The history of all hitherto existing bike commutes is a history of, well, I don't know, pretty much the same thing this post is going to discuss right now. As much as there's a grand unifying vision that lends order and theoretical underpinning to all bike commute blogging, it's essentially this: no two rides are the same even if you take the same route. While a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters for a thousand years might be able to bang out some Shakespeare, a thousand monkeys on a thousand bicycles on a thousand rounds would only result in considerable traffic difficulties for all other road users for I doubt these monkeys would be cognizant of both the traffic laws and travel norms that allow us to have safe and functional commutes. And even if we somehow engaged our simian brethren in a series of classroom and road trainings related to the safe operation of bicycles and/or other vehicles (note: not pogo sticks), I hardly suspect that our message would get through to them. And such if the fate we suffer: if we launch Charlton Heston or any other actor into space, he would return to a world without bicycles and without statues of liberty and what kind of world would this be? Sure, they, the thousands of monkeys, would have re-created Shakespeare (now known as Ape-speare), but without bikes, could we even call them civilized? And should we? For same, theoretical monkey civilization of the distant future. For all of your humankind suppressing ways, you've neglected the most important lesson of all: to paraphrase (and butcher) Orwell "two wheels good, no wheels bad."
I rode down Massachusetts Avenue and took to the sidewalk when traffic got thick and backed up and I decided that I didn't want to wait in it. Prior to that, about halfway down the hill, shouted from across the way Kristen did: "HEY! WE FINALLY SAW EACH OTHER" because we've been riding up and down the hill on opposite schedules for a long time now. I shouted back and this is how conversations are had across 4 lanes of traffic. Apparently, the bike makes me rather spottable.
I continued down the hill and through the traffic and then through the traffic some more down 19th and then made a left on Penn and rode down Penn and over to through the car free plaza and to G Street to check on the status of the blocked bike lane from this morning. It was still mostly blocked by the fence blocking in the construction and I tweeted at DDOT and the world and I don't know if my effort at cleaving an additional foot of dedicated space for bicyclists will pay off. What I do know, however, is that in my attempts to position myself to take a picture, I was the ponce who blocked the bike lane for the other bicyclists heading in the opposite direction. Way to go, citizen helper. None of them kicked me, but it wouldn't have been out of line.
I took G to 11th, turned right and found myself waiting at the light at E. Why don't I always turn left on E, I wondered, instead of turning left on Pennsylvania one block later? Both streets go, generally, in the same direction, the direction of home, and E even has a gentler hill to climb than the Capitol grounds. A rare bit of ruminating, which I think is also the term for when you marinate something in rum. Some ruminated figs would be delicious, I bet.
I watched two drivers make u-turns on Pennsylvania Avenue. So much for the increased enforcement. I like my justice swift. But apparently, that's not how it's going to happen. Oh well.
I had the definite feeling that a guy was racing me all along East Capitol. I hate that feeling and I wish I had the good sense just to slow down and not care, but I don't have good sense and when caught in a pursuit (of a trivial nature...?) my inclination is to ride like I'm being chased, chased by a flying (note: not bicycling) monkey and so I did and while I didn't completely ignore traffic laws and ride with abandon, I certainly rode with greater haste than is my typical habit. He ended up passing me when I turned left from 11th around the park on East Capitol. Congrats, dude. You win.
Have a breezy weekend, y'all. Keep it real. I'll be around.