Afterwards, it was a ride across FoBo and then up through Georgetown and I saw again a bike commuter that I've been seeing in different parts of town for years now. There are a few people that I see a lot and they still bike commute and I still bike commute and we still pass each other unacknowledged, because we don't really know each other except by sight in this particular context, and then we do it again either the next day or a few days or weeks after and the time passes, but it still keeps happening. I felt a bit melancholic on Friday, so I was torn between the idea of whether passing these same people year after year is comforting or whether it's sad. Are we stable? Or are we stuck?
I decided that I'd mess around with my brakes before leaving work in order to try to get rid of some of the little squeaky brake noises coming from the rubbing of the pads and so I went to the Fix-It stand (a really great job perk) and I fiddled around with the pitch and yaw of the brake pads and so I got rid of the little squeaky noises, replacing them with horrifically loud squeaky noises instead. This proves that if you set your mind to something, you can definitely achieve it.
|all the fixings|
Massachusetts Avenue on the way home is an opportunity to go fast. That it runs downhill abets this and I regularly achieve speeds far in excess of those that I could achieve from pedal power on flat ground. For the most part it's nice and I can keep up with car traffic just fine, so I take the lane. There are really one kind of situation in which this really causes problems and it's when me on my bike equals the speed of someone driving in the left lane. Because then the driver behind that guy comes over behind me and then he's mad at me for slowing him down (when really it's the guy in the left lane who isn't speeding that's "slowing" him down). Anyway, this doesn't happen a lot, but whenever it does, I really don't like it. In conclusion, I wish drivers would speed more...? Wait, that doesn't sound right.
August Fridays in DC are special.
The barriers installed on Pennsylvania Avenue to prevent u-turns do a pretty good job, I think. Except a lot of them now, more than I care to count, show signs of damage from being run over, which maybe indicates to me that drivers are still deciding that u-turning is better than not u-turning and that's unfortunate. And even more unfortunate than that is that drivers can't do this illegal thing without destroying something. It's banal destruction. It goes most unnoticed, but if you look around the city, you'll see scads of things on the road- things paid for and maintained by public moneys- that have been destroyed by drivers who have proven incapable of controlling their cars to the extent that they do not crash into something. I'm old enough to remember when the first rule of driving was 'don't crash into anything.' I think it's a pretty reasonable rule, but apparently, it's quite difficult to practice. I mean, it's kind of weird to have a transportation system in which users are constantly destroying things in the process of using it. Maybe it's time to redefine what's considered 'normal' wear and tear.