Ride In 11/7: In Which I Voted for Leon Swain

Greetings from Washington, where bike commuting continues in spite of our onward march towards socialist dystopia. Or maybe bike commuting continues because of our onward march towards socialist dystopia. Either way, there's bike commuting and today I had the distinct pleasure of sharing the road with Jerry Lewis. Not that one. This one. He was in a white SUV with California plates, indicating that he was the House rep for CA-41. I didn't ask him if he was driving towards socialist dystopia. I presumed he was just driving towards the Capitol.

I saw another car with the DC plate GET GOD. I didn't know that Elmore Leonard had written a sequel.

At some point, a fire hydrant by the Capitol had been opened and there was a rather large wet patch in the plaza and it was cold and I worried that the water would freeze and the degree of difficulty for my bike commute would be amplified greatly. It had not frozen. Crisis averted, though my triple lutz is something to behold. Maybe when it gets colder. You know who else had great triple lutzes? Figure skaters from socialist dystopias. So maybe it won't be all that bad.

Some very silly shoaling took place on Pennsylvania Avenue. Apparently, the slower one rides a bicycle, the more he is inclined to get in front of you at an intersection in order to get a great jump when the light turns green. This happened three times with a pair of riders that I would pass and then they'd pass me back while I waited at the red. It was sort of funny. I knew what they were doing and presumably they knew what they were doing, but I don't know if they knew that I knew.

Leaves are gone on 15th, so that's nice. Also, I think I saw Erik on 15th between F and G. It's much harder to tell in winter when everyone is bundled up. If only we all rode silly super-distinctive clown bikes by which we could be identified. Speaking of which...

Brompton in front of the White House.

Yes we can (fold)
Thereafter, it was down Pennsylvania towards 20th Street NW, where I turned right and approached what I thought was L Street WHERE THE CYCLE TRACK HAD BEEN PERNICIOUSLY REMOVED BY THE FORCES OF GREAT EVIL. Turned out it was K Street. Did I mention that I didn't get much sleep last night? The L Street Cycle Track continues to exist on L Street I found out a block later.

20th street to Massachusetts Avenue, around Sheriden Circle and then on Massachusetts for the rest of the way. At some point riding up the hill, I said something along the lines of "ugh" because I was tired. On the other side of Wisconsin, I was passed closely by at least two drivers. I don't know if they actually passed me too closely or if I was being overly sensitive about it. It's a very subjective thing and generally speaking I like to ride in such a way that eliminates my having to make this distinction, namely a way in which drivers tend to give me enough room. I suspect that self-recrimination is the default response for most bicyclists (what did I do to make the driver pass me so closely?) and even though I generally try to avoid this habit, sometimes it happens. It's not that I want to suggest that I'm faultless- it's just that the other guy has a choice too and there was nothing that I did that "made" him drive within three feet of me. This is a sometimes important thing to remember. I mean, assuming that he did drive within three feet of me and I'm not just being overly sensitive.

1 comment:

  1. I try to avoid that type of shoaling by just waiting my turn in line. I'm the opposite of those folks, it seems. When I pass someone, I try as hard as possible to bike quickly so I won't have the embarrassment of them passing me again.

    Also, I have much sympathy for your turn onto K instead of L. Tiredness inspires weird thought patterns.