The roads were wet and I rode slowly, though the latter has very little to do with the former, having much more to do with my form and my willingness to ride absolutely no faster than was absolutely necessary to get me to work not too much later than when it's expected that I should absolutely be there without having to seek absolution.
I don't like to pass any person on a bike in front of me if it's not likely that I'm going to make it through at least the next two green lights. This happens to me many times on East Capitol, where the stop lights are many and timed in such a way that you either get through all of them on the green or are delayed at each successive red. Of the bicyclists I saw today, one was a woman about whom I can remember nothing and one was a gentleman about whose white tubes, pulled high to cover his calves, bridging the gap between his shoes and the bottoms of his knickers, I cannot forget. I harbor no grudges against the wearing of white tube socks, though donning them for a wet morning's bike commute doesn't seem especially practical. Perhaps he's part-owner of a laundry detergent concern.
I followed the Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track to 15th street, followed 15th street for a few more blocks, and turned left, riding between Lafayette Park and the White House, ending up at 17th and behind a few drivers who patiently waited for some folks to cross G Street, before locking my bike to a parking meter, heading into M.E Swing Coffee Co and purchasing a pound of Winter Solstice Coffee Blend (the preferred coffee blend of Druids!) to gift to my boss, who is not, to the best of my knowledge, a druid. M.E. Swing Coffee Co is the home of Friday Coffee Club and I was pleased to learn that there was no secret Tuesday Coffee Club to which I had not been invited. My tears would be bitterer than espresso, so I'm lucky my fear of a secret, exclusionary #bikeDC coffee club was artificial-er than Splenda.
G Street through Foggy Bottom. At red lights at a few blocks in the 20s (the street, not the decade), a woman in a bright yellow jacket, silver disc earrings, and ankle boots would pull alongside of me (she was on a bike, in case that's unclear) and nearly shoal me, but at the last minute, change her mind or think better of it or something or other would dissuade her. While being passed at a red light can be frustrating, there's something odder about being paralleled.
Virginia Avenue to K Street to Wisconsin Avenue to nearly M Street, but I stopped at Paul to pick up some pastries because this was also part of the office Christmas gifting process. The pastries were of the usual, laminated wonderfulness and I purchased two in the shape of ginger bread men (yet they were not ginger, in bread or hair) and two in the shape of Christmas trees, FUN FACT: pastries are delicious. FUN FACT #2: I love bringing pastries to work. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to update my resume to just be a napkin covered in buttery flakes and chocolate.
I placed the bags of treats in the very top of my messenger bag (they ended up ok) and set off up the rest of Wisconsin Avenue. Here's Wisconsin and M:
The star is a reminder of what the holiday season is all about: the Doctor Who Christmas special.
Some fleeting memories of Wisconsin Avenue:
- the lack of bike lanes through Glover Park. I think this was a mistake in the redesign of the street.
- bumper sticker that asked if I "Got Biscuits?"
Riding down Massachusetts Avenue, before the intersection with Idaho, there's an entrance to a church parking lot and this morning there was a woman heading in the opposite direction on Massachusetts making a left turn into that parking lot entrace and her car was obscured by traffic and, in short, she cut me in front of meas I rode down the hill. I braked. I skidded. I felt my back wheel drift to the right. I remained upright. I swerved. It was EXTREME, like in the X-Games, but also banal, like in the not-yet-fully-sponsored Banal Games (brought to you by Ovaltine!). I'm glad there was no crashing, as that would have really dampened my enthusiasm for continuing on with the rest of my day and also might have hurt. Be safe on wet roads.