Ride Home 7/9: Un beso

I mixed it up and rode down New Mexico today and through Glover Park and Georgetown to M Street. I like mixing it up. Mixing it up (not in the sense of trying to start a kerfuffle) is one of the best parts of bike commuting. I really ought to mix it up more. It's hard because my home and work place tend to be in the same place (unless I have vertigo and/or amnesia), but there are more than enough ways to slightly divert from one route to another to keep things fresh and to see new places and to attempt to get a slightly better sense of the minor differences between one street and the one one over. And on a day as nice as this one (it was summer, but not an inferno), taking a different way from the well-trod path served as a nice way to break up the monotony, to say nothing of providing a visual cue that today is different from last week's string of hot days and worth celebrating. 

I think that bicyclists have a right not to ride into overhanging tree branches. The tree branches on New Mexico fall exactly to head height to where a downhill bike lane would be. Speaking of bike lanes and trees, I think this post concerning an extension of a bike trail in Arlington was thought-provoking. 

My bike is making clickity click click click noises. You know, those. 

The right lane of M street is a variable parking lane and no parking is permitted during the evening rush hour. But drivers don't seem to use it. Is it only for buses? Or bicyclists? Not that I'm complaining. It's just strange that there's a policy in place to add an extra travel lane and no one wants to use it, or at least from Key Bridge to Wisconsin, where I rode. 

I should've ridden along the water to get to Rock Creek, but I stuck to K and was stuck in traffic. There's never not car traffic. I don't know how drivers do it every day. 

Virginia Avenue is nice enough. There's a statue of Benito Jaurez, who has to be one of the top Benitos ever. (Maybe only second to Benito Santiago?) The problem with Virginia is that there's a tunnel under 23rd street and I don't feel comfortable riding my bike through the tunnel and the up and over on the off and on ramp is also somewhat unpleasant, mostly because of the likelihood of getting stuck in a line of turning cars and then, even if you avoid that, there's a yielding merge at the bottom of the ramp that's only mildly ameliorated by the crosswalk with a "yield to peds" sign that maybe marginally slows down cars coming out of the tunnel. I'm not an expert in anything, much less traffic flow or urban planning, but this seems like an aggravated assault against good sense and the movement of non-cars. 

Virginia Avenue ends before Constitution, but I rode the wrong way down to oneway (sorry) because I needed to get to Constitution. Then I found myself here:

Some obelisk. 
This was a first for me. Not visiting the Mall, but the riding on Constitution during evening rush hour. I intended to ride on the sidewalk, but then I figured I'd be better off in the road and I was better off in the road (theoretically), in spite of the fact that many drivers had to stop before turning right in order to wait to pedestrians to cross the street and also because sometimes there were cars parked in the right lane, which I don't think is permitted since, like M Street, Constitution Avenue is a variable parking street. My conclusion about variable parking is that it's not a very good policy. It only takes one guy to overindulge at the Air and Space Museum and leave his minivan parked past 4 to render one lane of traffic basically inoperable. Drivers of DC: do you want to rely on that one guy for you evening commute? I certainly wouldn't. This is why I'd much rather have that right lane on Constitution turned into a two-way cycletrack. Then at least lots of people could use it, all of the time. I can dream, anyway. I'd never taken Constitution previously, because of my concerns that it would be harrowing, and while it was somewhat harrowing, it was flat and direct and no one drove in my lane, mostly because I was there and because every so often there'd be some obstruction (like a parked car) that would make it not worth it. 

Up the hill and for the first time I felt like my new tires are lighter than my old ones. I do not know if this is factually true. 

On East Capitol, I followed a guy on a bike with a Burley kid trailer. No kid inside. Hopefully the kid didn't fall out. I didn't see any kids who looked like they fell out of trailers by the side of the road. Some therapist could make some mad loot from that. 

1 comment:

  1. Mix it up, mix it around. What do you get? Nebali. It's the name of a planet way, way, way, far away.