Ride Home 7/10: Consolation of Philately

A two part trip. Bipartite, if you will. Tripartite, if you're into 16th century Hungarian jurisprudence, which you're not. But I digress. The first part of the trip was from work (aka my workplace) to roughly Dupont Circle (aka Dupont Circle or thereabouts). This part of the trip entailed some bicycling, which itself featured some pedaling, some coasting, a little bit of steering and so much smugness you couldn't fill one thousand thimbles. I've never quite understand the "bicyclists are smug" thing (which itself might make me smug) because I've always been more of the mindset that "bicyclists are just people trying to get places via means of bicycle" and "OMG please be careful I'm bicycling here and I'd rather not get hit by your car." Plus, I've always preferred to think of smug as s'mug, which is a mug full of s'mores. If I was the general manager of a bar, we'd serve this and we'd make all of the money.

Around the intersection of Massachusetts and Wisconsin, I came up behind another bicyclist. She was a woman in a dress and she rode a CaBi and she wore a helmet and her dress had a chain-type pattern on it and I spent much of the time on the downhill of Massachusetts looking at the back of her dress, and of her, which is to say, her back, because I didn't know if I should pass her or if I should just be patient. Eventually, on the other side of the Observatory, I decided that I would, car-style, leave the right lane and pass her in the left one before merging back right and then I rode in front of her for some time until she later took to the sidewalk and caught up with me at the bottom of the hill, whereby I was left feeling like I passed her needlessly since it achieved me close to nothing in terms of speed of trip or perception of the speed of my trip. In in the interim period, between the time I passed her and the time she passed me back (but before I managed to once again ride in front of her, though not pass her as she was on the sidewalk and I was on the roadway), I practiced my braking (not, not that) and my skidding (no, I don't have a parenthetical YouTube clip for that) as I had to come to a near immediate stop because a taxi three cars in front of me did the same in order to onboard a fare. I was scratching my nose at the time and broke late (like a golf putt, maybe?) and my rear tire went near horizontal as it skidded, but I remained upright and avoided a collision with the car in front of me. So, huzzah for that.

I zipped between stopped buses and left turning vans and zigged (but didn't zag) my way to 20th street and turned right, stopped at a street named after a letter (I cannot remember which one) and then circumnavigated a certain table tennis-themed bar/restuarant, outside which I locked my bicycle prior to entering to grab some drinks and food with the Official Wife and an old friend from college times (hoya saxa). Afterwards, I came out to find my bike locked next to a bike named after Mount McKinley. Perhaps this bike belonged to a Palin or a Jack London character.

Setting off, I took New Hampshire to a leftish turn on 21st street and I passed a guy who might or might not have been having a conversation wherein the word (words?) lightsaber was (were?) mentioned.

I turned again on Penn and then it was pretty much old hat once I got passed the White House, in that riding down 15th and then Pennsylvania is like an old hat in metaphorical ways I need not explain. I saw Mayor-Elect Tommy Wells outside the JAWB.

Along Penn, I decided that I would try to keep pace with the guy in front of me who seemed considerable more interested in riding faster that I would have been, but I felt cheeky and decided to apply myself and maintained well my speed for a number of blocks before thinking better of running a near-red yellow and I stopped and he was gone, bike shorts and all.

At the point you need to snake your bike up the Hill, making thrice the movement horizontal than the movement vertical, I think it more wise to just get off and push the bike uphill. It seems self-defeating to do otherwise. There's no shame in walking a bike. I've done it.

At the top of the Hill, in front (behind?) the Capitol, I decided not to photobomb the tourists (as I had by the White House) and then down East Capitol I decided not to photobomb anyone else, mostly because no one seemed to be taking pictures.

I made it home before the rain, which was then imminent. I then walked the dog in the rain and neither of us were happy about it.


  1. I love two-part bike commutes. You get to ride your bike twice!

    Poor Ellie, that was no typical DC sprinkle ... I rode home in it late, after it was no longer pouring but still coming down steadily. Not awful but not that fun in a dress either.

  2. I got about two miles away from home before I got caught in the downpour. There's not much you can do about it, and maybe it's because it's summer rain, I really don't mind getting soaked on my bike ride home.

    Maybe after Brompton and cargo bike riders take their share, there's no smugness left for the rest of us?