"Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels"- Kate Moss
"That same kind of idea but where 'warm' stands in for the taste part and 'bike riding' is the skinny part"- the 37th most eloquent local bike blogger
This was the first really cold ride of the season. Most of wintry coldness can be combatted with layers of warm, woolly clothes and another substantial part can be bested by microwaving your gloves before leave, but 90% of not being cold is 110% mental. If you have a predisposition for thinking cold, riding your bicycle through the winter- even a DC winter, which is more like a "winter," it will prove very difficult. And not very fun. I don't have advice for not thinking cold thoughts (it's the same advice I don't have for not thinking of an elephant), but maybe thinking about how terrible the Metro is or how awful traffic might be or how many fucking hops on your lame-ass pogo stick it would take could all go a long way to making your way through the cold with as little horribleness as possible. But know this- if you don't want to ride your bike- like you really do not want to ride it- you really shouldn't. Bike commuting should be enjoyable (even when done in suboptimal conditions) and if it's not that, if it's no longer the best of all possible bad options, then there's no use sullying it. Save it for another day. There are no medals for bike commuting. No one will throw you a parade for biking when you don't want to. Trust me. I was like "guys, where the hell is my ticker tape?" once and my coworkers just stared and stared and I think one of them even googled "bike commuter brain rot egomania help line." So that's my advice for winter: wear warm clothes, microwave your gloves (note: don't microwave your gloves), think warm thoughts, and don't ride your bike if you don't want to ride your bike.
There is something equal parts exhilarating and crummy about that first cold air blast that hits your face. It's like a wintry cream pie in the Three Stooges movie that is your evening bike commute.
I rode Massachusetts Avenue from Nebraska Avenue and there was much car traffic from the traffic light at the Observatory until the entrance to the park and this was because there were some flashing light police cars that were parked in the right lane, so sorry cars. I bailed to the sidewalk, but that was only after a singlespeed superbike-type decided that he would pass me and ride betwixt (betwixt!) the two lanes of stopped cars. I don't enjoy doing that, so I rode the sidewalk until the bottom of the hill and got there faster than he did anyway and then we rode along until 23rd street and then at that point, he went in front and I never saw him again. I rode down 21st through the construction at New Hampshire (ugh) to L Street, which was nice. And populous! I was cyclist number 4 at least in a line of cyclists who rode home on the evening commute, coldness be damned.
Sometimes I ride to 11th, but more frequently, I ride to 15th and that's what I did tonight. Somewhat infuriatingly, the 15th street cycletrack remains incomplete (no posts) between L and K. Why is this? Why? WHY? WHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYY? Like, seriously though, why? There are lots of things one could say about the way that DDOT handled this whole repaving exercise but many of those things would be expletives and not in keeping with the "family-friendly" nature of this blog. Just in case anyone who is ever in charge of a bike lane repaving project is reading this blog, some unsolicited advice:
1. Never let a once protected cycletrack go unprotected. USE CONES! People are going to keep riding it because that's where people have habituated themselves to riding. So, CONES! Create some kind of barrier because that's what people are used to! Because if you don't do that, drivers will park there! Guaranteed.
2. Finish it. Ideally, finish it quickly and completely. If you're not done, put up some cones.
Is it paternalistic to continue to ride behind someone rather than pass that person because that person's bike lacked lights? Or is it like a kind of luminous sherpa-ing? But, seriously, why no lights? Do people not think it would get dark tonight? "Hey, yeah, does anyone know if Tuesday has night? Or is it one of those days that's just day? I can't recall." Nitwits. I don't wish ill to anyone for not having lights on their bikes, but I do wish that THEY WOULD JUST GET SOME LIGHTS. Do it, if not for me (because really), for Thomas Edison, American hero. Why do you hate Thomas Edison, lightless bicyclists? Why? WHY? WHHHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYYYYY?
Sure can't see those zebras on Penn at night.
Had a nice ride up Capitol Hill and then down East Capitol. I felt spry, which was nice. Spryness > creakiness.