Rides 12/23: End

Town empties before all big holidays. It even empties before small holidays. And on evenings. And weekends. The best part about Washington, apparently, are the roads out of it. But like most places, like amusement parks and all-you-can-eat buffets, it gets better when you have more of it to yourself. I don't begrudge anyone for leaving at all. I'm looking forward to staying home for holidays and maybe actually doing some DC stuff that I wouldn't normally do. I'm frequently scared off from doing things by large crowds and rarely does waiting for anything seem worthwhile. Maybe this is why I don't take Metro.

I took the M Street Cycletrack and noticed that DDOT had striped a long missing piece at 17th. It's a Christmas miracle! Or maybe a Hanukkah miracle (I'm not sure when they did it)! It might not even be a monotheistic miracle at all. It might just be that the work order was finally submitted. In any case, it's another one in a flurry of year-end bike projects that DDOT has accomplished. Well, mostly accomplished. It still needs plastic sticks.

I like when the arrow directly over the bicyclist figure points directly at what's blocking the bike lane

The loading zone will be next to the cycletrack, as it is about 25 further down the road

I stopped at Patisserie Poupon for some 'last-day-before-vacation' croissants for my colleagues (I'm a very good co-worker. If your workplace could use someone to sometimes bring in pastries, resume available) and left my bike out-front and unlocked. Wisco is a tricky place for bike parking, in that there is none. The shops are all pretty small and face the street along a pretty narrow sidewalk, so there really isn't a ton of room for bike racks anyway, nor a centralized location that would make sense for customers for a bunch of stores. I'm also not sure how many customers arrive by bike, but that doesn't really tell you much- maybe they don't stop because there's nowhere to park a bike. (Nope, nothing to do with the big hill.) Also, it's probably unfair to ask our sidewalks to do too much, especially when they're so narrow. And you can't widen them because then where would people park cars. And you can't turn one of those car parking spots into a bike corral because it's only a parking space between 9:30AM and 4:00PM because if they were parking spots all the time, then there wouldn't be as many lanes in front of the stores for drivers to drive right past them? It's a real conundrum.

I decided to end my year of bike commuting into work with a ride up New Mexico Avenue. The bike lanes were full of leaves and unloading delivery trucks and the cars of people who either cannot parallel park well or simply don't care to, but at least there's a bike lane. And I guess that's my larger attitude about the state of #bikeDC in 2014 (I wrote something in WCP about it and it's available in print, but I don't think it's online yet, so go out and grab a print edition).

I left work early and headed home the usual way down Massachusetts and then took Q across town to 15th before heading up to T, over to 14th and down another block. I stopped for some celebratory falafel, as one does. Considering the Jesus, the alleged reason for the season, was a middle eastern dude, I'm pretty sure that's a way more appropriate Christmas food than ham, which again, Jesus, the presumably kosher-keeping middle eastern Jewish man, would not eat. I also had French Fries and were new world foods such as potato available to Jesus, I'm sure he would have enjoyed them mightily.

14th Street is an awful street for bicycling. The bike lanes aren't respected, there's too much construction, the road is ripped up. It's just awful. If you ride it everyday, you're either a hero or a moron and maybe both.

L to 11th to Pennsylvania, up the hill and home. The bike commutes for 2014 are in the books. Looking back, I'd say my favorite commuters were that one Thursday and then those two Tuesdays. See in 2015.

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