Ride In 8/2: Liberation Phrenology

Another wonderful day for a wonderful bike ride. I remain amazed at how happy I am that just by going by bike I've turned a daily chore (the commute) into something I really like doing. It'd be like if I liked manicures and somehow doing the dishes resulted in my having a manicure. Or maybe a better analogy that wasn't contingent on a stipulated like manicures, which, to the detriment of fingernails, aren't really something that I'm especially drawn to. I think in spite of my terrible example, you get the point. Good writing paints a "word picture" and my word pictures are the ones brought home by a kindergartner that are begrudgingly hung on the refrigerator, but maybe that get covered up with other stuff "accidentally."

East Capitol to the Capitol to Penn to 11th. I put some air in my front tire before leaving home and the bike seemed happy about that and it rewarded me with a nice ride. I'm still trying to figure out the optimal air pressure for these tires and that might be the bike-dorkiest thing I've ever written. Optimally, I think they should be firm, but with some bounce and that might be the bike-lewdest thing I've ever written. I'm going to end this paragraph now.

I took 11th to V and it seemed to take forever get from 11th to 15th, where V Street becomes more familiar to me. There were very many cars and trucks blocking the bike lane, but this is hardly surprising and I don't really get worked up about it. I wish that drivers wouldn't do it and I'd like it to be enforced, but it doesn't exactly pose a huge safety threat. I see the car blocking the lane, I stick out my arm, I move over into the travel lane and then I move back into the bike lane. So long as this is the infrastructure we're given, this is what's going to happen. The guy in front me, bedecked in full cycling kit, also seemed to share my approach. But this is hardly remarkable as his cycling kit was that of someone who has played considerable Marco (Bike) Polo or maybe just someone who saw Asia by bicycle on a Spice Roads bicycle tour. Tales From the Burmese Sharrows, anyone? It'd be just like Shooting An Elephant.

At the end of V, I merged onto Florida and then California and then 18th, which is a pretty mild hill, it turns out, and might be the fastest and more direct way to get from the letter streets to the next crossing of Rock Creek and Calvert Street. I've tried 15th, 13th, 11th and Champlain, but I think that 18th is my now favorite, especially in the morning when it's virtually empty.

I'm thinking about doing a Sheryl Sandberg-style TED talk called "Don't Turn Before You Turn" directed at drivers and bicyclists who have an inability to come to a complete stop at intersections and who almost collide with those who have the right-of-way as they try to complete their turn, cutting off oncoming traffic. I imagine this will generate huge equally buzz in the feminist blogosphere.

 I felt good on Cleveland and I passed another cyclist on the way up the hill. I always feel torn about whether to acknowledge the passee or not. I didn't. I feel like it's much more likely to come off as snooty if you're like "hey" as you ride past. #BikeDC needs an Emily Post.


  1. I have a kindergartner, Mr. Sharrows. You, sir, are no kindergartner.

  2. My office has a drawing from my daughter on the wall. It says "You Rock Daddio!" It is not covered up.

  3. sometimes kindergarteners' drawings are more accurate than you'd think.


  4. I would love it if you did a TED talk.