sell. Oh, I should clarify that I'm only really talking about the many, many women bike commuters I saw riding CaBis. Apparently, the gentlemen of DC, and their slacks, declined the bike commute this morning. Easily 75% of the bike commuters I saw were women and easily 75% of them were wearing work attire. 

Not much interesting going on for much of the ride. I noticed a lot of drivers who continue to have a really difficult time stopping their cars before the crosswalk and some bicyclists who can't help doing the same. And then there was a woman (not in a dress, not on a CaBi) who decided to "shoot the gap," passing me as I stopped to wait at a crosswalk, fitting herself and the bike through the narrow space between the curb and a woman crossing the street. This kind of stuff is pretty outlandish. And imprudent. Civility isn't that difficult. 

I decided to ride up 15th, mostly to find out if I lot of people were riding to work. This is what constitutes "journalism" for me, so you're welcome. As mentioned previously, women in dresses on CaBis. Also, more than one pedestrian who looked utterly confused as to why there was a bicycle riding towards him as he was standing in the cycle track. I don't think the presence of bicycles in a cycle track is especially confusing, but then again, I'm sort of an expert. I hate the idea of having to stencil "STAND HERE TO WAIT TO CROSS" on the corners of every sidewalk at every intersection, but maybe this kind of reductive instruction would be good and socially useful. And perhaps we can get corporate sponsorship "NIKE SUGGESTS YOU STAND HERE TO WAIT TO CROSS...IN A NEW PAIR OF SNEAKERS!" Gotta close that budget gap somehow. 

Saw a woman walking her Serotta on the sidewalk in Dupont. A custom bike definitely fits the best when it's being looked at from the patio of a Cosi. 

Saw a guy in black denim, a black t shirt, scraggly beard, a yellow safety vest slung over his right shoulder and arm, and he was wearing a cowboy hat and boots. That's a look. I don't know if he part of a road crew doing some work or just a very safe cowboy. 

Up the hill went fine, as it usually does. It may be the hardest part of my commute, but it's ultimately not that hard and that's pretty much why I love my bike commute. On the down part of the hill and then back up again, I rode behind a woman who was wearing headphones and every once in a while she would sing a line from the song she was listening to, but it came out mumbly and it seemed sort of crazy. So, this is what singing from a bike sounds like, I thought. Really have to stop doing that. 


  1. I thinkn they should put signs on the cycle tracks that say something like "Wait Here to Cross if You Are Stoopid."

    The Rootchopper Institute of Fashion thanks you for the fashion update. MVT commuters tend to wear Versace, BTW.

  2. I've been thinking they should do that with bike lanes. BIKES STOP BEHIND LINE. But backwards so it reads LINE BEHIND STOP BIKES. You know what I mean. But effectively, reitterate that they need to stop at the line, not in the middle of the crosswalk or a foot from the traffic lanes like a lot of them like to do when they inevitably fail their floppy track stand on their mountain bike.

  3. I wonder if the Metro issues this morning sent people to CaBis, resulting in the fashion show you witnessed. I saw nary a office-dressed rider, despite the fact that I saw about a bajillion cyclists on the trails, so the heat doesn't yet seem to be a deterrent.

  4. I rode down 14th street and I too noticed a lot of female cyclists. And, I wore a dress!

    I also noticed a lot of these cyclists passing me. Now, I'm riding my heavy, antiquated steel Specialized Hard Rock but I'm a pretty Superbiker style rider, so this surprised me. Maybe I need to step it up and take spin class regularly.

    Oh my goodness, you unleashed some gems in this post! How can I begin to choose my favorite?
    Though the runway/luggage unloader and the snappy dresser were high up there
    I'm going to have to go with:


  5. I rode to work on a CaBi in a dress! But I'm a Washingtonian rebel, and all of my clothes are brightly hued.