Rode up Wisco and had to vacate the right lane, which is normally empty since it's a variable parking lane and for the most part drivers remain clear of it regardless, because someone left his or her Maserati idling and with the flashers on. A few thoughts:
1. Is driving a Maserati to work on slow city streets like bike commuting on a high end Pinarello?
2. There is no way that someone who drives a Maserati thinks that he and I have 'equal rights' to the road. THIS IS WHY YOU BUY A MASERATI. TO SHOW THAT YOU THINK YOU'RE BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE.
3. If I were a different, more evil person, I could imagine a scenario in which I popped into the illegally idling Maserati and moved it somewhere. I would probably also need to be the kind of evil person who can drive a stick shift.
4. Bike commuters get a ton of shit for slowing down traffic and taking up road space. That's fine. Most of that is bull plop and such accusations are not much to get worked up about. And yet at the same time, you'd be shocked (or not) by the number of drivers who take up entire lanes of traffic by idling, standing, or illegally parking just for a 'quick trip' to grab a cup of coffee or duck into an ATM or do other some mundane task for which properly parking a car would just be too onerous. And FOR SOME CRAZY REASON, it's vanishingly rare that I ever read screed-laced invective-filled bilious 'old man yells at cloud' letters to the editor detracting a practice that seems far more disruptive to the sacred 'traffic flow' that a bicyclist zipping down the road, taking up 3 feet of space that no one was really using anyway. I guess we see what we want to see.
On the way home, I noticed that my rear brake wasn't working so well. I think I beschmutzed my rotor in the course of some maintenance in the morning and while the brake pads were biting, they didn't actually catch the rotor and stop the bike. No matter. The front brake worked and I wanted to get home faster anyway.
21st, L, 15th. I've more or less given up on taking L all the way down to 11th, though I'm not sure why. Apparently, there is holiday decor to marvel at City Center, so maybe I should head that way in the spirit of gawking at giant luminous reindeer. 'Tis the season. I think I don't go down that way more often because riding 11th can be fraught (comparatively much more fraught, since there's basically a protected bike lane on 15th from L to Pennsylvania, whereas 11th just has the white stripe-y kind of bike lane, so behavior change noted, bike lane engineers) and because the transition from L to 11th is much more clunky that the one at 15th. I mean, in actuality, maybe not 'much more,' but at least a little more. Ok, barely more. But enough more to make me not want to do it and it's my ride anyway and you can't tell me what to do. YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME [runs into room, slams door, tries to crank up stereo, but stereo is set to NPR, so just ends up cranking All Things Considered, loses desired effect of petulance]
Pennsylvania, up then Jenkins Hill, then down East Jenkins Street through the Jenkins Hill neighborhood, all the while muttering to myself about our colonial overlords. I stopped at the grocery store and I didn't mutter there. I just bought some potatoes and sugar and then rode home.