No, seriously. Read it. It's important. Anecdotes are the worst form of evidence and anecdotes are pretty much the bread and butter of this blog. But Dave collected some actual evidence, collected on one block over a half hour of a regular weekday morning. I ride Pennsylvania Avenue every day and I've seen a lot of stuff and I've complained about a lot of the stuff that I've seen but I was positively shocked about the depth and scope of the problem of u-turns across the bike lanes. I'd say that it stretches credulity, but, unfortunately, it doesn't. And it's needs real redressing and I'm not sure how we can go about it because really the redressing needs to happen before someone gets seriously hurt.
Anyway, back to the bread and butter of this blog: pictures of bread and butter. Ok, that's not really the bread and butter of this blog either. But it is a reminder that bread and butter is delicious. But maybe not quite as delicious as Shake Shack, which is one of my top favorite shacks, ranking slightly higher than both Radio Shack and Sir Ernest "Shack Dawg" Shackleton. (Shack Dawg might not have been an official nickname.) My arrival at the decision to get some Shake Shack was the result of what I thought was the unhappy accident of missing my turn onto 19th (missing it because I didn't want to cut off a taxi that I wasn't sure would stop for me) and ending up on Connecticut Avenue, a street I almost never take, mostly because it's designed to maximize the speed of cars on it. I got stuck at a red, saw the Shack, called the Official Wife with the "I'm gonna bring home Shake Shack for dinner, k thanks bye" call and then went about with the whole ordering and waiting thing ("Brad" was number 53) and then I rolled up the paper bag, shoved it in my messenger bag, which now smells delightfully of grease and fries, and set off once again, taking Connecticut to 17th.
A few close car passes on this ride home. I don't really want to talk about it. Close passes are bad. But I'll take a close miss over the alternative.
This was unusual. Maybe it wouldn't be unusual if it were 1882, but it's not 1882. Romney's not president yet. I liked a lot of things about this. It made my night.
1) Pennyfarthings are awesome.
2) The guy had an appropriate and appropriately old-timey mustache
3) He had his wife or girlfriend with him, riding on a CaBi behind. I suspect she's a big fan of Laurie Gottlieb.
4) You just can't beat the setting. The area in front of Capitol is just a great place for weird bikey stuff. We should do more weird bikey stuff there. Better than the weird drivey stuff that Congress does there half the time.
After filming the guy, I rode past one of the Capitol Police Officers, because I was feeling chatty and annoying I guess, and I asked him if he'd ever seen anything like this before. He said that he had seen a guy on a highwheeler twice as high. I said "oh really?" instead of what I was actually thinking ("that's bullshit") and then when I rode past the mustachioed wheelman (Mustachioed Wheelmen is the name of my barbershop quartet. We lack both mustaches and wheels) I told him that he was fantastic and he thanked me, presumably agreeing with my assessment.
A quick jaunt down East Capitol and then around the park and home. No rides tomorrow. Catch you on Friday.