Ride Home 8/1: Girl from Coyote Ugly, Guy from Coupling and Guy From Ugly Betty

It Can't Happen Here is a lesser-known book by Sinclair Lewis about a dystopian fascistic society that arose in an alternative 1930s America. It has nothing to do with bike commuting. Bike commuting can happen here, as it can happen anywhere, even Antarctica, though I don't know who is going to teach all the penguins to bike. Probably someone from Sea World or maybe some kind of experimental ornithologist, assuming that that aspect of that academic discipline, in fact, exists. What's black and white and red all over? Penguins who have crashed their bikes into a stack of Maoist literature.

This post is off to a propitious start, as was my bike commute and I made it swiftly downhill for the first couple of miles and ended up getting in front of a bicyclist, who then made an effort to get back in front of me and he expended his energy to beat me to a red light, where he stopped and then I stopped behind him. A few blocks later I saw some lights and heard some sirens and unlike Odysseus, I was not drawn to them and I turned right down 17th street and avoided whatever incident was there occurring. 17th Street was fine except for someone on a motorscooter who must have been trying to pick my pocket as there was no other reason why he would have been that close to me otherwise. Vespa Fagin would make an excellent name for a Bond villain.

The road, 17th street, gains a travel lane but loses a bike lane when it crosses Massachusetts, but this was nothing to cry about since I gained a whole travel lane and merely lost a bike lane. Bike lanes are nice for narrow streets. On wide streets, I'm happy to have the whole right lane. I turned left at L Street, took that for two blocks and then hopped on the cycletrack, falling in line behind two other cyclists about whom I can remember almost nothing. All three of us rode through the security bollards at the White House, as did the three other cyclists heading in the other direction and I think we can officially say that it's wiser for cyclists to do this than to ride on the crowded sidewalk with pedestrians.

Downed bollard along 15th. I don't know where it came from. I laid it to rest beneath a tree and took a picture and tweeted. This references, obviously, the tomb of the Black Prince. Some people see knocked over stanchions and think about things that aren't references to 14th century royal funerary monuments and other people are me, who in another life had read thousands of pages of articles and monographs about the tombs of the kings and queens of late Medieval Europe. "Write what you know" isn't always the best advice.

Pennsylvania Avenue blessed me with green lights and little car traffic and few tourists standing in the middle of the bike lanes and it was turning into a gorgeous evening and I imbibed the air and the sentiment.

On East Capitol, I rode behind a man who rode a green Brompton and he seemed happy and I wish my Brompton were here, but it's not yet here. Maybe soonish. If you'd like to sign up to receive a text message from me when I finally get it, please reconsider.

I came home to the Official Wife and the Official Ellie the Poodle and I was happy to see both of them. Ellie the Poodle has decided that she lives under the couch now, which is weird. I'd like to think it has something to do with the weather, but it's more likely than not EtP's desire to become a prairie dog. She's from eastern Colorado after all.

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