Ride In 12/3: Tipperary? It's pretty close, actually.

Someone forgot to tell December that it's supposed to be cold, not that I'm complaining nor do I actually think that months on a calendar are somehow responsible for determining their own weather, which is actually a result of the complex interplay between the tilt of the earth, the jet stream, barometric pressure, peer pressure, and a secret government controlled weather machine that might or might not exist and certainly isn't in a secret bunker beneath NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring and about which I definitely don't have any additional details. No coat or gloves and it was downright balmy.

Now that Pennsylvania Avenue has been repaved and restriped, I returned to my usual route on East Capitol and past the Capitol and down the hill and through the parking lot that looks like it should be a road and across 3rd street and on to Pennsylvania Avenue itself and it was a joy and a wonderful morning for a bike ride and I was in a great mood and I remained on the great mood nearly constantly on Pennsylvania and then on 15th and even on R Street, though my great mood was almost replaced with a less than great mood when I was cut off by the driver of a big black car who crossed the bike lane to pull up against the curb to park. It wouldn't have been a right hook, so much as a right nudge, though in either case, the it's a distinction without difference. I braked hard and the I avoided colliding into her bumper. The driver of the car behind her honked his horn to no effect as he saw her drift rightward. I appreciated that. Afterward, at the next stop light, the man, whose car had diplomatic license plates (he later pulled into the Chad Embassy parking lot) said to me "Thanks Gods you are all right) and he made a gesture with his hands, putting them about a foot apart to indicate the distance he thought I was from the car. It was a close call, but it didn't seem that close to me. In an attempt to be pithy, I said something like "Who wants life to be boring?" to which I almost immediately rejoined "Well, I guess I'll take a boring life if it's long" and all in all, it was a good day to not get hurt while riding to work because all days without pointless traffic injuries are good days. I'm not sure if the offending driver ever realized exactly what happened. I don't think she even realized that I was there and I suppose that was part of the problem. I guess I could castigate myself for riding in a position that would leave me open to not being seen (even though that's where the bike lane is) and I'd normally adopt an attitude like that, since, ultimately more than anyone else, the reality of it is that I'm responsible for my own safety, but today I'm going to eschew the self-blame and simply point out the fact that drivers of large cars have an overwhelming obligation to not crush people and things with those large cars since that's kind of implicit in the government granting you permission to operate them. Oh well.

Cyclist in front of me on 15th had a backpack with two mesh side pockets and in one of them was a metal canteen and the other was a mason jar, filled with some kind of pale green liquid. It looked a little like cucumber salad. I think it's a bit odd to carry a mason jar on your backpack, especially when Etsy probably has like ten million different kinds of leather mason jar holders for your bike.

An improvement on Pennsylvania Avenue: dashed bike lanes across the intersection.

It's not just a bike lane. It's Morse code for OOOOOOOOO.
Highlight of a warm day is open car windows and loud car stereos. This provides a nice soundtrack, the way a director might for the unwitting characters in a movie. Ironically, all of my favorite bike commuting songs are Motown hits.

A three car crash near the Naval Observatory left car traffic backed up for a mile or so. That must have sucked. Part of me wanted to tell some of the drivers a ways up the hill that they should look for a different way to go, but I ultimately decided not to do that, mostly because I didn't want people to start making crazy u-turns or doing other unsafe things in the name of escaping traffic. I hope my decision wasn't driven my mean-spiritedness. I'm fairly sure it wasn't, but maybe I was waging a secret #waroncars in my soul and that seems wrong.

I think whatever problems I was having with my rear cogs are no longer problems or at least no longer manifesting themselves in the same way. They will probably choose to manifest themselves again in a truly ridiculous way, perhaps causing my chain to fall off. Only time will tell. And then I'll tell, because that's exactly the kind of thing I'd do.

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