The Official Wife, who loves me a lot, is buying me a Brompton for my birthday. It will look like this (more or less):
I am very excited about. My birthday, one of those decennial ones, is in a couple of weeks and the bike will arrive thereafter. Thereafter, I might be temporarily changing the name of the blog to Tales From The Sharrows on a Brompton OMG OMG OMG! At least for a little while. Anyway, roughly one gazillion thanks to her for thing tremendous gift and roughly one billion gazillion thanks to her for putting up with me, both in general and in the last six months whenever I've sighed wistfully while pining for this bike.
In other news, I biked to work today. Perfect bicycling weather this morning. I was surprised there weren't more people out, but maybe that's because I left a little earlier than usual and took a route that I'm not sure is especially popular. I rode down East Capitol and then around the park to Massachusetts, past Union Station, more Massachusetts, past some construction of DOOM, and then up 5th street through what I think might be Shaw, but DC neighborhood names aren't really my specialty. I don't know why I went this way. In fact, it wasn't my intention at all. I either planned to cross the White House plaza and go up the other side of Penn through the West End and Georgetown and then up Wisconsin or I planned to take the Met Branch trail and then ride R all the way across town. This was some sort of weird compromise route, which was fine, but not really my favorite. That had mostly to do with the continued road work around the highway overpass and the narrowing of the lanes around 4th NW that essentially puts the wheels of cars within 6 inches of the curb, preventing a bicyclist from squeaking by on the inside. Since it's a relatively crowded sidewalk (though recently widened in some places?), I pretty much just took my place in line behind a bus and sucked in my daily dosage of exhaust, which if I had my druthers, would be scented by the good people at Yankee Candle. Bus fumes should smell like Man Town or maybe Let Freedom Ring.
5th street has a bike lane. That's pretty much all I can suggest about it. Maybe it's charming. I don't really know. It seemed ok.
About bike lanes: there just paint and painted lines don't really do much to physically serve as a barrier to cars, the way a concrete barrier or even plastic bollards might. I watch drivers daily move into them and out of them, especially if traffic in the travel lane is backed up and they're seeking some kind of refuge from the approbation of their fellow motorists if their car would otherwise be blocking the intersection. So, that's a story about bike lanes. I still like them, if not for their safety effect (because in spite in their just being white paint, they do provide tangible safety benefits) but because for the most part, they provide an expeditious path for bicycles that is for the most part free from car traffic. That way, when it's backed up in the roadway, there's almost a little sliver of a path for the bicyclist to take. They're like express lanes.
I rode behind a guy who might have made some Banana Republic slacks into cutoffs. Seems very DC.