The thing about cement mixer trucks- and there are many things about them, but this is the biggest- the thing is it's that they're preposterously large. It's not that they're actually the largest trucks you see- there are larger, volumetrically at least- but there something especially hefty about them that adds an additional layer of menacing bulkiness. Perhaps it's the bulbous back, wherein the cement mixing happens. Maybe it's the implied solidity (or potential eventual solidity) of the contents. They're not the commonest of big trucks either. You'd think there'd be more, given the amount of building that goes on, but there aren't comparatively that many of them within the species of "big trucks you see in the city." Maybe there's a cartel. Or a union. Or some kind of natural scarcity born from the diffusion of Cement Mixing Truck-Eating Giant Robot Dinosaurs. I don't know. But before I talk more about cement mixing trucks, some pictures from M Street:
Close enough. Those bikes belong to SoulCycle, which is newly opened. If you'd like all the exercise of bicycling with none of the going anywhere, there you go. I've never done a spin class, but I imagine it's quite like real-life bicycling. With pedaling and everything. Must be weird when the instructor yells at you to "get off the sidewalk!" or flings open a car door at you, but I guess this is the verisimilitude people desire. Or not.
About halfway up Wisconsin I was off to the nearly far right in the right lane and I heard a noise, a belching growling guttural engine noise, and it was the engine of an approaching cement mixing truck. So I moved over. But not closer to the curb. I moved to the center of the lane and there I stayed, pedaling my way up the hill as slowly as I did before I moved over. And that was fine. There wasn't enough room in the lane for me- quite small- and the cement truck- quite big- and having realized that, I wanted to leave no doubt of this realizationto the driver of the cement truck behind me. I wasn't going to make the mistake pf letting him make the mistake of thinking that it'd be ok to pass. Because it wouldn't have been ok. And that's ok.
But is it ok that me on a bicycle and a guy driving a cement truck are really supposed to share the same space on the same road? That doesn't seem like it should be ok. "But the cement mixing trucks need roads! How are they supposed to get to work?" How am I supposed to get to mine? It's a funny thing to be declared a vehicle.
On the way home, I saw the narrowed cycletrack on L:
The posts used to be in the gaps between the chevrons, but they're a foot closer to the curb. Will this prevent a driver from parking in the cycletrack? I think so. Well, maybe. I mean, at least in those parts (not necessarily in the "mixing zones" [cement mixing zones?]). Ok, I hope so. Will it stop a determined driver? They're just plastic sticks. They're not magic or anything. Nevertheless, I hope the pilot program leads to measurable improvements.
Because #journalism, I went to check out the bike valet use at the One Direction concert at Nationals Park. It looked like this:
1. Rain was forecasted
2. None of the info about the transportation options for getting to the concert mentioned the bike valet. Nor did the automated message at the One Direction concert line I called mention it. I had to email the stadium to verify it's being open.
Nevertheless, and caveats aside, I was pretty disappointed. The bike valet is packed for baseball games. Obviously not everyone was coming from biking distance, but nobody? Unchaperoned tweens and teens trusted enough to attend a concert by themselves, but our streets (or our mindset about their travel) aren't set up to have them bike there? WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? Not much really, but who doesn't love hand-wringing and overly broad and sweeping conclusions based on anecdotal evidence meant to fit into preconceived ideological conclusions? Maybe Liam? You know, like how every boy band has a "cute one" and a "bad boy" and one "who's rigorous about methodologically sound empiricism."
L Street to 11th threw done wrongish way riding and up and over Potomac to Kebtucky to the grocery store. This was outside:
Do I call 311, 911 or a children's book author?