Some Odds and Ends

Alleycats are the cats of the bicycle races, meaning that some people are allergic to them and other people really like them and put pictures of them all over the internet, much like the picture/flyer I've posted below. If you're inclined to participate in this one, a "literary" alleycat named Mashing in FUNdamental  (The naming of alleycats is a difficult matter, it isn't just one of your holiday games) then the only thing that's stopping you is a lack of $5 and the ability to show up vaguely on time in the realm of the National Portrait Gallery between 1 and 2 PM tomorrow, Saturday, May 4. 

Another event of note, including BikeFest, which you can attend this evening (5/3) at Eastern Market. It raises funds for WABA and you probably already new this already (double already for added emphasis) and this announcement is not in any way timely, so my bad. You can buy tickets at the door if you haven't already done so. To the best of my knowledge, alleycats will not be invited, but if you leave out a saucer of milk, they could crash the party. "Whiskers- no!" one might yell as she discovers extended claws ripping through the fringe at the bottom of her flapper dress as she Charlestons across the dance floor.

What else have I been up to? Well, I attended an ANC (not the African National Congress) meeting in which was briefly discussed the addition of a bicycle lane to the east (uphill) side of New Mexico Avenue. It was merely a discussion (and a brief presentation by DDOT) and no vote was held. Some of the commissioners expressed skepticism (as did some audience members) and other commissioners expressed support (as did some audience members) and the next step will be to arrange a site visit in which representatives from DDOT explain that the roadway is in fact wide enough to handle the addition of a white stripe that demarcates some room for slow-moving bicyclists from other room dermarcated for speeding cars. I think that there's a tendency for people who primarily see roads through windshields to think that they are much narrower than they actually are and my hope is that those who are skeptical of the plans (which need not reduce any travel lanes or remove any parking spots) will soon be better able to visualize how a bike lane won't make anything any worse and perhaps be converted from hostile opposition to begrudging ambivalence. I hope my optimism isn't proven too wrong. Here's a picture of the fact sheet given out at the meeting:

Use a telescope to enlarge. 

I've sold some bikes recently. That's kind of weird. I'm taking one of them back tonight, but hope to sell it again tomorrow. This is not a scam- I just want the eventual purchaser to be satisfied and the woman who bought it the first time has some doubts about the sizing and no one should be stuck with a bike that they don't like and doesn't feel comfortable. It's probably also good karma to not be a jerk.

Also, on Monday evening (5/6), you'll have a chance to walk the length of the proposed M Street Cycle Track with Councilmember "Gentleman" Jack Evans (I think. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that he was going, but maybe not) and staff from WABA, who might or might not be men and certainly aren't gentle. It's a 1.3 mile walk, so wear comfortable shoes and a comfortable gorilla costume if you were planning to attend in a gorilla costume. Pogoists not welcome.

Otherwise, it's spring and it's nice out so you should probably enjoy that by taking bike rides if you're into that sort of thing. There are lots of them, organized and disorganized, and if you'd like me to match you up with a bike ride that's prescreened for compatibility, then you'd probably need to fill out a 20 page survey and answer a lot of semi-private questions about your wants, needs and tire size. Since that sounds like it'd take effort (on both your part and mine) I would instead suggest that you be a bit more frivolous and settle, looking not for Mr/Ms Ride, but Mr/Ms Ride Now.

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