Ride In 8/31 & Ride Home 8/31: Lil' Miss Nature Skills

Let's start with this: I love bike trailers. Sure, I don't have one. But let's say I was going to get one. It would need to be pretty big. Because if I had a trailer, I'd really want it to be substantial enough to carry a trunkload of goods (perhaps a trunkload of trunks, if I were in the business of hauling trunks) because otherwise, what's the point? You could just use panniers or bungees or backpacks, but sometimes when you want to bring a lot, you'd need more space than those can provide. That's why I think the Wandertec Tuba is pretty badass. Here are some things I would put in a trailer of this size:
  • tubas
  • multiple toy poodles
  • folding bikes
  • amphorae of exotic olive oils
  • trunks full of other trunks full of smaller trunks full of matryoshka dolls
Essentially, I think something like this would be a practical necessity if you desire to haul many things and don't want to have to use a car or a team of oxen. And since there are many people who lack oxen and are trying to go without a car and are still desirous of being able to schlep (Andy and Frank Schlep are world famous utility cyclist brothers) large items, this trailer seems like a worthwhile investment for you. I'd like to thank Ted from BikeShopHub for letting me know about the trailer and I wish them the best of luck in bringing the Tuba to a mass audience. 

As for the bike commuting, I rode the Brompton around Lincoln Park, up Mass Avenue and then around the newly (partially) paved (!) Columbus Circle. 

I hope that the next time I ride around here all of the paving will be completed and there will be stripes on the road, include striped bike lanes, which are planned. The road construction around Union Station has long been a bane for drivers and cyclists (and the bane might continue for cyclists until the stripes go down- it's a bit of a cluster without lane markings) and I'm glad that we're almost at the point where it won't be completely terrible. 

E Street to 11th to G Street to 15th. I might have gotten stuck at each red light. As far as I can tell the lights are optimized for bikes, but they don't seem to be optimized for cars either. Another example of big government regulations stifling our freedoms. 

Riding in front of the White House I was flagged down by Laura on her way to coffee. She asked for a Brompton folding demonstration and I managed to almost sort of do it without screwing up too much. There were many more folds and unfolds over the course of Friday Coffee Club and I think I've finally figured out how I'm supposed to do it and can maybe do it without incident. Also at Friday Coffee Club was Ben, whose Mars Needs Mechanics just "dropped." And Jon showed up with one of his extremely cute little daughters. And I met for the very first time (in real life) longtime tweep Mary Lauran from AmericaBikes. A fairly eventful coffee, it seems. 

Afterwards, Chris and I rode down G to 20th and then across Penn to L street, where he turned to head to work and I continued onward to Massachusetts. He was on his new Disc Trucker, a definitive Bike for the Rest of Us, even though when I test-rode it, it wasn't really the bike for me. I like me bike to be tiny and bright blue, thank you. 

Up Mass, almost turned into by a church van, and then a long haul up the hill. It seemed slightly easier than the day before, but it's still going to be a challenge on the small wheels. I guess I have no choice but to get better at it or go slower. 

After work, I took the same route home, at least for the first part. I had to stop halfway down Mass to readjust my seat, which wasn't exactly pointing straight ahead and was a little askance causing me some discomfort. Thereafter it was a fine ride and I alternated between street and sidewalk as the traffic conditions mandated. I skipped Q and instead elected to ride through the circle, down 19th street (past the Jamba Juice and The Palm- there's synergy there for people who like smoothies, steaks and lobbying!) and made a left onto Pennsylvania. I think 19th street has become something a revelation for me. It's way faster than taking Q across town to 11th, at least on a Friday of a holiday weekend when there's no car traffic. The only thing I don't like about it is how I don't know what side of street I should ride on. M is one-way west, L is one-way east, K is both ways and so is Pennsylvania, meaning that if I stick to the right, I find myself in the right turn lane at M, which is kind of inconvenient and if I stick to the left, which is the side of the street I'd like to be on where I eventually turn left on Penn, I'll be in a "go fast lane" of traffic. I normally start on the right and work my way over left after K and that's generally is ok, assuming that I can merge. 

Pennsylvania was quick, as was 15th as was Pennsylvania on the other side of 15th. For a few blocks I rode alongside an open-top tour bus, though I don't know what was said about the John A Wilson Building that caused so many tourists to snap pictures. "THE Kwame Brown? Fully-loaded!? I read about this back in my hometown paper" says no tourist ever. 

I rode in queue behind some other cyclists most of trip, but I don't remember where they went and then I made it up Capitol Hill without incident, dodging the tourists and the joggers and the staffers (oh my).

On East Capitol, I saw a guy riding a Brompton in the other direction. His was black and had the trekking handlebars and I think that we nodded at each other simultaneously, which makes us simultaneously huge dorks. 



  1. I can't wait until they finish the damn Union Station construction. So frustrating.

  2. The Brompton was definitely the highlight of Friday Coffee Club, even with our sparkling group. Thanks for letting everyone swoon over it!