Rides 3/2: I bought an eggplant

Late start on account of ice. The iciest part of my commute was walking the bike to the street, which itself, as a result of the rise in temperatures afforded by the delay, was already free of ice entirely. My biggest concern riding in wasn't so much slipping on the street, but finding myself impaled or otherwise laid low by ice flung free from a passing car. Luckily, again, the warmer temperatures later in the day managed to melt whatever ice sheets would have otherwise remained unremoved from car roofs, and I was not impaled or otherwise rendered injured.

[That was a chipper start. "well, I didn't get impaled by a flying ice dagger, so..."]

I really need to stop bothering the Secret Service. In the news again were reports of an intruder (a would-be intruder?) leaping over the lower outer fence in an attempt to maybe leap over the higher inner fence in an attempt to run across the grass to get to a door to get inside the White House. The lower outer fence is called, for "reasons," a bike rack, though it's not a bike rack. I mean, it is. But it isn't. Here's how today's conversation transpired.

Me [pointing to low fence]: it this a bike rack?
Very Patient Secret Service Agent: yeah....
Me: Can I lock my bike to it?
Him [laughs]: no!

What do you call a bike rack that isn't a bike rack? Presidential security! {rimshot}

Anyway, I'm going to stop my tireless crusade (note: actions not tireless, barely a crusade) against trying to get the Secret Service to stop calling these fences bike racks. Apparently, these fences are sometimes called 'bike rack' fences, by the fence manufacturers and I suppose there's a logic to this: nothing is more terrifying to the average American than a bicyclist. Obviously, it's a deliberate counter-measure. Well played, USSS. Well played.

Pennsylvania, M, Wisco, Volta, 35th and eventually over to Tunlaw and New Mexico, whose bike lane was still half-filled with ice and snow. For the reasons it makes sense for drivers to want there to be bike lanes, it makes even more sense to want them to be clear of ice and snow. Because when they're not, I can't ride in them and when I'm not in them, it means that I'm going to be riding over in the travel lane, which generally means that I'm going to be in the space where you'd rather be driving your car. But this attitude doesn't really manifest itself. Oh well.

I was distracted by work thoughts on the ride home (I don't recommend this), so I don't recall much with much detail. There was car traffic on 21st since a part of that street was closed on account of some underground utility work. L Street was fine, as was 15h and so was most of Pennsylvania, except for the part with the police car parked in the cycletrack (there are VIPs in a hotel nearby), but beyond the length of that one police car, the rest of the way was entirely unobstructed.

On the Senate side of the Capitol, there's a gate at the bottom of the driveway and next to that gate are some metal bollards and on good days, a bicyclist can fit between those bollards with no issue. On bad days, there's a pile of snow right around there and it makes the whole matter trickier. The snow melted to more manageable pile so I stopped my bike and spent a few moments kicking that pile of snow in order to disperse it. "TAKE THAT FROSTY. MY DAD'S A MAGICIAN! YOU STOLE HIS HAT!" I said, harnessing my rage. It didn't take much rage. The snow pile was pretty small. I also kept my efforts to a minimum fearing that I would further rupture my relationship with the various armed security officers who guard our nation's most important civic buildings.

East Capitol to the grocery store. I bought an eggplant.

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