Rides 12/3: Scads of chads

An in-between weather day and I under-dressed for the morning and over-dressed for the ride home and I wore the same clothes for both trips. IF ONLY THERE WERE SOME KIND OF NEARBY NATIONAL CHAIN RETAILER WHO SOLD A WIDE VARIETY OF OUTDOOR GEAR AND CLOTHING. Well, soon enough.

I took the usual route in. Half-way up Wisco, I felt a bit out of it and ducked into a deli for a quick snack. The best part about biking to work is the actual biking but in a close second place, it stopping biking to eat a snack. If an activity isn't worth interrupting, it's not worth doing. Or something like that.

I took the back way into work, which is what I call Tunlaw and New Mexico. I think it's just as direct as riding up Wisconsin to Massachusetts, but it feels like a back way because it's all quiet and residential and vaguely forest-y. My favorite woodland creature is the deer, but my second favorite woodland creature is the Volvo driver. So majestic. So easily spooked. When I chance upon wood in the woods, I trod lightly, lest it bound away and injure itself. I hope that the Park Service doesn't need to cull them. Think of Sweden's GDP! WON'T SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF SWEDEN'S GDP?!?! You start taking out Volvo-ists and you're gonna ask the boffins at Ikea to have to figure out how to flat-park even more umlauts into boxes than they do now and poor Stieg Larsson! To maintain their standards of living, poor Stieg is going to have to crank out another trilogy and you know that won't be without diminishing returns "The Girl with the Dolphin Tramp Stamp"? Who wants to read that? "The Girl Who Plays with a half-empty thing of Tic-Tacs because that's the only thing in her Mom's purse"? Yikes. It could get rough.

There are parts of my ride home that I don't especially enjoy and the bit on Massachusetts Avenue by the entrance to Rock Creek Park is one of them. It's two lanes and the left lane is almost always blocked by a driver intending to turn left and this means that one of the drivers behind him likely is trying to change lanes. This means that I can either 1) hug close to the bumper of the driver in front of me, hopefully dissuading someone from changing lanes because there isn't enough room 2) leave a big gap and hope that I can brake quickly enough if I need to or 3) ride on the sidewalk. Or 4) take a different way home. I feel like an under-appreciated aspect of the current state of bike commuting in DC (and probably a lot of places) is how forced you are into choosing the least bad option in a lot of cases. It's just that the circumstances are dealt to you and at the best, you have some plastic sticks and your wits to keep your upright and to be perfectly honest, most of the plastic sticks have already been run over by errant drivers and aren't there anymore. There should be no surprise why more people don't do this.

21st, L, 15th and the White House plaza was closed, as it sometimes is. H Street is inadequate for bicycling (does it really need so many lanes? I mean, need is a funny word), so I rode on the sidewalk for half a block and I have no regrets. Then 15th to Pennsylvania, where some non-MPD police person (transit police? housing police? museum polce? I don't know) had parked in the cycle track, having been able to find no room in the 8 other lanes on the street. Then after him, it was a pretty quick jaunt up the hill, then down E Cap and Kentucky to the grocery store and then another few minutes after groceries, I was home.

I didn't ride to work today (I'm working from home), so no 12/4 post. But happy birthday, Mom!


  1. The thing that makes me the most sad is when I am trying to cross the WH plaza from east to west to get to, for example, a coffeeshop at 17th and G, but the plaza is closed. There are no good options, since H St is one way, eastbound. Also, there is no infrastructure and horrrrrrible driving on 15th north of the plaza, and on I St. Plus there are a full seven intersections to negotiate on a detour to I. And it's illegal to bike on the sidewalk. Would you prefer to be stabbed in your right eyeball or your left?

  2. East to west when the White House plaza is closed is a notorious problem. I've done the sidewalk, gone the wrong way on H (a really stupid idea), done the terror that is 15th to I and down 17th. None are any good. Usually I turn around and go along the oval on the south side of the White House, which is longer but quite pleasant, but occasionally that's closed off too, then you have to go down to Constitution. Which is not. Pleasant.

  3. If only there were a name for that oval that is south of the White House. I dunno, maybe something elliptic.