Ride In 7/20: Camptown Races 8 km long

Friday means coffee and it means leaving the house a little earlier than usual and it was cloudy and muggy and I was groggy and eventually sweaty and nothing much happened but the one man in the SUV on E Street blasting his Biz Markie in a way that I noticed and appreciated, but didn't acknowledge.

To get to E Street I took Massachusetts, circled the mess that is Union Station (and too far), before cutting back across a few lanes of traffic and I'm not sure if I ran any red lights, but I'm fairly certain the traffic pattern never even considered that someone would make the a button hook turn across four lanes of traffic. Perhaps things will be better when there are bike lanes. Everything's better with bike lanes.

At Stanton Park, between bouts on Massachusetts and before turning on E, I think I saw someone that I knew but I didn't want to risk saying hello because of the aforementioned grogginess and the likelihood that I was very much wrong in identifying the person. Though I suppose it's never too early in the morning to make a new friend. I'm basically the bike commuting Mr. Rogers, complete with slippers and cardigan.

I turned right on 11th and regretted it. I turned left on G and regretted it. On G I passed a couple on CaBis and the guy was carrying some kind of triangular packing tube, used in shipping I'm not sure what. I passed them at the got stopped at 3 subsequent lights and the stopped behind me each time.

I find riding through downtown-ish (roughly bound by 15th, New York, Pennsylvania and 395) to be quite charming. There are some nice older buildings that you would hardly notice and there are some vacant properties that really can and should be turned into something. Maybe not Class A office, but something. Like, is there a good haberdasher downtown? Probably not. Or a social club for the Sons of the Daughters of the American Revolution? I very much doubt it. Or anything resembling laser tag? Exactly. Buildings allowed to remain empty make me inordinately sad.

I crossed the White House plaza before there were too many tourists about. I crossed 17th street before there were too many cars about. I got to coffee and there were people there, so that was good. As usual, a good time was had by all, including some special guests: Adam, who is soon off to make some pirate jerky, and Hugo, who is a baby. Also, Rachel, the soon-to-be bike parking tsarina of WABA. It's a regular who's who of sailors, babies and tsarinas.

Upon leaving Friday Coffee Club, I almost get left-hooked as I crossed G Street. I didn't look both ways, but the turning driver certainly had no intention of yielding to me in the crosswalk. She missed my front wheel by a foot and kept going. I was happy nothing bad come of it.

15th was uncrowded. I saw this sign.

Watch for Turning Traffic
Presumably the sign is for bicyclists. It's better than "Dismount bikes. Real people are driving here, self-righteous pricks." Though I wonder if many bicyclists have been distracted from turning traffic as they read the sign that warns them as much. Also, if drivers are crossing the bike lane, isn't it (in the eyes of law) more incumbent of them to watch for going-straight bicyclists than the other way around?

I enjoyed that. R Street was mostly uncrowded, except for an older gentleman with pulled-up white socks and baggy shorts and a younger gentleman on a Surly Pacer, who shoaled and was promptly passed.

I stuck to the road on Massachusetts and I hustled and I exhausted myself and there were only one or two occasions when I was passed too closely. For the most part, the drivers were relatively non-menacing. I tried to convince myself that it's just like riding up other streets without bike lanes and I shouldn't be especially cowed. It mostly worked. There's a crack in the road about three feet off the curb that seems about to be where a bike lane white stripe would go so I just used that as my guide. It's not like my local tax dollars don't pay for a road if it doesn't have a bike lane on it. Unless I can get some sort of write-off.

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