A Week Folding

As previously reported, circumstances conspired in such as way as to make it more convenient for me to ride my Brompton folding bicycle to work and that's what I've been doing for the last handful of bike commutes. Here are some lessons learned:

1. Don't pack away your chain lube and leave it somewhere where can't access it. I plan to get it this weekend. My chain is noisy. I apologize. 

2. There are mechanisms on the Brompton that serve as excellent repositories for tiny rocks and bigger chunks of road salt and you can use a mechanical pencil to pick these things out and it'll allow your chain to run smoother, but it will ruin your mechanical pencil. You could probably also use other tools, but I MacGyver-ed it because...I hate mechanical pencils? Anyway, it seems like a design flaw in an otherwise well-designed machine. Maybe they don't have tiny rocks in the UK and only have Stonehenge size rocks and the problem never presented it until now. 

Park Tool sells these for $47
3. Plod plod plod plod plod plod plod plod plod up the hill. The bike tends to ask for more effort than the bike I normally use and this extra exertion really just isn't my thing. Hence the slowness. 

4. Biked in the "snow." It was fine. 

5. Today, my front brake got stuck and wouldn't release. I stop, fiddled with it and thought I fixed it, but the fix was temporary and two blocks later, it got stuck again. (It works now. I think the cold might have something to do with it. I don't know.) I ended up walking from around 15th and E to Farragut Square, when I boarded a bus which took me to work. 
Bike, bag, helmet, sad. 

Riding the bus, looking forlorn. *Not a campaign stunt. . 

6. Tonight is the WABA Holiday Party. Which holiday? I don't know. I think maybe Arbor Day, but with a dash of Bastille Day. I figure they'll tell us when we get there. Maybe you'll go? Cause if you're a WABA member, you can and if you're not a WABA member, you can join WABA at the door and then proceed to the WABA Holiday Party where we will celebrate trees or the French Revolution or both. A good time will be had by all, except for maybe loggers and members of the Bourbon family. 

7. Read this in Washington City Paper about the graffitist who stencils those delightful, bikey messages about the various bike lanes in town. Give the illegality of her work, she's remains anonymous, but goes by Bike Artist. But I think that itself is a clue to her identity, because Bike Artist is an anagram for like a billion things, but my favorite is Bar Kitties and that's probably a clue. The artist is actually a group of drunk baby cats. 

I'm going to keep riding this bike throughout winter. So far, it's been all right and in spite of the few mechanical issues, it's proven itself a pretty reliable commuter bike in some fairly crummy weather conditions. The bigger transition issue, I think, has been getting used to riding with a messenger bag rather than panniers. It holds less groceries and I have to condition myself to buy fewer things at the store. The other day, I was able to fit 2 bottles of wine, lentils, 2 onions and a half gallon of milk, but that was about maximum capacity. It's a good thing I don't make milky onion lentil bourguignon for dinner every night. 


UPDATE: I will be riding a different bicycle to work and this is no way justifies the all caps UPDATE

I will be commuting exclusively this "winter" on my two-speed, arctic blue Brompton folding bicycle. I'm doing this for reasons, the primary of which is my inability to store my Surly securely in our temporary abode. Currently, my Surly is on my office and it will remain here for the next few months. I guess it found out about its impending languor and it rewarded me accordingly.
It's flat.

Seriously. Some time between my arriving at work and 5 minutes ago, the tube committed seppuku. Given the intimate bonds between bicycle and rider, it's hard not to ascribe a personality to your bike. My bike's personality is spiteful. Screw you too, buddy. (Love you.)

What will my 8 mile uphill daily winter bicycle commute be like on a bicycle relatively unsuited to it? I'm not totally sure. Fun, maybe? Slow? Almost definitely. Transcendent? Unlikely, but perhaps. Other adjectives? Possibly. So, that's pretty much my news.

Oh, and here are some pictures of the M Street Cycletrack installation, such as it is so far.

The part of the cycletrack that isn't. Like, when a door's not a door. (After Jim Morrison died? I never got that joke.)

The separated part at Rhode Island Avenue. Apparently, DDOT has recently learned of "curb" technology. The future is now!

Oh, and one more thing. (This post has more Ohs than the Japanese baseball record books). On occasion, I might write a blog post about the non-bikey aspects of my life and if you care to read those (and really, are you sure?), you can find them at unsharrows.tumblr.com.