Ride Home 8/24: Oblique Tangents

Guys, did you hear about Armstrong? He took dugs and now he's not the first guy to walk on the moon. Personally, I think this is out of NASA's jurisdiction and I wish he would've appealed it. Now Buzz Aldrin (no angel himself) thinks he took one small step for man and the whole thing has really been a big setback for space exploration. If I find out that Curiosity tests positive for high levels of testosterone, I'm gonna just give up on following the sport. But how do you think those other Mars rovers managed to stay working so long, huh? Few people know that Dr. Michele Ferrari also has a PhD in aeronautical engineering.

UPDATE: So, Neil Armstrong died today. I wrote the post prior to this happening and to the best of my knowledge, it was coincidence and my gentle joshing was not the cause of his passing. Rest in Peace. 

Some events today (Saturday) that you might want to do since I can't:

St. Elizabeth's Bike Carnival

DC Bicycle Advisory Committee "Rolling" Meeting through Ward 2

And some news you can use if you use news about Bikeshare expansion into Old Town Alexandria. I don't spend a lot of time in Old Town, but I still think this Bikeshare expansion is going to be a big deal. Especially for the touristical types. If you ride the Mount Vernon Trail on weekends (and really, if you do this, WHY?), expect more CaBi traffic.

As for the ride home, the description of which is the putative reason behind this post, it was fine. I followed a lady superbiker down Massachusetts Avenue. She was wearing a white kit and I'm pretty sure one of the sponsors was Wendy's. Otherwise, fairly standard superbikerliness, including her assuming a tight aerodynamic tuck on her descent. She turned off to ride down into the park and I continued straight onto Massachusetts and almost into a turning SUV, the driver of which chose to abort his turn to avoid the oncoming car in front of me, but declined to do the same for me, whom he didn't see or didn't care to see. Braking, muttering, a shaking fist and life goes on.

I decided to ride through Dupont Circle and down 19th Street, a one way that would take me through the M/L/K (the letter streets are a secret Martin Luther King homage?) nexus to Pennsylvania Avenue, where I turned left. 19th wasn't nearly as crowded as 21st normally is and aside from having to ride through Dupont Circle, it's vastly preferable.

Let's just build a cycle track on the western end of Penn, ok? I promise that I'll use it. Though I'm willing to compromise for a sooner completion of the planned cycle track on M.

I'd be alerted to this via twitter, but I saw for the first time that the gap between the steel plates on 15th that I mentioned the other day has since been covered, partially, with an orange traffic cone. Not the best solution, but at least it's something. I guess they couldn't just push the plates closer together? The cone union in this town is powerful- almost as powerful as the caution tape lobby and I'm pretty sure this is just another make-work solution for a traffic cone with some seniority that gets the first bid.

That thing where a driver isn't looking closely and thinks a green bicycle traffic light is a green left turn arrow and then the driver behind them does the same and then I get all mad about it and maybe use curse words.

Quick down Penn and then fairly East Capitol. No drama with the 5-0 this time.

And one last time, a reminder: I'll be wearing a tuxedo, singing karaoke (song tbd) at 7PM tomorrow (Sunday) at Banana Cafe (Barracks Row). See you there. It'll be fun.


  1. There's already a good deal of CaBi traffic on the MVT between 14th street and the airport, and a non-zero number south of 4 mile run (I have no idea where those people are going). But there are only two stations that could be considered on the MVT route (Prince & Union + King & Royal). The real question is how crosstown traffic on King is going to accept new Cabi ridership. (or for that matter up & down Patrick/Henry). The smart money already takes the parallel streets, but if this does actually introduce some new ridership, there's going to some turf fights

  2. I generally preemptively glare at potential left turners a the end of the cycletrack to make sure they don't try and run me over. Then I get out in the crosswalk about 8 seconds into the pedestrian walk light so that I'm ready to go as soon as the bike light goes green. Then I often glare once more over my shoulder for good measure.

    I have been known on occasion to yell loudly "You have a red light!" to cars who don't respond to all the glaring and my being in the intersection and them having a red light and all. Most of them don't appreciate it. One woman passenger even made rude (though not obscene) gestures back at me because she clearly didn't realize that the man driving (her husband, I suppose, though I don't like to jump to conclusions) was breaking the law.

  3. This morning turning onto 15th from Penn a car turned left in between myself and the cyclist in front of me during the bike green. A cop witnessed the whole thing and pulled the car over!