Ride Home 11/14 & Ride In 11/15: A consumption tax unfairly targets the tubercular

This ride home, it was not so good. Some rides are just like that. I don't remember enough specifics, but I very much remember a pall of generalized anxiety hanging over me at the end of the ride, which isn't typically the case at the bike ride. I thought to myself, "well, that was a turd" and while I'm not normally predisposed to describing things in such a, let's say, colorful way, that was pretty much how I felt about the whole thing. Writing up every one of these commutes, though, has been really good for my overall attitude towards bicycling in the city in that they provide a certain degree of perspective that I don't think I'd have if I didn't treat each ride as a discreet event and instead just allowed one to blend into the next. Most rides, they are good. Some rides, they are raining and cold. Other rides, you get cut off by some jerk driver or maybe a lightless cyclist passes you too closely or maybe a bike lane is blocked by construction or maybe all of these things happen and you inwardly fulminate against the world and its myriad ills. But then you get another ride and it turns out to be not as bad and you quickly learn to remember to forget. And to forgive, because to err is human and to forgive is Devane Divine divine or something along those lines. I think that it's really rather rare that anyone sets off on their journey home with the intention of being a jackass to those around them, but sometimes it's just happens. I'm certainly not immune from the a bout of it. So, forgive, forget, move on, go home, drink a beer, buy a rare collectible spoon from eBay (or indulge in your preferred vice) and go out and ride again the next day because you can and you should and frankly, you'll need something to do between the time you win your spoon auction and the time FedEx delivers it.

I was on the Cross Check last night and it rode well. Brakes seemed a little loose, but I can't think of any reason why bad brakes would cause me any problems. Down, up, and down Massachusetts to 23rd. Massachusetts between the entrance to Rock Creek Park and Dupont Circle is a nice stretch, except for when one of the foreign diplomatic corps elects to avail himself of the opportunity to leave his car parked on the street, reducing sporadically the number of travel lanes from two to one. This creates an interesting bit of havoc for drivers and cyclists, but such is the small cost associated with living in the capital of the free world.

South of Massachusetts Avenue, there are no North-South bike lanes between 34th Street and 15th Street. That's most of Georgetown, the West End and Foggy Bottom. Yes, there's the Rock Creek Park trail, but that's a different thing entirely. I'm not an bike lane planner guy (technical name for job description), but I'd suggest that this is a problem. There are many people who might like to use a bike lane to get many places in this general zone of the city. I'm reminded up this when I ride down 23rd or try to ride down 23rd and find myself without a place on the street and either stuck in traffic or choosing the sidewalk as the next least worst option.

L Street! Stuff happened. I don't remember exactly. I have some pictures, though, for some reason:

Bikes go here
 Those cones were blocking the mixing zones, causing drivers to have to turn from the middle lane. Cones are the worst. Also, mysterious.

Beyond the bike box
The idea of the bike box is to provide a place for cyclists to wait that is a Woolfian "Room of One's Own" except in a much more literal way. You're just supposed to wait in it, instead of in the crosswalk, like these chumpies are doing. Don't do it, chumpies!

L gives way to Massachusetts and I rode down that street to the other side of Mount Vernon Polygon (I can never remember if it's Triangle or Square or both) and eventually turned right at 6th, through Chinatown, through Judiciary Square  or whatever they call E street between 6th and 3rd, dodged a cab a 3rd, rode up the hill and past the train stration, was passed too closely while approaching Stanton Park while I rode behind a woman who had no lights on her bike and was also wearing headphones, two things I think are bad ideas. I rounded the square park (is this even possible?) and then it was nearly home and then it was home and then it was a quick turnaround to get back to BicycleSpace for the first meeting of The Assembly. I very much enjoyed this meeting. Look for big things to come from this group. I also enjoyed meeting there some #bikeDC tweeps and some blog readers and you're all just such nice people and I look forward to advocating/agitating/"action"-ing with you in the future to make this sleepy little burg the best damn pet shop in town #1 bike community in the US!

This morning I rode the Brompton down my new now usual route of Massachusetts Avenue to Columbus Circle to First NE. Still don't know if First NE is one-way or two-way across from the Postal Museum. There are two yellow stripes in the middle of the street, so I would think two-way, but drivers, especially those of very large trucks, seem to think (and drive) otherwise. A bit hairy, that.

Warm ears are happy ears. It wasn't even that cold this morning, but I still kept my ears covered. They'll come again some time in February and if they hear their shadow, then six more weeks of cold ears or something.

First NE to Eckington Place to R. There's a sign that indicates Bicycles May Use Full Lane. That's a lot more lane that I actually need, but thanks anyway.

I was in a group of 7 or 8 bicyclists on R and I watched 7 or 8 of them ride through the red at 15th. That's fine- I have no problems with people riding through red lights. But in order to do so, they had to ride past the first person who got there and had stopped and was waiting for the light to change. I stopped too. I'll run a ride through a red light, but I'm steadfastly committed to not passing someone who is stopped. Pass while moving. Some principles are inviolate. ("Violet, you're turning inviolate, Violet")

On the final stretch of the climb into work, I was passed by two other bike commuters. I think they were both undergrad students. Bike commuting is a young man's game.

Congratulations to Alex Baca and to WABA.

1 comment:

  1. "Still don't know if First NE is one-way or two-way across from the Postal Museum. There are two yellow stripes in the middle of the street, so I would think two-way, but drivers, especially those of very large trucks, seem to think (and drive) otherwise. A bit hairy, that."

    Totally agree with this. I've had them barreling at me as I try to ride down the hill close to the yellow line on the smooth part of the road to make my trailer occupants' ride less uncomfortable. Barreling at me as if to communicate that I'm in the wrong and salmoning. Can't wait for that MBT section to be done.