Ride Home 1/30: Dotes From The Underground

At 23rd and Massachusetts, I came upon an ambulance. By L Street, about 5 blocks later, I was a good two blocks in front of it and as it idled in impenetrable. There were sirens and there was honking, but there was no where to go. Some drivers tried to heed and others tried to take advantage of the heeding and the ambulance driver did as best he could to get through the morass. But it just wasn't happening. It's sadistic to think this is funny or worth chuckling over or holding any other opinion than thinking that car traffic that paralyzes emergency vehicles is immensely sad.

The L Street Cycle Track has been denuded of its flexposts.

I blame Carmen Sandiego

It no longer had flexposts at the beginning of each block and DDOT doesn't know why they aren't there. It must be deliberate and I'm sure they've been removed on purpose. The purpose of the posts is to prevent drivers from using the cycle track as a cut through and they've been rather effective. Between 16th and 15th, already one driver, the driver of an SUV limo, had already taken advantage of their absence to pull up to the curb and load a passenger. I always thought they were "temporary" and that eventually drivers would learn, but seeing their absence already really makes me worry. I thought maybe they'd keep them in until at least spring. Maybe they've been taken out for cleaning or have been treated to a spa vacation for all of their hard work.

15th to Pennsylvania and then a trail of bicyclists on Pennsylvania rode in front of me, including at least one guy who opted to use hand signals to indicate to me, riding behind him, that he was slowing and stopping and I should do the same. Immaturely, I decided to be a jerk about this and snicker to myself, "Oh, thanks, buddy. Never done this before" and I feel bad about doing this because clearly he was just trying to be helpful and there's no reason for me to be so conceited and self-righteous. So, I'm sorry guy. A few of us tweeted about it afterwards (including Emily, who I've never met, but also happened to be in the bike caravan with the hand signal guy. You ride in #bikeDC and you'll eventually meet everyone else) and now I'm wondering, how often do you all use hand signals to the cyclists behind you in your commute? I pretty much never do and now I wonder if I'm a bad bike commuter. Or at least comparatively worse.

But maybe not as bad as this Bromptoneer shoaler?

My wheels are small and I need to hold on to this pole for balance
Even worse than the shoaling is that he's sort of just in the way. Seriously, he's practically in the path of turning cars for what, maybe 10 feet closer to the other side of the intersection? Is there something so wrong about waiting behind stop lines?

East Capitol to and around the park and down A to home. Goodbye, false spring. I'll see you all again next winter, which I believe, commences tomorrow.


  1. There is an older couple I see riding around on folders in Capitol Hill area a lot. They are, in a word, oblivious. Perhaps this was the man? I've nearly hit them both when driving a car (they ran a stop sign without idaho-ing it- i was on a cross street with no TCD), and when riding a bike (I forget how it happened).

  2. Use hand signals*. Even the Dutch do it. Or...we can all just ride into each other. The more of us there are, the more we'll need to do it to prevent collisions.

    *you know...unless no one is around.