A brief respite from the cold as it was only medium cold this morning. Every medium cold day get from now until March is one less very cold day, so count me pleased. My decision about which bike to ride to work today was predicated on the fact that it's easier to access my coffee mug when I ride the Surly, so I chose accordingly. It's Monday.
Massachusetts Avenue around Columbus Circle. There was a car in one of the "go straight" lanes that had stopped in order to merge into the "turn left" lane at E Street and it blocked the "go straight," since it couldn't fully clear it due to a line of cars already waiting to turn left. And here's the thing: it created some traffic backup and I don't think the other drivers liked it. But are drivers more inclined to do stuff like this (i.e. realize that they're going the wrong way and then try to rectify it) than bicyclists or pedestrians? I think no. We're all pretty much the same (I certainly think I'm the same the person when I bike or drive or walk) and we're all prone to making mistakes and/or getting confused and/or putting our own short-sighted and selfish interests ahead of those of others. But when drivers do it, it tends to create more problems. This isn't a moral judgment- it's a math problem. Cars take up a lot of space and accordingly they're harder to maneuver and as such when drivers make the same kinds of selfish decisions that bicyclists and pedestrians make all the time, they're much harder to correct and they have a much greater impact on those around them. That's just how it is and I don't think that we do ourselves any favors when we pretend otherwise. Nothing is to be gained through clinging to false equivalency.
I rode First Street NE. It was cool. Some work trucks in the bike lane, but nothing major. Another guy on a bike was behind me around First and New York, but then he took Florida and I took Eckington and he got in front of me and then we came back together around R and 5th NE. So, no real long term benefits of taking crowded and trafficky Florida Avenue instead of taking the slightly longer route with the bike lanes and sharrows. Worthwhile to remember, I guess.
#bikeDC needs more argyle socks. Like if everyone were to turn in an affidavit that they've completed 10 roundtrip commutes to earn a pair of red and white argyle official District of Columbia bike commuter socks, then I think the world would be a much better place. This isn't a solution to any real problem that any real bike commuter faces and would be a vast waste of resources. Maybe for the next WABA fundraiser?
R to Massachusetts to the welcome relief that I wasn't riding a folding bike and I had sufficient gears into which I could downshift to make my climb ever so much more gentle. I think I went through a Beatles medley on the way up the hill and It was mellifluous in no way, real or imagined.
At the garage, I saw and said hello to one if the students I worth with, a fellow bike commuter heading from Columbia Heights. Grad students should pretty much be considered one of the core constituencies for bike advocates: old enough to vote, poor and itinerant enough to truly benefit from getting around by bike. They'd probably even wear the argyle socks.
Like most days, I also rode home. This time I was lucky enough to get to meet up with the Official Wife, who was meeting up with some friends for dinner, so we met for a drink beforehand. It was nice. The place was on Connecticut between R and S (or S and T. Some two consonant streets) and there was bike parking immediately outside the restaurant and that's always a plus. I don't know if there's a way to emphasize enough how important nearby bike parking is in my decision to frequent an eatery or drinkery. I bet that's true of most cyclists. And our money is just as green as the next guy's, unless if course we're holding foreign currency, which we might because we are quite an international group and maybe also a bit snobby. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize I couldn't pay for this corn dog and Slurpee in euros," says Joe Bike at his local convenience store, pretty much daily.
Afterwards, I took Connecticut around Dupont to 19th to L, turning left at the cycle track to see some new green paint, possibly in place to indicate that cyclists should be in it to skirt around the Quincy Hotel 15 minute loading/unloading zone.
WASHINGTON DC- In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court today ruled that all fines and penalties assessed to drivers for illegally operating their cars in the new L Street cycle track should be voided. The vote was 9-0 and the majority opinion was written by Justice Antonin Scalia. It was the shortest opinion in the history of the court, simply the word CONFUSION written in size 72 font. When pressed, Scalia indicated that his belief in the judicial philosophy of constitutional originalism was the deciding factor in the ruling. "The Founding Fathers did not believe in these "so-called" bike lanes," said Scalia. When it was pointed out that the Founding Fathers also lacked automobiles, invented nearly 100 years after the Constitution was written, Scalia declined to respond and his chauffeur soon sped him away. (It actually wasn't even that bad today. One UPS truck. No one turned from the center lane.)
11th to E. Apropos the fifth letter, why are there no size E batteries? Could we not use them? Are there not E size electronics? My rear blindly could use new batteries. It flashed weakly.
Up and around Columbus Circle, and then Massachusetts to Stanton Park to Lincoln Park (this stretch of Mass should be called Stancoln or perhaps Stancolnia) to eventually A Street and home. Only one more set of rides this week. If anyone is riding to Turkey Day festivities (by this i mean Thanksgiving, not Turkish Independence Day, which probably isn't even called Turkey Day) and you would like to write about it, please email me and I'd love to post it.