Ride In 6/5 and Ride Home 6/5: Gnomes in Loam

Please excuse me for not getting around to writing the morning post in the afternoon and having to combine both rides into one mega-post. It's not like I'm the BEST BIKE COMMUTER BLOGGER IN THE WORLD, like good friend of the blog M. and her exemplary blogging enterprise, Chasing Mailboxes. I'm so happy for her and I'm pretty sure it was a neck-and-neck race (a race in which I was allegedly competing), except it wasn't really neck-and-neck between this blog and her's. In fact, this blog wasn't even close:

Favorite Commuter Cycling Blog

Blog: Chasing Mailboxes
Location: USA

Crank History: This is another first time win and congratulations to “Gypsybug” and Chasing Mailboxes for gathering up the most votes in this category. This was the tightest race of all six categories with a really close battle between Commute By Bike, Culture Cycles, Bike Commuters, and Chasing Mailboxes.

We'll get 'em next year. Ok, in all likelihood, we won't, but maybe there are other contests that I can try to win, perhaps through eating copious amounts of hot wings. I'm not guaranteeing that I could put down more hot wings than Mary, but I think that maybe if we were to arrange this kind of contest, you could pay some money to WABA to come watch? Would you do this? Anyway, Mary and I (in my desperate attempt to glom on to her accolades) will soon be working on some collaboration super-blogs, pending our deciding on the name Tales from the Mailboxes or Chasing Sharrows. I'm partial to both names, actually. All kidding aside, many, many congratulations to a wonderful bike blogger and her wonderful triumph!

Anyway, what about me? Did I bike to work today? Of course not. I drove my mother-of-peal Escalade (license plate: SHARRWS. Maybe this is why I don't win best bike blogger contests) and I was a real jerk about it and ran people off the road and sped and did all sorts of other things. Just kidding! I did ride my bike, hence the pretense to write about it.

By my house, I saw a guy unfolding his racing green Brompton. A fellow Bromptoner! (Bromptonian? Bromptons-o-fun? Whatever.) I passed him on A Street by 14th and I didn't know if I'd see him again, but I screwed up my biking around Lincoln Park and had to double-back and then I saw him again. I thought that he might even shoal me on East Capitol, but he didn't. I was this close to saying something, but I declined. Mostly because the thing I would have said would have been "so, Brompton? I'm gonna get one of those" and that's just not something worth actually saying. I don't know what happened to him. By the time I passed the Capitol, I don't think he was any longer behind me.

Did I ride past the JAWB on the off chance that I could give another DC Council Member a Sharrows DC button? Yeah, a little. So far, I've gotten buttons to Tommy Wells and Muriel Bowser. My next, and perhaps, easiest targets will be Jack Evans and Mary Cheh. But after that, I don't know. I could probably get one on new CM Kenyan McDuffie (I know some guys) and it probably wouldn't be too hard to get VO or even Yvette (if she rolls down her driver's side window) and I could probably even get one on Marion Barry (I even practice in my head how or why I'd be trying to give him a bike button and I think I have a plan. This would obviously be an epic win), but I don't have a plan for Mendo, Graham, Catania or Michael Brown. Or Kwame. If anyone can think of a clever way in which I can ensnare any of these elected officials and get them buttons, I'm all ears. If it involves kickbacks or money orders, I'm less so. I'm also pretty sure that if I can get Sharrows buttons to the entire DC Council then I can quit blogging forever, having achieved the pinnacle of ridiculous success.

15th past the White House and 15th up the rest of the way to R, refusing to move over for the southbound cyclists. I'm not going to do it. I know the pavement is cruddy, but I'm not moving over. It's my lane.

Oh yeah, this. It upset me. Some guy on a bike riding in front of me decided that it would be ok to smack the side of a truck that was somewhat, but not entirely, blocking the bike lane. Where the fuck do you get off? Who made you the appointed guardian of bike lanes? In what world does hitting someone's car make any kind of positive difference? Honestly. I'm not the kind of person who says "now this driver is going to hate all cyclists because this one guy was a jerk!" because I honestly don't believe that. But I am the kind of person who says "don't be a dick to another person, especially if your bar for doing so is so freaking low" How about someone smacks your bike every time you blow a stop sign? Would you like that? I get it. You were peeved and because you're riding a bike, you think you're some kind of awesome badass. You're not. Hands to yourself. If you're in immediate danger, smack the car. If not, don't. You want people not to block the bike lane with their cars? Then do good works. Get them on bikes. Ask for greater enforcement at hearings. Don't hit.

Of course, I didn't say anything to the guy when I caught up to him. I never do.

Relatively quick going up Mass, but it felt like a slog anyway. One of these days, I'm not going to work on top of a giant hill. Better not take a job with the Cistercians. Yeah, that's a monastic landscape "joke." And yeah, I used to study under a guy who basically invented the field of studying monastic landscapes. And yeah, I'm willing to admit that.

Work work work work work and then bike home. I kept on my work attire. I biked in a tie. I survived.

Rode behind two out-of-service buses on the way down the hill. I think this is a mistake.

Easy trip on Q. Maybe there was some annoying stuff, but I barely remember it now. For some reason, I turned right on 14th, maybe because I passed a guy and then didn't want to awkwardly wait at a red light in front of him. 14th is serviceable. Maybe some new bike lanes around Thomas Circle. No bike lanes on Vermont, but there could be. I rode behind a Bentley for a little. Bentleys get stuck in traffic, too.

Then my illegal sidewalk riding problem happened. It happened from McPherson to 15th and New York. Lawyer friends: does my occasional admission of sometimes doing illegal stuff mean that I'm more like to be found culpable or not negligent if, goodness forbid, I were ever to be involved in some incident/accident? If so, should I stop admitting that I do stuff like this? I seek your counsel.

My sidewalk crimes continued along the wrong-way down E, past Freedom Plaza, but then E became two-way again and I was cool. I then stopped for a quick drink with some friends at Iron Horse (a reference to the motorcycle, not the bicycle) at 7th and E and that was a great time. Thanks, friends!

Afterwards, it was back on E past Union Station and then down Mass to home. I did one of those things where I jaywheeled through a red light and the driver behind me did the same. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Though I suppose it's a bit frightening that a driver just pays attention to the bicyclist in front of him rather than the traffic signal. Doesn't he know not to trust bicyclists?

That's pretty much it. Tomorrow should be another good day for bicycling. Maybe do that, if that's a thing you'd like.


  1. I believe "Bromptoneer" is the correct term. And by "believe" I just mean it sounds cool. I don't think the proper English folks at Brompton would like "Bromptonneur" much, but it has a certain velo-ness to it.

  2. Thanks so much for the shout-out! And you definitely could consume more wings than I, as they are not part of my food continuum, BUT I could definitely challenge you to a Clif bar-eating contest. Or popcorn. Or something.

    Oh, and the guy who rode a Brompton on PBP... now that guy was definitely a Bromptonneur!