Rides 7/2: United States of America

A Thursday that felt like a Friday and an impromptu Thursday Coffee Club where there's normally a Friday Coffee Club, though sparsely attended. Getting there was complicated by the closure of the area around the White House due to the thankfully false alarm about a shooting at the Navy Yard. When this area shuts down, there's just no good way around it for bike commuters. H Street and I Street are both one way and in this part of town, they both forbid sidewalk bicycling, while also finding themselves inhospitable to non-sidewalk bicycling. This hardly seems fair. If life were different, bus lanes that doubled as bike lanes would appear on these streets, but life is not different.

After coffee, it was G Street though FoBo. To be thematically consistent, let me complain about this street as well. It should have some kind of bike facility, but it doesn't because reasons. Again, a one way street. This past weekend, the weekend before the weekend that it is right now, I happened to be in Boston (Boston meaning Boston and the 37 tiny towns that are adjacent to Boston, but not Boston proper) and I happened to bike around a lot (though this was not the sole purpose of the visit) and I can't stress to you enough how a place is ruined for bicyclists by one-way streets. You don't fully realize it at home because you're used to it, but when you're trying to navigate in a foreign city and you don't know the ins and outs of which way each street goes, you find yourself thoroughly frustrated by the rather simple task of even getting yourself a mile from where you are. We think about bike improvements as 'just for bikes' infrastructure, but the bike network of DC, and anywhere probably, would be vastly improved through widespread bidirectionalization of existing streets. I don't know if this goal is more or less achievable, but it needs to become a priority.

After work, I rode down New Mexico Avenue and through Georgetown eventually. I rode behind a drive who kept his car's right wheels fully within the bike lane for block after block. Which would be worse: he didn't realize he was driving in the bike lane or he realized it and didn't care? Pick your poison. I don't know about you, but when I ride my bike, I'm hyper-aware of exactly where I am on the road and know exactly what I'm doing. Oh, I happen to be in the middle of the lane? Yup. I know. I'm there for reasons. But do drivers? I'm not so sure. I think the bar is somewhere like 'not crashed into anything' and provided that's your status, it's considered A+ super good driving. Oh well.

M Street through Washington Circle (LOL) and down Pennsylvania Avenue on the other side past the White House (now with spikes!) and then down Pennsylvania on the other side. As I stopped to take a picture of the newest block of park-its installed along the cycletrack (we're up to 4th street now) some random guy photobombed me.

Random guy

Then Mike showed up. 2 PM on a Thursday before a three day weekend is apparently the time to run into a bunch of people you know. Mike, a lawyer, was biking a housecall by the Potomac Avenue metro and we rode together up the Hill along Constitution. Somewhere along there a part fell his off bike and he was like 'um, do you know what this part is?' and I was like 'nope!' and his bike seemed to manage the journey the rest of way in spite of, or maybe due to, my assurances that the part that fell off his bike wasn't that big of a deal.

1 comment:

  1. You were on my regular route and had some of my regular experiences. White House PA Avenue closure is a pain and seems to happen more and more. I only go through Washington Circle in the early mornings because eejits. I don't seem to mind G street being one way, but then I'm used to it and only use it in the afternoons. Maybe I just go around a lot of sh*t, having changed my route long ago and forgotten it was a pain and that's why I started doing it. But if they made narrow streets like that two-way, where would all the cars park? :>)