Rides 5/6, 5/7 and 5/8: a summary

Does it ever happen to you, the you of you who have the luxury of owning more than one bicycle, that one when picks up a flat (even after you fix it), you just put that bike aside for a some time, quarantining it to prevent the bad mojo of repeat flats from getting you? I did this with the Ogre and for the past few days I've been riding the Brompton.

My commute is about 8 miles each way and it's not flat. The Brompton has two speeds. It's not exactly speedy, but I don't mind. I really love this bike and I really love commuting on it, even though there are bikes far better suited to that purpose. Two winters ago, that is to say, the winter before this past winter, I commute solely on the Brompton for about two months. I did this because we had moved into an apartment while the house was being fixed up and I didn't want to drag the Cross Check up the flight of stairs and I also didn't want to further begrime the was-whiteish-once carpet that covered the living room floors with a bike exposed to the ravages of winter weather. Prior to those months, I had ridden the Brompton to work a few times, but it very much wasn't my preferred whip. I faintly remembering struggling on the climbs up the hill and thinking 'well, this is silly and this is far more laborious than it needs to be. I'll use this bike for other things, but not this.' But then I used it only for commuting for two months and that's when things changed.

You do something enough and you get used it. I think that time made me a much stronger bicycle rider, literally and figuratively. And I think more importantly, it made me a much better bicycle rider. Not like technically or anything, but temperamentally. Patience and perseverance, I've found, to be of much greater benefit to a bike commuter than power or agility, especially in a place that's a real mixed bag as far as cycling is concerned. It's better than a lot of places, but worse than a lot of places and the set-up puts you in a lot of situations where there's potential conflict and the transportation culture here is, how would you say, not always the most convivial. I think bike commuting teaches you a lot of things about yourself (if you want to learn them) and I think bike commuting on the Brompton taught me more than I would have learned otherwise. Maybe that's a silly thing to say, but I think it's a silly thing that I believe.

Some other things:

-Gear Prudence on training for a century (and Chasing Mailboxes with even more because MG is the best)

-Me in Greater Greater Washington begging college students not to abandon their bikes. As a longtime university employee, I can aver that this does in fact happen (I would estimate that a good 30% of the bikes parked outside at any time are in some phase of being abandoned. Maybe this is why I was so harsh about cutting locks on bikes left unmoved for a week in an earlier GP.)

-Some advice in Washingtonian on how not to be an obnoxious cyclist. I'm unclear why they asked me. “Odds are you’ve done something dickish, too.” is meant to be read in a karmic sense, not as an immediate response to “People aren’t there specifically to antagonize you” in case you were wondering.

Those are pretty much all of the things. Except for this other thing:

I'm probably going to be scaling back the postings over summer. I don't know how many times I'm going to be able to write during the week (I have decided to occupy my time with attempt 4 or 5 at grad school because they don't make gum that I can chew to stave off what is clearly some time of weird chemical dependency), but I'll try. Or at least I'll try to try. Maybe two posts a week? I think I might be able to do that.

And as always, thank you for even wasting a scintilla of your time reading this. That you ever do makes me ever so grateful.

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