Ride In 9/14: Defenestration Without Representation

Friday means jeans and coffee and Brompton riding. Obviously. And it meant riding through Columbus Circle and making a crazy sprint across three lanes of car traffic to get from the interior westbound bike lane to the left lane from which to turn on to E Street. I suppose I could've ridden to the crosswalk at First NE and doubled back, but I caught the green light in such a way that scurrying seemed worth it and appropriate. I'm sure it looked hilarious on the clown bike (that's a clown bike, yo), like a circus bear.

The bike is making some noises I can't pinpoint, but I'm only somewhat peeved by that. Bikes make noises. Though bikes don't necessarily make weird scraping noises and I should make try to be a bit better with my pinpointing, lest there's an actual problem.

I found myself riding very slowly behind another bicyclist, mostly because that other bicyclist was riding very slowly and I didn't have a good opportunity to pass. I got over it- there's no sense in getting all huffy about having to go slower than you'd necessarily prefer. It happens. It's not a big deal- but it led me to wonder: is there an optimal (and attainable) speed at which bicyclists should try to maintain in city traffic? One that achieves the perfect balance between effortless movement, the ability to avoid hazards and fails to inhibit other traffic, while also remaining apparent and predictable to all other road users? And if this optimal speed existed, should bicyclists be encouraged to maintain it? Or is that a kind a speed paternalism (Speed Racer's Dad?) that shouldn't be foisted on anyone, unless it's something that they themselves desire? Bike boffins, you have your charge!

It's rare that I'm presented with such a wonderful, blog-worthy picture. It's a blocked bike lane on the 1400 block of G Street NW (I turned right at 11th and E and turned left onto G).

Blocked bike lane? Not uncommon, so why is it noteworthy?
My shadow looms large

That's right! It's in front of the headquarters of auto advocacy group AAA! But don't worry about the blocked bike lane- they're still open! I guessing the fence is just fortification for the War on Cars. DDOT said that this was just temporary, but I'll check it out on the ride home and let you know the current state of affairs.

A great, as usual Friday coffee, and it was nice meeting blog reader and twitterer Ben and it was good talking bikes and seeing the usual suspects and drink coffee al fresco. Afterwards, there was a motorcade which held up pedestrian, bike and car traffic. I saw one lady ride across the street before nearly getting tackled by a secret service agent, who grabbed her by the shoulder and ushered her out of the way. I think that motorcades say less about the dominance of car culture than they do about the dominance of security culture. I'd like to see more bicyclecades, but I don't think those are approved by the powers that be. Maybe in Holland.

I took the 15th Street cycle track and it's been maybe more than a month since I've last been on it. (You can check the archives, but it seems like a month). It seemed wider than I remembered it. I'm pretty sure they haven't widened it. I guess what they say is true and that absence makes the heart grow wider. That and cholesterol.

On Massachusetts, I saw a truck with the license plate DRTGURU. I bet this guy is the envy of all local soil engineers.

I ride past the British Embassy on the Brompton quite frequently and no one has even lifted a bowler to say "Good chap!" at me for supporting their native industry. What happened to the famed British gregariousness?

A bus ad told me that there's a Turkish festival on September 30th. Also, tonight commences Turkish Restaurant Week. One of the (alleged) highlights of last year's Turkish Festival's Tourism tent were the "Amazing Van Cats," which aren't, I've just learned, cats that can drive vans (Toonces, look out!) but cats that look like this.Worth the price of admission, I suspect.

I saw two kids on the wooded grounds of St. Albans next to the intersection of Wisconsin and Massachusetts hitting each other with pointed sticks. Private school tuition, everybody!

Down and up Mass, through Ward Circle, across the street, across campus, fold up the bike, work and now it's about time to head home. See you on the road, people who I sometimes see!


  1. DRTGURU..... Consider me jealous!

  2. Good to see you if just briefly this morning at the coffee club. I was unlocking to get to work, you were looking down at your recently purchased coffee, and walking toward the larger outdoor group. Check out my blog if you get the chance: www.thefamilypedaler.blogspot.com I pay homage to your world in the first paragraph.