Rides 1/14 and 1/15: two days of rides


Late start because of...snow? Ice? I don't know. It wasn't bad. It put me on the road two hours than normal and there's a funny thing that happens when drivers are free from the peer pressure that is RUSH hour. They just leave their cars wherever. Need to unload a passenger? Double park with the flashers to run in for a coffee? Drop off a package? Whatever dude, just leave your car wherever. Given the nature of bike lane construction, frequently the wherever overlaps with the exact place I'm intended to ride my bike, but the strewing of stray cars is hardly confined there alone. Now, let me preface my complaint with something of a caveat. You see, I'm a bit of a sock strewer. I have been known on occasion to remove a sock or two and leave it/them on the floor instead of putting them in the hamper or sock incinerator (fun fact: if it were up to me and if money were no object and sustainability concerns weren't so top of mind, I'd never wear the same pair of socks twice. I know that's idiosyncratic, but, yes, this would be my hypothetical champagne wish and caviar dream). Anyway, so sometimes I leave socks around and that's a bit messy of me and maybe I should do a better job putting them away. But here's the thing: a sock doesn't really take up a ton of space.. Even Kareem Abdul Jabbar's knee socks wouldn't even take up a ton of space if left on the floor. So, not exactly a huge deal when you just kinda leave them around from an impediment perspective. And this is where socks and cars differ somewhat. CARS TAKE UP A LOT OF SPACE. And when you just kinda leave one around, half-parked or idling or whatever, it's no small thing. Like, it has the potential to be massively inconvenient and disruptive to everyone else. And this is the thing about cars, strewn and otherwise. Like, it's not some complicated and fraught moral issue. It's a math problem. You can't fit as many big things as you can fit small things. That's just sorta how it works. 

On the ride home yesterday, I was able to bike past a bunch of stopped cars, unable to fit in a space that was too narrow on account of some other cars, which were parked. I wasn't able to do this because of some kind of moral superiority or because a bike is a magica, but just because small things can fit where big things can't. That's just sorta how it works. 

Salty roads and I could taste the salt on my tongue. Why, oh why did I have to lick the road? Just kidding- it was atmospheric salt. Road salt: 


This morning was a commute at a regular time and it was mostly uneventful. I was briefly held up by some protestors on Pennsylvania Avenue. I wasn't held up because they were actually impeding me (because see lessons learned above), but because I wanted to take a picture and I fumbled around with my gloves and phone, so that took awhile. On top of that, the picture isn't even very good: 

Later in the trip, I found myself thinking about how biking through a red light is a little bit like running across the street with a hot cup of coffee. It might turn out ok if you're cautious or you might scald yourself. 

The ride home was very trafficky. But not so much for me because [see recurring theme.] Lots of sirens and flashing lights tonight. Given everything that's happened this week, I think the city really is done with emergencies. Anyway, hug a first responder. That can't be an easy job. Please ask the first responder of you can hug them first. Don't just launch into the hug. I mean, if you have a pre-existing hugging relationship with them, then it might be ok, but just generally speaking, maybe don't hug strangers. Especially if they're busy doing other stuff, like responding to emergencies. On second though, maybe skip the hug and just doff a cap. That would be ok, I bet. 

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