Ride In 6/27: Was that Wham song about Chuck Brown?

I woke up late and I left the house late, but this was propitious, as I got to meet sometime commenter and long-time bike commuter (7 years, I think), Douglas Scott, astride his Xtracycle on his way to work. He had stopped behind me at a light and when we were both shoaled, he said something like "Nothing better than getting shoaled first thing in the morning." The guy who shoaled us was riding a Civia, which is a fairly rare bike brand for DC. Anyone, it was nice to meet Douglas and I wished him luck for the remainder of his fairly brief bike commute. Anyway who commutes solo on an Xtracycle is awesome.

What's new in Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track bollards, you ask? Wait, you didn't ask? Well, that's not going to stop me from sharing. Here's a picture of something:

Move those over. 

Looks to me like these bollards (at the intersection of Penn and 3rd) are maybe like 6 inches in the bike lane? Is this supposed to be how they're set up? I might have mentioned this previously and then thought that it was fixed, but it wasn't actually fixed, so I'm going to mention it again. In any case, I wouldn't mind having the extra six inches. Bikes lanes be narrow.

U-turning taxi. Couldn't quite see the license plate number, otherwise I'd share it with you. If you'd like to register a complain with the DC Taxicab commission, please visit here for instructions. Good luck trying to get the operator's name. I might follow up with them to see what their thoughts are on taxicabs making u-turns across Penn. I'll be sure to share my response if I get one.

DDOT has added sandbags to some intersections, presumably for extra pedestrian safety. Bunker mentality.

Les miserables pedestrians.

I've shared some thoughts on bike commuting. As usual, don't read the comments. As of this point, wwo are "BIKES NEED TO FOLLOW THEM THERE THAR LAWS LIKE CARS" and one is "BIKING WILL RESULT IN YOUR DEMISE."

Oh, more on bollards. I saw a DDOT crew parked along Pennsylvania Avenue and subsequent tweets indicate that they were installing (reinstalling?) some of the missing bollards. They had a pretty big truck, so hopefully it was big enough to carry all of the missing ones. I've been pretty cavalier about blaming drivers for all of the knocked over bollards, but I did ride briefly behind a guy on 15th street, who was weaving in and out between them, so maybe it's all his fault. That sounds plausible.

Elliptigo in the wild. It was orange. Saw it by the White House. Maybe it was some form of protest against both running and biking? Restore dedicated gliding funds or else!

15th street was really crowded, but this didn't bother me at all. People seemed to be mostly on their best behavior, which is to say, only ok behavior. No one rode into me, so that was nice. There is hot new trend amongst the more "aggressive" cyclists to ride parallel and outside the cycletrack (into traffic mind, you) rather than having to go marginally slower and remaining within it. Dude, if you're going to do that, just ride on a different street. And also, don't do that.

I learned that V Street is home to a number of older multifamily dwellings. They might even be called apartment buildings. And further review indicates that they might even be nice looking. I am not an architectural historian. Only a few bikes on V, but that didn't prevent a dude from shoaling me. Oh well. There's a police station on V. It sort of looks like my elementary school, in that it's a horrible byproduct of low-slung 60s brown concrete modernism.

From V, it was Florida, but then a quick right turn onto California and then my commute got weird because I had only the faintest idea of where I was going. I took California up a hill and then a right on 19th, up another hill and then a left on Wyoming Avenue. I cannot imagine that the state of Wyoming is anything like the street named after it, especially west of Connecticut Avenue (which isn't much like Connecticut). I don't think I've ever spent any time in this part of town, which I can best describe as mansion-y and opulent. There were embassies, there were big houses and there were SUVs parked in front of both, but I'm sure that doesn't ruin their historical splendor. Pretty much every building looked like this:

Except for the ones that looked like this:

So, that's the story of my trip to the hip, cool neighborhood BeParMaCo (Between the Park, Massachusetts and Connecticut).

Back on Massachusetts by the Islamic Center and it was a pretty standard ride up the hill on the sidewalk. I got run off the path by a guy and his granddaughter, both biking downhill, neither seeing fit to move into a single-file so as to not make me ride on the grass. Thanks.

Nonetheless, it was a great ride and another great day for a bicycle commute. When I get to work, I just feel really good. That's in spite of the indignities and selfishness and foolishness and everything else. That same sort of stuff would happen if I drove or took the bus. Bike commuting at least counteracts that stuff with the opportunity to "make your own fun" and when you have a pretty low bar for "fun" (look, houses!), it's just the self-evidently best way to get to work.


  1. Just swung through PA and 3rd, and it looks like you got your wish.

  2. You (and others) in DC seem obsessed with shoaling. Since I have only 6 red lights in 14+ miles, it's not an issue. I do have an issue with being passed within inches and without warning which seems to happen every other mile. And with oncoming riders playing chicken, passing and heading straight at me. I think I dislike this chicken game worse. Too bad I can't stick out my arm and clothesline the jerks. Shoaling is impolite and obnoxious, chicken is dangerous.

  3. Nice! I've been cycling only in MA right now..wanna go around couple states and explore the world!!