Ride Home 9/4: Remember that part in Starship Troopers? Yeah, that was awesome

I took a Myers Briggs test and I got B-I-K-E.

One of the worser habits you can develop as a bike commuter is racing cars. I found myself racing a Honda CR-V with a Yale license plate holder. The driver passed me on Mass before Idaho, but I caught up at Wisconsin. She stayed in front on the Massachusetts descent, in spite of my righteous and very bikerly aerodynamic tuck and was in front of me at California, but by Florida I had managed to get in front of her thanks to a "parked" car (blinkers somehow excuse all lane blocking sins. Blinkers are the papal dispensations of automotive lighting. This and other asinine quotes can be found in my new monograph title This and Other Asinine Quotes: A Judith Regan Joint, forthcoming) in the right lane which pinched car traffic but allowed me to get by. "Take that, CR-V driver!" I thought. Ultimately it makes no difference if you "beat" someone in getting to [random location] because that's not what bike commuting is all about (to find out what bike commuting is all about, do the hokey pokey on Bike to Work Day. Then, nirvana) and racing doesn't really accomplish anything. It's not like a driver is going to say at the end of it "Gadnabit, that there bi-see-clist done did get somewhere faster than me in my auto-mo-beel and now I'm gonna get me one of them there bi-see-culls and then I'll start getting places all fast and whatnot." Mostly because most drivers don't speak in goldpanner patois. But also because people don't make transportation decisions based solely on the consideration of a random sampling of speed. If that were the case, everyone would fly fighter jets to work and everyday we'd have yet another Goose situation. And this is why you shouldn't race drivers. Or something.

I rode through Dupont Circle (not well, I might add. Sorry, drivers) and then down 19th street (sorry, Circulator driver. I didn't know you weren't using your turn signal unironically) and we had a situation in one bicyclist decided to ride in the left travel lane and two other bicyclists (one of them me) decided to ride in the right bike lane and two full travel lanes were taken by bicyclists. One way streets are tricky, especially ones that intersect other one way streets which alternate in the direction of traffic, but I'd like to make a suggestion that the standard side on which bicyclists should ride is the right side, excepting for any left-side cycling infrastructure. I think that this is more in keeping with the longheld American tradition of slower vehicles traveling on the right. Just a suggestion. I'm open to hearing opposing viewpoints (and dismissing them, in another fine American tradition). Of course, had I taken my own advice, I wouldn't have been able to make the green light to make my left turn onto Pennsylvania Avenue. This means I embraced yet another longstanding national tradition, that of total and rank hypocrisy. I will now chant USA until I drift asleep.

But first, more blogging! Pennsylvania and across past the White House. Today's thought about the White House: that glass has to be bullet proof, right? I wonder if there was any tension with the historical people who were all like "no, we must use the original glass!" and the Secret Service all like "nah, dude." White House NIMBYs are the worst.

I rode behind a woman who was on a folding bike during the the time I traversed the high single digit blocks on the eastern half of Penn. She was chatty, at least to non-bicyclists. She informed a driver that he had a green light. She informed some pedestrians that they were in the bike lane. I've become less chatty over my years of bike commuter, having decided that people simply don't want to hear from me. Perhaps my folding bicycle will reverse that. The smaller the wheels, the bigger the mouth, maybe?

This is mean and I probably shouldn't admit it but the times I'm most likely to not jaywheel through an intersection is when a driver creeps up behind me to try to make a right on red and I'm blocking his turn by remaining in the bike lane. Like I said, mean and pretty petty. But this is what happens when you read one too many comments on how bicyclists never follow traffic laws. Sure, I'll follow your laws. And we'll all live with the consequences. MWAHAHAHAHAHA. (Maniacal cackling is difficult to render in print. I have no idea how the closed captioners managed the RNC convention)

I stopped at the dry cleaners to pick up a pair of now-mended pants. The cleaner initially denied that they were there. I gave him every phone number I had. I then tried my last name. Only upon the description of the pants and mending they needed was he able to find them. Don't throw out your dry cleaners receipt, ever. As for wire hangers, well, that's already been covered.

Cross Check rode well and I think I might take it again tomorrow. I do suspect that it needs a tune up and there's a decent chance that on one of these rides home I'll just divert to BicycleSpace and leave it there and ask them to give it a look. I think that the bottom bracket needs replacing. Or maybe just cleaning. I'll defer to the experts. I've been riding the bike pretty hard for about 18 months straight and it could use some love and attention, as could we all. Maybe this week.

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