No commutes yesterday, but I did take some time in the morning reacquainting my bike with some fenders and those proved useful today in the afternoon wet. In the morning dry (the rain didn't start until later), I didn't wear gloves and regretted that. It's not really spring yet.
I wanted to take a picture of some tree branches and trash and muck floating in the river by the Kennedy Center and caption it "March," but I thought that too dour. Apt, though.
Other than putting fenders on the bike, yesterday I also swapped out the tires. The newer ones are road slicks and they were a bastard to install. The blisters on my thumb still smart. The road tires inspired me to try to catch up to a guy along the Mall who got out two blocks ahead before I managed to reel him almost back before deciding to let slack again and off he went until the light at 14th, where he met up once more. He probably doesn't even know he's a character in a blog post right now. At 14th, at the red light where we all stopped (there was another bike commuter too), I looked up at the new museum, which is nearly all built on the outside. Does the Smithsonian and the National Parks Service have a pedestrian plan in place for when it's done? In related news, LOL. It was a hilarious practical joke to put the monuments and museums between the downtown core and the highway bridges that are meant to take drivers swiftly away from it. Huge oversight by L'Enfant for not recommending a 14th street tunnel.
I don't think there's been a time since I've been consistently riding up Wisco when there hasn't been some kind of construction project in Glover Park. This was both before and after the brief period of TRAFFIC DOOM that occurred when the name of lanes was reduced. Anyway, there are more lanes now, which is great because it gives the construction crews a place to park their big trucks. Doesn't seem to help traffic much, but what can you do?
Ride home was in the rain and the new brake pads (another success of yesterday's effort) managed nicely. They might have managed a bit too nicely. I think one pad might have rubbed against the rim for much of the way home.
Riddle: what kind of bike is faster than a Porsche 911?
Answer: pretty much any kind of bike when the Porsche 911 is stuck in traffic.
But what about when it's not stuck in traffic?
You must be new here.
Mass, 21st, L and 15th. Along L, a woman saw that car traffic was stopped and thought it would be a good time to cross the street, in spite of the fact that the bike lane was clear and I had the green light. It's hard to get too upset about this (or even begrudge it: most of the time it's totally fine) but it would've probably been better for both of us had she looked for bicyclists before venturing out, but she didn't. She did look up as my brakes squealed and we made eye contact from about 3 feet away. I never know what kind of facial expression to have in situations like this. I did commit, a long time ago, not to be the first person to say anything in a situation like this. I think that's a fairly sound principle and one I would wholeheartedly endorse. You don't want to come out with 'Hey, fuck you!' if the first thing they're going to say is "I'm so sorry! I should've looked!" So instead, I stopped and I waited and went for a bemused expression. It's unclear if I made it all the way to bemused. We looked at each other for a second and then she sorta made a facial gesture that indicated chagrin and then I rode past her. It was fine. No point flying off the handle at every little thing. I'm just happy we didn't collide.
Speaking of handles, I'm not convinced that either my handlebars or my seat are at right angles. I think this might be a problem. This was not something I addressed yesterday, but likely should have. I feel a little crooked.