Ride Home 1/15: Mutiny on the HMS Quicker Picker Upper

It was sort of cold. Better than very cold, I guess.

Massachusetts to 21st to L. I felt fast, but I think I just shifted gears well and pedaled no faster or with more power than normal. I have no training in the fine art of shifting gears, nor extensive background in its philosophy or best practices. Nonetheless, I occasionally seem to inadvertently do it correctly and find myself in the right gears and the right time for maximum efficiency at minimal effort and there is a minor pleasure in this, like finding a five dollar bill in a winter coat pocket.

I wonder what an urban bike commute would be like without the sound of car honking in the background. It's probably wonderful. I don't think I'll ever know.

I biked a perfect on L Street. What I most remember about it though is the gentle pitch of the tiny hill after 14th street. Even the flat streets aren't flat. Stuff like this is a tiny reminder that cities happen to be built on real landscapes and aren't just natural occurrences and only man-made impositions. I like thinking about stuff like this.

This is the sidewalk where you can ride after the L Street Cycle Track unceremoniously ends at 12th Street.

Strictly speaking, this is illegal. So, if you care about laws and whatnot, don't do it. But practically, it's the most sensible place to be, especially if you're turning north or south on 11th.

I don't know if it'll change anything about my bike commute (aside from not having to ride through a construction site), but City Center DC is going to be a big deal. A really big deal. Maybe even bigger than a really big deal. But no bigger than that. Probably bigger than a breadbox, but I don't know that many people with bread boxes, so if you had one or got me one, that would probably be a pretty biggish deal. But I'm still inclined to think that a massive retail, office and residential development in the heart of downtown might prove bigger than a box in which I keep bread. Hard to say for sure.

Is is a sidewalk or is it the driveway entrance to an underground parking garage? Can it be both? Should it be both?

Pennsylvania Avenue through the Capitol grounds, which remains open for business (whatever that is) and bike commuting and I found myself riding up the hill behind a guy and perhaps unintentionally committing the bike faux pas of not passing him because I don't think he cared for my riding behind him. Not sure why I think I thought that, but I did. Some cyclists like to stay in front no matter what and others don't want that and there should be some kind of color-coded system that lets other bike commuters know which one you are. I'm a passer. If you want to get faster than me and we're both riding along, just get it over with. No need to lurk. I'm not a winter KOM monster like a certain Bike Arlington employee.

Some buildings on East Capitol is quite tall. I'm not sure they were in keeping with the rest of the neighborhood when they were built so where were the 19th century ANC NIMBYs to stop it? Weren't they concerned about horse parking? For the record, I think that 19th century people, in spite of their not demanding beautiful buildings not be built because they didn't look like the building already existing, were the most amazing people. They just had so much energy. And deep feelings about things. 19th century people cared about stuff, stuff with -ism at the end of it. The only thing that excites 21st century people as much is street parking.

1 comment:

  1. every now and then I get a commute here in Austin that is honk free...rare but satisfying