Rides 4/15 and Rides 4/16: without pictures

Two days: let's go!

Yesterday morning was marked by coffee, namely free coffee offered to bike commuters by The Bike Rack, which is not the kind of rack that stretched people in Medieval Times. They do it about once a month and I always try to go because you don't turn down free coffee. I watched scads of bike commuters ride by and they didn't even turn their heads when the shop folks said 'free coffee for bike commuters!' Who are you monsters? Maybe you don't drink coffee, but if you do and you can't find time in your life to stop and accept a free cup, I'm not even sure you should be riding a bicycle. I'm not sure it's the mode of travel for you. I'm sorry.

I rode up Massachusetts Avenue for the first time in a while. I used to do it every day and now I don't. It's like seeing a friend from college. "oh hey, remember that time, we like, totally, um, did that thing? yeah? that was cool. so, you married now or whatever? Oh, two kids? that's cool....' [conversation trails off] I mean, as far as that simile in any way resembles what it's like to ride up a hill you used to know. It's not a very good simile. It's not a very good hill.

Funnily enough, I ride down Massachusetts Avenue nearly everyday, including yesterday and today, and though it's the same street, downhill and uphill really seem like two different roads entirely. I guess that's the difference between a two dimensional map and a three dimensional reality. Stupid reality.

I didn't see any gyrocopters on the way home yesterday. Today, I didn't even look.

Parts of Pennsylvania Avenue were closed to cars today to celebrate Emancipation Day with parade and concerts and whantot, but it wasn't really closed to bikes. Is something closed to cars really closed? Is a shopping mall closed because people can't drive from the Build-a-Bear to the Ann Taylor? (honestly, these are the first two mall stores I thought of, so PSYCHOANALYZE THAT) Biking home along Penn was great because the Parade was in full-swing. I love parades, especially super-local ones, but I'm just throwing it out there: what if next year's Emancipation Day was less parade and more of an open-streets event? Could we do that? I think we could and I think maybe people would like it. If we're going to shut the street anyway, maybe we should make the street more open.

I've been bike commuting for a while and I've gotten used to a lot of things, but the one thing that I can't really even get used to is distracted driving. When someone passes you within a few feet and I look over and see the driver utterly besotted by his phone, all I can think is that it's utter coincidence that he didn't drive right into me. That's it. One nudge of the wheel, one abrupt turn of my handlebars, one unexpected bump that shakes either of us off our paths, and I'm toast. You can get used to a lot of things about riding in traffic (and there are a lot of pretty crummy things that we're asked to get used to), but it's hard for me to used to the possibility that it's good fortune that's keeping me safe from people who can't bother to pay attention. And we wonder why more people don't bicycle.

I don't know what else. It was a pretty glorious ride home with gobsmackingly perfect weather. We don't get a ton of days like this, so I hope you got to ride today. Also, I ate a pretty good chicken sandwich for lunch and accompanied that with lemonade, so really, everything's coming up me today.

AS for tonight, I'm off to Smith Public Trust in Brookland to hear a talk by Carlton Reid, author of Roads Were Not Built For Cars. WHAT WERE THEY BUILT FOR? My guess is llamas, but I don't know if Carlton is going to tell us or if we have to buy the book and read to the end. So if you don't come tonight (but really, come!) and you don't buy the book, just take my word for it that it was llamas. But really, try to come tonight if you can.

Pictures without captions:

every word on the sign is good


not llamas

Happy Emancipation Day!

pagan offering and/or lost kids toy



  1. A llama bit my sister once.

  2. Perhaps these people had already had coffee, but I have usually turned down free coffee because I love coffee so much that I just assumed that if it's free, it's not very good. However, I assumed wrongly since I believe that the free coffee offered by Bicycle Space a few weeks back was from Chinatown Coffee Co.