7/31/12

Ride Home 7/31: Huevos Olimpicos

At Massachusetts and the entrance to Rock Creek Park, a driver, who was holding a cell phone to his ear, left the left lane and moved into the right lane, the lane where I was and he could have hit me with his car, but he didn't, mostly because I anticipated that he was going to do this very bad thing. I got in front of him and turned around and shot him a glare, but I doubt that he even noticed. Thanks, guy. People complain about drivers all the time as if bad drivers are some kind of distinguishable subgroup of drivers, like the same people who, over and over again, flout the law and do stupid things, but as I sometimes driver myself, I think I have the perspective and honesty to admit that there's not just one group of bad drivers and one group of good drivers, but there's one group of drivers and sometimes some of them are good and sometimes some of them are bad and sometimes the formerly good ones become the sometimes bad ones and vice versa. It's time to be more honest about this. Sometimes I'm a good driver and sometimes I speed and sometimes I look at my phone when I shouldn't and sometimes when I'm on my bike I stop at red lights and sometimes I glide through stop signs and sometimes when I'm walking I don't leave the sidewalk when the flashing timer shows 3 seconds and sometimes I do. Our transportation sins are not judged in aggregate. They're judged separately and that's why we need to accept that we're "fallen" (so to speak) and to stop pretending that there are sinners and that there are the righteous and that these groups aren't one in the same. I don't really know where I'm going with this (certainly not to my own very rousing televangelical program on the tee vee) and I'm not sure I have a unified theory of how to be better at traveling in public (except don't take pogo. that's lame), except that maybe we drop the pretense of thinking that the person who speeds through our neighborhood is some evil outsider, but instead just someone lives two blocks away and honestly accept the fact that the bicyclist who passes too closely without signaling is just a guy who knows a guy that you know from college or met at a bar. Maybe when we do this we'll stop blaming unidentifiable and incomprehensible forces beyond our control and maybe start accepting responsibility for our own actions and maybe try to be a little bit better to each other. And then maybe we can have one big ice cream party and there will be hot fudge and maraschino cherries and nuts if no one has nut allergies, but someone always has a nut allergy so we should be cautious and not have nuts, just in case. 

Well, that was preachy.

Q to 15th to P to stopping at the ATM to deposit a check. Now that I can deposit checks through the ATM, I plan to never visit the inside of a bank branch ever again. I think that this will make things nicer for people who do like to visit the inside of bank branches and converse with bank tellers. I've known some good bank tellers who are really pleasant people, but I'm a terrible talker within transactional interactions. Ask the Official Wife about my "pizza voice." Apparently, I can't order a large with tomatoes and black olives without sounding exorbitantly angry. 

I took P to 14th. On P, I couldn't quite get across the street since I tried to cross midblock and cars kept coming in each direction. There was a Brinks armored car and a car with the license plate ROXIE. The driver of ROXIE honked at the driver in front of her who left room to allow drivers coming from the other direction to turn into the parking garage by the Whole Foods. ROXIE's got moxy. 

14th through Thomas Circle and then down Vermont to K Street to 15th, where I waited and waited and waited and then I rode for a block and waited and waited and waited again. It's good if you're a pedestrian who wants to go east or west, but north to south just doesn't work for you, at least if you're into getting equal time to cross the street. At the exit to the VA HQ, I stopped to allow a woman to cross the cycle track, but the bicyclists coming in the other direction declined to do as much. If only there was some kind of words on the ground that told them to do that. 

PEDS 
FOR 
STOP

15th to Penn and down Penn behind a few other bicyclist and in front of at least one taxi that decided to make a u-turn across the bike lane. When someone is grievously injured by this, will we get the excuse that no one could have seen this "accident" coming? Just put up more bollards. Please. 

I was stuck in too high of a gear riding up the hill and it felt like I wasn't even moving. Apparently I was moving because I'm home now rather than blogging this from some kind of suspended animation near the Capitol. The only thing in suspended animation near the Capitol is jobs legislation (rimshot).

I love having a last mile that's flat. Although a last mile that's downhill would also be nice. But not a house that's at the base of a ski slope because then there'd be skiers and perhaps tobaggonists  there all winter and I'd feel compelled to offer them cocoa and maybe let them use my bathroom. They would slosh across my floor and I'd need to mop all the time. Totally not worth it. 

5 comments:

  1. Is it just me but I read top to bottom, so when I see:
    PED
    FOR
    STOP
    I think:
    W
    T
    F
    ?
    This would make sense if we rode facedown on our bellies but only skeleton olympians do this.

    Shouldn't it be:
    STOP
    FOR
    PED
    ?
    Of course, if there are more than one PED you can run 'em over regardless.

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  2. I think that entire first paragraph was brilliant!

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  3. I bank with USAA, which has no physical branches! I can't remember the last time I went into a bank, but it was at least a couple of years ago. I don't even have to use the ATM to deposit a check, I just use my phone. Maybe something could be said about the decline of human interaction and our detachment from our financial institutions will undermine the whole system...but really I just think it's convenient, so that's what I'm gonna stick with.

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  4. @rootchopper:

    methinks Tales did it as you would be riding south to north on the page

    @Jacques -

    for me, the ending paragraph was piece de resistance!

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  5. @Ken No need to argue with Jacques. You're both right! (Thanks to both of you for the supremely kind compliments)
    @Marc Maybe some day I'll deposit checks by phone, but I don't think my bank allows this yet. And the ATM is fun because it spits out money, which is always fun.
    @Rootchooper I read top to bottom as well. And left to right. Maybe we should just have one word PEDS!

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