Rides 8/19, 8/20, 8/21: Pompey, Crassus and that other guy

On Tuesday, I had a work thing and yesterday, I had a personal thing, but today I have no thing, so commence Impression: Bikerise. 

On the ride home on Tuesday, a lady stepped out between two parked cars as I biked by and was like "WHOA WHOA WHOA." Two thoughts: 1. I am not a horse and 2. I think I was passed her before she realized that we could have (but didn't actually) had the potential to collide. 

Yesterday, a man asked me to buy him three Bavarian Creme donuts because his blood sugar was 54 and I declined and wasn't pleased with me. I instead bought an ice cream cake and had the good sense to walk my bike home rather than trying to balance it on my handlebars. Sometimes, but not too often, good sense prevails. 

On the morning ride in, I realized that the 90 seconds or two minutes riding alongside the reflecting pool might be the most relaxing part of my day. It's very calming. I think it's the trees. I love cycling in the city, but there's something to be said for smooth and shady paths. 

The other morning, a man scolded me "stop sign!" having thought my "stop" inadequate and not to his liking. More than that, I think he was just upset that he could drive through his stop sign first. I responded "cell phone!" As one was pressed to his ear. Two things: 1. Distracted driving is maybe more relatively dangerous than cycling past a stop sign after half-heartedly half-stopping (but still illegal, so scold away! I am the Gabbo of bike commuting) and 2. Who interrupts his phone call to scold a bicyclist who's doing something marginally wrong? What a terrible conversationalist! Now, it's conceivable he wasn't actually scolding me and maybe the person who was on the otherend  of the line was like "what's the name of that red octagon thing they have at some street corners?" but I think this unlikely. Anyway, my thinking is that if you can interrupt your phone call to scold a stranger who's causing you no harm, maybe you don't actually need to be on the phone? But like I said, I'm the worst. 

Stopped to buy a new key ring on the ride home tonight. Bought the wrong size key ring. That was unfortunate. I kept the receipt, so I hope to exchange it tomorrow and apply my 19 cents towards the purchase of the slightly larger key ring I need. I never would have been in this whole mess had not my keys fallen out of my pocket and gotten run over by a bus. A good reminder to never get run over by a bus. 

There was a gentle rain this evening. You could almost feel the first hints of fall, but not quite yet. Not for another few weeks yet.  

There's a new Gear Prudence (again?!?) this week and I really enjoyed writing it. Both questions were real questions from real people with real bikey problems. So, if you're a real people with a real question, please email me at gearprudence@washingtoncitypaper.com. You don't have to come up with the acronym either. People have asked and if that's holding you back from writing in, let it hold you back no further! Many thanks in advance. You're all the best. 

Oh, and to follow up on the question about essentials, allow me to tell you what I carry on the Ogre: 

Hand pump
Spare tube
Patch kit 
Tire levers 
Cargo net
Knog lights
Drawstring bag 

Maybe I should take my own advice. In my primary commute pannier, I carry: 

Some mesh reusable grocery/producebags
A pocket guide to DC bike laws
A form from WABA you can fill out if you're in a crash (given to me by a lady named Judy outside of my local grocery store this week. She was in a crash earlier this year and now is zealous about informing other cyclists to do this. I met Judy previously, maybe a few months ago at the same grocery store, but she didn't remember and I didn't want to interrupt her doing what she's doing because I think it's a pretty good idea)  
A pen
Some SharrowsDC buttons (to give to celebrities to expand the brand. I've yet to do this. Emai/tweet me if you'd like one) 

Basically, I carry a lot of stuff related to buying and transporting groceries, which is good because I do that a lot. No shark repellent, but if I lived closer to the ocean, probably. 

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