Like most days, my day today started in the morning. It started with my riding to work on the Sulry CrossCheck. I mean, technically it started with my struggling to wake up and then slurping some joe and then finding my way outside eventually with a different bike from the one I rode the past few days. I put some air in the tires because I had all this extra air lying around and I was like 'stupid air, ugh. where should I even put you?' and then I remembered 'tires!' and then I so off on another bicycle ride to another day of work, another day of work that still isn't Friday.
There are many paths around the Washington Monument and I normally stick on the low path, the arc that passes wider and gently, but today I took the high path, the one with the incline and the one from which you need to turn somewhat or else you don't get back down and instead have to ride around and around the Washington Monument forever like a perpetual motion May pole. I don't think I'm going to write a Yelp review of the inclined inner path on the north side of the Washington Monument- it didn't leave that much of an impression- but it was fine and I'd do it again if so needed.
Every so often when you ride a bicycle to work you find that your legs are much better at it than you expecting them to be and, in disbelief, I noticed that I made it up the hill from K Street to M Street with a zip I didn't expect nor truly comprehend. I was like 'legs! what's gotten into you?' and my legs were like 'I dunno. Maybe it has something to do with all that air you had lying around and stashed in the tires' and I was like 'whatever, legs. why do you have to ruin everything by pointing out that properly inflated tires and not some sudden burst of leg-related amazingness is the cause of my zip?' They declined to respond.
Homewards, I rode alongside the driver of a black BMW with stickers from Harvard and Penn in the rear window. He liked changing lanes and did so quite often in the brief stretch of road we shared. Sadly he was foiled by a parked car and found himself stuck in the right lane and the many drivers he weaved through and past, passed him in the left one. You can't outsmart a parked car.
Massachusetts Avenue has been the subject of a great deal of road work lately and a lane was closed and car traffic was backed up and I fled to the sidewalk. So long as sidewalk cycling (in this part of the District) is legal, I will never, ever, ever feel bad about doing it. Especially when the alternative is to wait a really long time in a long line of cars. It's not that waiting would be unsafe- no one was driving more than a few miles per hour and only for tens of feet at a time- it's just that I didn't have to and felt no compulsion to waste my time doing so. Saddling bike commuters with the burdens of car drivers is dumb and I don't really accept 'a bike is a vehicle and everyone on the road has the same rights and responsibilities so you need to be saddled by car rules and be just as miserable and inconvenienced as a car driver.' Sorry. I didn't choose car. I chose bike. I chose bike for a reason. Pretty much this reason. Among others.
I saw a group of five or six bicyclists who looked like they had just returned from a long tour on the C&O. They were weighed down with muddied panniers, muddied beards, muddied jorts and however much a few liters of tattoo ink weighs. I guess they looked like they had a fun time. I stayed behind them for the length of Pennsylvania Avenue from 15th to 3rd. Then I rode behind a guy on a CaBi who was wearing a navy suit jacket but navy pants that were not of that same suit. I noticed. People always notice.
The bike lane along the East Capitol is sometimes blocked by delivery trucks and sometimes by drivers looking to parallel park, but I find that most of the drivers who discover by a flick of my left hand that I must evacuate the bike lane on account of these things are basically understanding and accommodating. My situation is pretty scrutable. They get it. "Like, oh, the bike lane is blocked and this bike guy needs to move over to get around it and so, ok, I won't run him over" isn't the world's most difficult feat of comprehension, but it's appreciated nevertheless.