Rides 11/12: What if the space invaders were us?

Sometimes I possess forethought. I correctly anticipated that the temperature would drop throughout the day and the warmer morning would give way to a cooler evening and I packed a warm shirt and some gloves and thought myself ever so clever in the evening when I used them on the return trip home. They were only slightly superfluous. It's mid-November and I'm still wearing shorts, but I think tomorrow that's all going to change and winter (or what approximates winter) will truly be upon us and the long, relatively comfortable season of riding that's run from roughly March to roughly 3 hours ago will be officially over. From now on, the dry days will just be cold and the wet days will be wet and cold and the first few snowy days (if any) will be somewhat fun and the rest of the snowy days will be a genuine slog. There's nothing especially valorous about biking through cold weather (or wintry, slushy weather) and there's no right or wrong way to do it, other than to wear more clothes. Some people really like it, but most people don't, and it gets a little lonely on the roads. It's not the worst thing to be a little lonely. 

Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House and out the other side to and through Washington Circle and out to Georgetown on M Street to Wisconsin and up the hill to and through Georgtown and Burleith and Glover Park and Wesley Heights. Downtown, I watched a woman on a CaBi pilot herself through a pack of pedestrians rightfully using a crosswalk. I called her, not as under my breath as I would have liked, an asshole. She didn't hear me on account of her headphones. David Farragut, by all accounts, is a national hero, but his most famous quotation is hardly one by which to guide your urban bicycling. It's really quite simple, waiting is. 

Somewhere along Pennsylvania Avenue there was a superbiker in matching Castelli kit and he rode faster to me to each red light and I arrived some time after. It seems self-defeating, but to each his own. 

There's a woman I've seen riding by my office who I saw again tonight who has the peculiar habit of riding downhill with her back bolt upright, hands off the handlebars and arms down her side. I find this curious, but she seems to enjoy it. She's quite fearless about it, but I'm assuredly afraid enough for the both of us. I guess we all have our peculiar bicycling habits (I like to snake towards red lights, annoyingly weaving to and fro) and in some regards, I find her boldness to be refreshing and inspiring almost, but I don't think I'll adopt this style any time soon. I wonder if she hates her handlebars. Maybe she dislikes the feel of her bar tape. I just don't know. 

Saw a car with the bumper sticker "BEWARE: Fencer on board" and I was aware. It was nice of this fencer to alert us all. I wish all fencers advertised their presence with stickers. Better than with swords, I guess. 

Almost got doored by a guy opening his door to litter. I just can't even. 

Saw a guy biking with a golf bag hitched to the back of his bag and he dragged the irons and woods along behind him on Pennsylvania Avenue. Dark for tee time. Early for clubbing. Strange.

Near home I rode behind a woman on a Yuba Mondo cargo bike and as the light turned green, she shot off like a rocket. It took me awhile to realize that her rather large bike, quite sensibly, had a motor. 

Two blocks away from home, I thought I saw a man engaged in some master yo-yo trickery. It wasn't a yo-yo, just some string. The trick was on me. 


  1. Your post is making me less excited for my first DC winter bike commuting experience. Will it be worse than 90+ degree heat of the summer? Granted it was a very mild summer…

  2. Sometimes I ride like that. It's a "because I can" thing.