7/21/12

Ride Home 7/20: I'm going to open a coq au vin food truck and call it Cocoa Van and it will confuse everyone

Two-part trip. First part from work to a happy hour. Second part from happy hour to home. 

The first part was pretty good. It was muggy, but what else is new? Seems to be more traffic around Dupont than usual. I'm just going to go ahead and ascribe that to driver "uncertainty" concerning the L Street cycle track. If uncertainty is a good enough excuse for economic malaise, it's more than a good enough excuse for traffic. Other good excuses for traffic include bridges being out, rampaging escaped zoo animals and emergency helicopter landings. Whatever it was, it's certainly not the fact that cities aren't built for the easy movement of cars. And yet we still cede so much of urban space to them. 

All I remember of Q Street is that I kept looking up to see pedestrian counters at intersections ticking down from 10 or 12 seconds and my deciding whether I wanted to hustle to catch the green, which I did at maybe four or five intersections. I was wearing normal people clothes and this level of exertion seemed unwarranted and sweat-inducing, but as someone who grew up pretending to shoot buzzer beats when playing basketball in the driveway, it's hard to resist any kind of countdown with consequences. (Countdown with Consequences is the name of my forthcoming book about Apollo XI and/or the last episode of Keith Olbermann's last MSNBC episode. I haven't started writing yet, so I'm pretty flexible). In any case, it turns out that four blocks of consistent riding is enough to exhaust me. 

 Q to 7th and 7th has a bike lane for a while, but then it stops and that's why the taxi driver next to me started to get even closer. I shook him at one point, as he was stopped by a bus and things were going swimmingly under the driver of a small red car decided to reverse for more than half a block, heading right at me. Well that was something. There wasn't even an open parking spot or a place to make a turn. I have no idea what he was doing. I didn't stick around to ask. I think I just pulled around him, mumble/cursed and rode the next two blocks. I locked up outside of Bicycle Space (needed: more bike racks. I know that Bicycle Space's neighbors are resistant and this is unconscionably stupid) went inside the Passenger, had a gin rickey, some nachos, good times with some friends and the Official Wife, and then set off to get hom to walk and feed Ellie the Poodle, who might or might not have been miffed by our absence. 

I decided that I would take Massachusetts home rather than go through downtown, taking the diagonal boulevard that runs basically from Bicycle Space to my house, with a few minor deviations. I didn't select this house because of that. There's no secret George Washington-Pierre L'Enfant-Freemason-Dan Brown thing going on here. Just a coincidence.

Massachusetts would be better were there not road construction by the highway entrance that reduces the street to one-ish lane. Nevertheless, that proved fine as did the rest of the trip. It was a pretty quick trip home, though there was a headwind that proved more daunting than I would have wanted. Maybe I need to live in a completely flat city with no wind. I'm a delicate bike commuter flower. 

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