We get a few very cold days here a year. Not a lot, but enough to remember what very cold is like so as to remind us that very cold is unpleasant for bicycling. Many of us cycle through it anyway, but some don't because we all have a cut-off point where our more sensible instincts supersede the ones that draw us to bicycling. It's a subjective thing, but it's real and it's far better to recognize you have then pretend you don't and find yourself riding in conditions that your body and mind find to be far too distressing to enjoy. I think if you do this for a while and do it in enough conditions, you realize that you cut-off points are a few degrees higher (because people have cut-off points for warmth too) and a few degrees colder than maybe you'd think they'd be and I suppose you could stretch it even further if you wanted to, but there's really no reason to want to if your mind and body are telling you that you don't actually want to. Just listen to them- they're sensible.
When I left the house, my bike declined to shift. This was troublesome and confusing. I stopped in the middle of the road and looked menacing at the derailleur and I guess that, or maybe fiddling around with it a little, did the trick and the bike was fine for the rest of the way both ways. It wasn't a propitious start, but the rest of the ride was mostly uneventful. I thought about how deeply unfun it would be to have to change a flat tire in these temperatures and luckily the thought of this misfortune somehow warded this away. Maybe tomorrow!
What's the protocol when the cyclist in front of you doesn't press the beg button to cross the street? Do you impatiently saunter up and push it? Even if you know it's the only way to get the light to change in under 2 minutes? I didn't do this by the Lincoln Memorial this morning and we waited at the red forever. I'm not sure the button would've actually worked, but it would have at least provided an outlet for my impatience. Also, WHY THE FUCK ARE THERE BEG BUTTONS BY THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL, A PLACE A BILLION PEDESTRIANS VIST A YEAR? I know the answer to this (NPS), but every so often you want to do some ragey ALLCAPSing about things and riding in this part of town everyday gives me ample opportunity. Speaking of this area, there's free 3 hour parking on the Rock Creek Parkway from the Memorial to the chicane at Peter's Point and I really want to know who parks here at 8AM on a Tuesday. Because I don't think it's tourists. So, who is it? And do they really only stay 3 hours? Do they?
It's nice when another bicyclist says 'thanks' to you, even when you barely do anything.
Wisconsin to Volta to 35th and then up Tunlaw and New Mexico and I felt so, so, so slow, in part because I was so, so, so slow. On the way home, I went reasonably fast down Massachusetts Avenue and caught some keys lights and then made it to L Street and across town towards the convention center, where I went into a hotel lobby and waited around for 45 minutes until I realized that the person I was supposed to meet said that we would actually meet tomorrow. It's a good thing I like hanging out in hotel lobbies. (No, really, that's true. I really like it). After that, I rode down 9th Street (where I think they should build the east-side cycletrack instead of 6th Street) and I couldn't help but notice how many drivers accidentally drove in the bike/bus lane because it couldn't possibly be on purpose. Then it was left on E Street and up past Union Station and then across the Hill and home. It didn't seem as cold in the evening as it was in the morning, but it should be properly cold again in 11 hours when I'll be back on the bike once more.