Ride Home 7/6: Endemic Violins

The new tires felt good. They rolled well and they handled bumps in the road a little bit better. It wasn't exactly like biking on pillows, but doing that probably wouldn't feel very good anyway and the feather carnage would be ridiculous.

I've had a number of drivers lately bring their cars within a foot of me, prior to realizing that they ought to move over. This happens a lot when there's a lane with variable parking and somehow the drivers don't realize that the lane is wide enough for a bicyclist but not wide enough for their car. I'm used to riding very close to cars (bike lanes are just a four inch white stripe, so that's not very much separation), but side-to-side closeness is vastly different from front-to-back closeness. I'd really not like to be hit in such a stupid way.

Guy shoals me at 14th. Guy wades out past the crosswalk. Guy looks for a gap in traffic. Guy keeps looking at cars, stops looking at light. Light turns green. Guy doesn't go. I ride around him. If you're going to try to jump red lights, at least try to be good at it.

I appreciate the new sharrows on Rhode Island from11th Street to where Q continues on the other side of the intersection. That's always been a bit hairy of a spot, especially with that awkward left turn (and slipway) and the sharrows, while purely symbolic, seem at least mildly validating. Sharrows might be the American flag pin of bike infrastructure.

There was some emergency vehicle that couldn't pass through Q due to a number of drivers who proved incapable at clearing the way. This isn't meant to sound judgmental (no, really, it's not), but how many ambulances and firetrucks and police officers are delayed as the result of too much car traffic? There's probably an academic study about this. In Budapest, emergency vehicles traveled in the tram tracks (which were separated from the street) to make their way around more quickly. That seems like a good idea.

I took 7th to BicycleSpace to pick up the travel mug that I had left there earlier in the day. From there, it was down 7th to E, where I locked up my bike to meet a friend for a beverage (spoiler alert: not lemonade). This past week I was in the Charlottesville area and we visited the Devil's Backbone brewery (I can't hear Devil's Backbone without thinking about the 1993 classic film, Airborne, a favorite of ours in college), so when I saw their Pear Lager, a beer that they had sold out of at the brewery, I tried it at the bar. It wasn't great. Who knew that pears were not a great addition to lagers?

Afterwards, I rode E home, through Columbus Circle, down Massachusetts, past Stanton Park, the area immediately around which could use some improvements for bicyclists and pedestrians- it seems overly wide, and then picked up Mass on the other side, rode counterclockwise around another park (which is the way you're supposed to do it), passed a motorcyclist in the bike lane, and then it was home to log my ride for at 2milechallenge.com. Another dollar for WABA, another couple of dollars not to Metro or Exxon and another hot summer ride accomplished successfully and without incident.

Stay cool this weekend. See you Monday.


  1. We've been thinking about visiting the Devil's Backbone brewery - worth it?

  2. @jon- I think so. A lot of good beers. We didn't stay for too long, so my exposure was pretty limited, but I liked the ones that I tried.

  3. I'll say that I enjoyed the view from the deck, which was relatively dog friendly. The food was fine and reasonably priced. My wife had a flight of beers, and 3 of 4 were worthy of pint-sized consumption. Just be warned that on-site six-pack sales are limited to a couple of varieties, but you can get everything in growlers. However, there's no cellphone reception in the area.