I'm just going to skip over last night's commute. You probably didn't want to read about how I used my Brompton to dispatch those ninjas anyway. Or the banal truth of what actually happened. But this morning's commute, well, that's one that I will write about and not because it features ninjas because ninjas, unfortunately, have been displaced. I blame streetcars, bike lanes, dog parks and samurai. Do samurai even fight ninjas? I feel woefully under-prepared for this whole digression and I regret bringing up fictional ninjas in the first place. Almost as much as those fictional ninjas regret trying to take me on during my ride last night only to feel the wrath of my bright blue folding bicycle. I call it Sting and it glows when ninjas are near or fictionally near, as was (wasn't?) the case last night. Anyway.
Prior to leaving home, I decided it would be prudent to apply some lube to my bike's chain, which I did and I only ended up with my hands covered in a lot of black sludge and my bike still squeaked and now I think my bike might be part bat and is using echolocation as a means to get me back and forth from work. This is a nice feature and I highly recommend it for your bicycles.
Like a lot of other cyclists, I blithely roll through red lights. The majority of times it's not especially blithe, but sometimes it's blithe and now and then I think about whether my blitheliness (not a word) is just as bad as the way drivers blithely drive over the speed limit or the way ninjas blithely attack you in the dead of night. I think when things become rote, such as a familiar commute, it's easy to accept patterns and probabilities in a way that makes you less law-abiding and less diligent. Am I hypocrite for complaining about drivers complaining about speed cameras catching them breaking the law while I jaywheel to my heart's content, rarely giving it a second thought? Yeah, probably. Does self-awareness about this hypocrisy do anything to make me ride differently? If I were to be totally honest, unlike those duplicitous ninjas, I'd say not really and only rarely do I give my attitude and behavior vis-a-vis traffic laws any kind of scrutiny. Which makes me just like most everybody else. In conclusion, I have no conclusion. Just try to be safe, I guess, and accept the consequences if you get busted when you transgress knowingly. Or never undertake any kind of self-examination about your public behavior. And brush your teeth at least twice daily. Floss cameras would be the worst!
I rode in a pack of bicyclists today down east Capitol, in position six of seven, and then in another pack of bicyclists down R Street, number five of five. It was like a spontaneously organized self-forming bike train, when commuters band together in an effort to find safety in numbers. The advantage of a real bike train, aside from the opportunity for those involved to make choo choo noises, is its constituents don't typically start racing and passing each other in an effort to prove BIKE COMMUTING DOMINANCE, which isn't in listed in the DSM, in spite of my numerous written requests. Ride as fast as you want, but don't race. Save racing for races. And save whales for whaling..wait, not that. Just save whales. You can race them, but you shouldn't. Because they're big and in the ocean. And salt water will ruin your bike. But improve your taffy. So, trade-offs.
The construction crew working on the South African embassy is exceedingly nice to people walking and riding on the sidewalk on Massachusetts Avenue. In spite of the fact that it's a crowded space and they have equipment strewn all about, the workers almost always give way and extremely cognizant of the people passing through. This isn't always the case with construction crews and I feel like it deserves a special commendation. Good job, Turner and associated subcontractors!