Ride Home 6/10: Pails from the Barrows

June hot, but only June hot. Not July hot or August hot or why is so hot in October hot. I like the June heat. There's a lot to like about it. It, for example, wards off frostbite. It keeps at bay rabid penguins (can penguins get rabies? I'm not an expert) It would, theoretically, melt those evil Snow Men from that one Doctor Who episode maybe. It could, though not without sanitary implications, allow for the rising of a souffle inside one's pannier. June heat has a lot going for it.

Down and up and down Massachusetts Avenue and I rode behind a bus advertising the best of music to be played at Wolf Trap this summer. Hall! Oates! Others! (I believe that Lionel Richie and Cee Loo Green might be among the others.) I've never purchased tickets to a music events as a result of being induced by an ad on the back of a bus, but maybe some people do! Maybe you're driving along and this bus driver cuts you off and right as you slam on the horn and just as you're about to curse him out you look up and as the spittle and expletive angle to the edge of the lips you glance up and then, just then, you learn from an ad placed on the back of that bus that the Counting Crows, your favorite band in the whole world, is playing at Wolf Trap this summer and you funnel your rage from the bus driver into the motivation to go to this website as soon as you're home (or maybe you pull over! or maybe you drive right up onto the sidewalk! or maybe you just stop in traffic because you cannot possibly conceive of driving an inch farther without Counting Crows tickets!) and buy those tickets all because of that wonderful, blessed, well-placed bus ad. That's what the Don Draper of bus ads wants. That's what he knows will happen. The Don Draper of bus ads is good. Very good.

Easy down Mass Avenue and easy down 21st, but car traffic on L is mostly ridiculous. I don't know how drivers cope. It complicates things for bicyclists (be safe!) but it doesn't nearly slow things up for cyclists as it does for drives. It's hard to see the system that is car traffic downtown and think that this system isn't broken. I guess most people agree about that- it's the means of fixing it that creates the debate. My suggestion is a congestion charge. No, not a congestion charge for cars, but for noses. But we could also tax Sudafed and Kleenex and use that money for better bus service.

15th to the White House area where the scary security bollards were temporarily down and I rode through but right as I was about to ride through, the guy in the gate house went to lift them. Not to stop me (they're normally pretty ok about bikes) but because a technician who was working on them told him to lift them, having not seen me approach. Tip: if they're down, don't ride through. It's just better for everyone that way.

At Pennsylvania and Constitution, a driver blatantly ignored a red turn signal well after it has turned red and honked quite honkily (I'm a real good writer!) at me and the cyclist in front of me. I responded with my usual fusillade of wit, in which I employ the f word as a noun in between the words stop, you, and what are you doing. It was quite egregious. SIDEBAR: I've never wanted, and don't want know, this blog to become a litany of all the bad and wrong things that sometimes drivers/pedestrians/cyclists/ocelots/M-F-ing pogo-ing bastards do to, at, or near me during my bike commute. One, because I think that's boring. Except maybe if it were ocelots because really. But two, because that's way too negative and the 3 seconds of pique and frustration take up way too much time in the re-telling that it gives those 3 seconds an undue weight. The rest of the trip was fine. UNSIDEBAR (I'm not a lawyer- do you have to announce unsidebars? I should really watch more Judge Judy) My main concern was not that the driver heard me- he most assuredly didn't- but that the bicyclist in front of me thought that I called her the f word as a noun and that I was telling her to stop and questioning what she was doing. I almost said something at 3rd Street to clarify. But how does one even clarify that without even more mortification? "Pardon me miss.." begins the conversation that ends with my mugshot. Anyway. She was totally in the right, the driver was totally in the wrong, and none of the three of us, rightly or wrongly, ended up subject to police action.

Up the hill and down East Capitol and down Kentucky to the grocery store where I bought kale and garbanzo beans ("garbanzo!" is what Spanish paratroopers yell as they alight maybe) and then I rode home and then we ate dinner and then I wrote this.

Two down. Let's keep this going until it gets stale again.


  1. AHAHA! after the description of the humidity this morning, and now this...it'll never get stale. Keep it up man, good stuff.

  2. Indeed, keep riding & writing. Positively!

  3. Too bad there isn't an accepted way to say "un-f word". I'll bet the French have that figured out.
    Finally learned the answer to that SAT question
    Q: Popeye:spinach, SharrowsDC:? A: Kale
    I agree that the bus ads are stupid, but the truly stupid ones have a QR code on them. Do they expect you to pull out a cell phone as you pass and scan it?

  4. @DV- thanks! That's the plan!
    @Rootchopper- they don't expect you to pull out your phone while driving. They expect you to already have it out! Kale= great. Also, I'll have to check the back of my French dictionary for ways to unsay things. I hope I can pronounce it!