RIde Home 6/27: Artifice

Saw a one-wheeled tandem atop a four-wheeled station wagon parked near work. I assume the other wheel was in the back of the car, packed and ready for travel, but maybe it wasn't and maybe it was just a tandem unicycle. One of my favorite tandems, MG and Felkerino, ride a tandem bicycle, so maybe they have some particular insight into the hot new, and totally conjectural sport, of tandem unicycling. Twice the people! Half the wheels! Somewhere between 1/2 and 4 times the fun depending on whether the fun is multiplied or divided with the addition of people and the subtraction of wheels!

Drivers are idealists and cyclists are realists. Drivers in the city are so hopeful that today (any day) will be the day that they'll have no traffic and that today (every day) no one will be parked in the right lane and they'll be able to zoom by and today (all days) no one will need to make a left turn and today (today today today) the light will stay green and they'll zoom through and today (St. Crispin's Day?) all of the things that make car commuting in the city plodding and onerous and frustrating and, in the worst cases, downright ragey, will fail to appear and it will be glorious! Bicyclists know that the hill in front of them still needs to be climbed, that the lights will change when the lights change and that the inattentiveness of ourselves or those around us can have the somewhat dramatic effect of considerable negative consequences. But, I suppose, you don't need to be an idealist when the reality is mostly good.

21st Street NW could use a cycletrack. I thought about riding another few blocks east to cut back west on New Hampshire to then continue south to L, but the bit of Massachusetts between 23rd and Dupont Circle is a crappy, craggy, ruddy pavement that jostles and jars and gives little space for the slow moving cyclist as it's barely wide enough for the width of two big cars and the cars are always big. Also, I think I have a sort of mental hangup on going east to go west to go south but only because an orienteer beat me up in middle school. I have unresolved issues A compass rose by any other name remains a surprisingly effective weapon in close combat. (Just kidding- I've never been beaten up by an orienteer or any other -teer, including Mousketeer. Yet.)

11th Street is a street with a bike lane and I rode down this street behind a woman in a flowy yellow skirt and I rode on Pennsylvania Avenue with bunches of others, some dressed as normal people and others dressed as normal people in athletic wear. I passed 7th Street where there was an hour before I left work a report of an driver-cyclist crash, but there was no on still on the scene when I came through and I hope everyone was ok. On Penn was when I first noticed how strongly the headwind opposed me and I felt lumbering and slow.

Followed a man on a fixed gear bicycle down East Capitol and I've seen him a few times, but I think this is a different bicycle from the one he normally rides. It was a Bianchi Pista and it glimmered like the shiny side of tin foil. He rode deliberately and not too fast and I rode not too fast deliberately behind him. You can't learn a lot about people from riding a bicycle behind them (at least, not as much as you could from, I don't talking, talking to them or, I don't know, hiring a private investigator to prepare some kind of dossier), but even if you can't learn a lot, you use that time to try to guess what they might be like in non-cycling times or maybe even invent a whole back story for them. I didn't event a back story for this guy, but I noticed his black Nike high tops and I liked how matte they were.

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