Ride Home 11/8 & Ride In 11/9: Garden Gnomes

The first large intersection I encounter after leaving work is that of Massachusetts Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue, where approximately 12 lanes of traffic meet (3 each way on each street). At these intersections, there is a limited number of movements, so to speak, a driver can make. Left turns are restricted, so drivers can either go straight or turn right. Furthermore, there are some right-turn only lanes, meaning that those drivers movements are even that much be restricted and predictable. It all sounds pretty straightforward and it all works pretty well. That is, until the traffic light goes out. If you cross pandemonium with chaos, slap on the suffix -pocalyspe and then set the whole thing on fire, then you begin to approach what it seemed like last night when I arrived there by bike. In situations like this, the traffic LAWS (the ones you must OBEY)- or maybe just traffic NORMS- indicate that the intersection should be treated like a four way stop, wherein motorists take turns based on order of arrival. Since there's no left turns involved, this should really just be two sequences- traffic from Mass goes, traffic from Wisconsin goes and repeat. In practice, however, this just doesn't happen, making the situation stressful, angsty and more than a shade dangerous for, let's say, me on my bike. When the car traffic control system breaks down, the first thing I do is try to extricate myself from it. I left the roadway and got on the sidewalk. Then, I beelined straight for the crosswalk. Then  at the first gap between cars on Wisconsin, I pulled right out into the middle of the street, waited for eye contact from the driver heading northbound on Wisconsin, pulled in front of him, waited for the next guy to see me and then the next guy and then I was off, down the hill on Mass, free from the intersection of doom and making my merry way. Basically, my advice (unsolicited) in situations like this, where the world of cars begins to resemble the world of Mad Max, is to be pretty bold and not let yourself get stranded. When traffic is moving that slowly, it's not really that risky or at least not in this one situation. This one traffic light caused a traffic jam on Massachusetts that, eastbound, lasted until Sheriden Circle. The world of cars breaks down so easily.

There was more traffic on 23rd street and I found it more convenient to ride on the sidewalk, at least for a little while. When I rode up behind some people, I decided to instead riding up a slight hill and on the grass for 30 feet. I have mad cyclocross skillz. FUN FACT: I have no cyclocross skillz. I can just manage to ride on grass without falling over.

I can't quite figure out what video game the L Street cycle track most resembles. It's kind of like PACMAN, except in PACMAN, you're normally under duress and then you eat a big pellet and then you become the agressor, whereas riding on L Street, you're normally just chilling and riding along fine and then you get to an intersection or mixing zone or come upon a mail truck and that's when things get crazy. Basically, for the most part, it's totally fine- like 85% of the time. But the other 15% is wild cards. Is 85% good enough? I don't know.

Apparently, to #stoputurnsonPenn, we need to first #clarifythelawvisavisthelegalityofuturnsonpenn. Please help.

Sometimes I think about what it will be like on 11th street when City Center DC opens. Will there be more cars? Will there be more people on foot? Bicyclists? Pogo-ists? Will 10th street reopen and will it have a bike lane, as it does south of H? Is there any reason to ask these questions rhetorically when 2 minutes of googling will give me most of the answers? If there's a good southbound bike lane on 10th, I'd never ride 11th again. It's kind of a clusterfuck.

There's a difference between city dark and country dark and I much prefer city dark.

This morning was another morning when I wasn't feeling so hot, but that didn't deter me from a hot coffee and some good old fashioned milling around a table with the #firdaycoffeeclub regulars. The ride there was fairly uneventful, though that might just be the residual effects of the Nyquil talking.

Afterwards, I took G to 20th. On 20th, I stopped at the light at L:


DDOT has since installed bollards at the start of each block. Let's see if that does anything to curtail this kind of stuff. You know, or DC could just start ticketing. UNLESS THAT'S NOT ILLEGAL EITHER?!?!?!?!? What else isn't illegal in bike lanes? Marijuna? Cockfighting? Maybe just medicinal cockfighting? Who knows? It's all up to some guy at the DMV, which I'll remind you is an acronym for the Department of Motor Vehicles.

20th to Massachusetts and then some miles that seemed longer than regular miles (maybe I should measure these miles in kilometers for a greater sense of accomplishment) and I pedaled in a low gear and my legs felt fine, though the head and chest weren't too pleased about the whole idea. Bike commuting, generally speaking, is salubrious, but doing it while sort of sick probably isn't. Oh well. One more ride to go.

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