Writing up these commutes sort of got away from me. I blame both excel spreadsheets and pumpkin beer for the delay.
Friday morning was a quiet ride. Commutes tend to bifurcate into either loud rides or quiet rides, loud and quiet both being a combination of external and internal factors. You can have a loud ride when you're over thinky, when you're too much in your head and not just when you're next to loud trucks and blaring car horns and diesel trains. My Friday morning ride was quiet because it was quiet outside and I somehow avoided any degree of thinking or introspection, which is a pleasant departure from my normal mornings spent thinking about what awaits me at work (it's almost never fresh breakfast pastries). I guess that's the problem with bike commutes sometimes- they're purposeful rides and it can prove difficult to divorce the purpose of the rides from what you think about during the rides. That's why the quiet ride was such a relief. It was nice not to think and just to ride the bike.
I rode to coffee at Swings and then afterwards took G Street to 20th. I was cut off by a silver BMW whose driver thought it was very important to get in front of me before stopping to wait in a line of cars that were waiting to turn into a parking garage.
I think that society doesn't give enough respect to the travails of masseurs and that's why I'm organizing a group called Critical Massage. Our massage tables will block the streets until our right to unfettered deep tissue relief is recognized. Friend of blog Michael has put together his thoughts and some great pictures of Critical Mass (the bike thing, not the massage thing) on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.
Is your bike dirty? My bike is dirty. Would you like your bike to be clean? I'd like my bike to be clean. And do you hate cleaning your own bike because cleaning stuff is the worst? I do. And that's why I'm excited about the appointment I've set up with HubScrubDC. Scheduling it was super easy and I think it's pretty cool that HubScrub will not only clean my bike in exchange for money so I don't have to, but also that they're microlending some of that money to worthwhile projects through kiva.org. "Unlike TLC, I want some scrubs!" would be the catchphrase I would deliver if asked to star in a late night infomercial to support this great new business. I have not (yet) been asked to star in said infomercial.
No one wants to go to a doctor who got Cs in med school and you can maybe avoid that through research or referrals but you can't really avoid bus drivers who got Cs in bus driving school and this troubles me greatly.
I think I've convinced myself that the Brompton is a great city bike and that I can turn the Cross Check into something that has a less utilitarian bent to it but I don't know what that kind of bike is.
The ride home was a less quiet ride, made less quiet by my yelling "please don't fucking hit me with your fucking car" at this charming couple from Pennsylvania after the driver decided to change lanes without looking because the driver in front of him was making a left turn and waiting just sucks. Maybe it's time to ban turning. It sure seems to inconvenience a lot of people. He didn't hit me with his car, so that was nice.
I'm pretty sure I took Mass through Dupont and then rode down 19th to Penn, but I don't remember for sure. Maybe I went a different way. Ooooh, unreliable narrator. I think it must've been the case that I went that way because I remember riding down the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track.
In front of the Capitol, I came upon a woman who was standing next to her upside-down bike and being not only a good Samaritan, but angling to be one of the great Samaritans, I stopped to offer assistance. Her chain has stuck between the smallest rear cog and the nut that held in place the bottom of her rear rack. This is some straight up terrible bike design. I didn't have any tools with me, so the helpful strategy that I employed was to grab the chain and try to yank it free. I tried. She tried. I steadied the bike. With about five minutes of effort, she was able to free the chain and push it onto the next biggest cog. She thanked me. It's cool. Frankly, I need the karma.