Rides 7/30: Cardboard boxing

Like Frank Sinatra, I have a cold. This is keeping me off the bike today and also out of work, but it also affords me some time to write up yesterday's bike commutes, which were taken on Bikeshare.

The first leg was from home to downtown where I had an appointment. I left from the third closest Bikeshare station as the two closer ones, the ones I would normally frequent, were out of bikes. As I walked to the third closest station, I wondered why I didn't take one my own bikes, but when you say your mind to a Bikeshare commute, you really want to see it through. Also because I was taking Metro from downtown up to work. "wait, couldn't you have taken your Brompton on the Metro? Isn't that one of the main justifications you have for riding that bike? You still didn't have to take Bikeshare," you might ask

"What's that? You're breaking up. Driving through a tunnel. [static noises]," I might respond, lying.

Have I run out of ways to complain about the preposterously unbearable summer weather? Probably.

There's a funny part of my ride home that's a downhill followed almost immediately by an uphill and the funny thing about the Bikeshare bike is how the speed tops out and pedaling is completely ineffectual and then you're on the uphill and still going too fast to pedal, but you pedal anyway because that's what you're supposed to do and also it gives the appearance that you, not gravity and momentum, is dictating things. Screw you, Isaac Newton. You can't tell me what to do.

The Bikeshare station at 15th and L is almost exactly halfway on my ride home and makes for a great docking location for a 30 minute re-up. There's also a CityPaper newspaper box right around there and I stopped and picked up a paper copy of the copy and then hopped back on the bike and took that down 15th and eventually home. The heat remained a hindrance to overall enjoyment. Have I mentioned it was really hot and humid?


Rides 7/29: I'm not a magician, Roger

I dedicate this blog post to DE and his/her misguided quest to try to get this blog to 36th in the rankings. It's not gonna happen, but I appreciate the effort.

Has anyone ever noticed how it gets hot in the summer and people complain about it all the time because it's really something to complain about because it's awful and then other people complain about the complainers because they're like 'what did you expect, it's summer, deal with it' and other people ask rhetorical questions about noticing this in the first place because he has no other way to start the text of the blog post? It's too hot, even in the morning.

Do you like foreign tourists like the National Mall? I sort of wonder. I'm not sure if my continued underwhelmedness is a result of familiarity, but I try to be objective about these things and I don't know if I'd really be impressed by the space, if let's say, I was comparing it to other famous-y, tourist-y national-y spaces. Yes, the Capitol is quite impressive, as is the Monument and the Lincoln, but would they be any less impressive on a slide show? I just don't know. I ride through the space everyday and I just feel, I don't know, ennui-y about it. Remind me to accost a foreigner about this some time. Some time before it's all underwater. Then I'd have to ask the scuba tourists and it'd involve all kinds of pointing and hand gestures and that sounds complicated. Unless the underwater tourists are dolphins and then it'd be all EEEEK EEEEK EEEEEK and like, how the heck am I supposed to make any sense of that? I don't even think they'd even get the idea of a Reflecting Pool. The dolphins tourists would simply not get it.

Yeah, it's been one of those kinds of days.

I might've Cat 6-ed a yamulked CaBist on M Street. If so, I dropped him before Washington Circle, a circle so bad that George Washington ranks it even more embarrassing to his reputation than the Battle of Brooklyn Heights. Why did L'Enfant hate cars so much? Why?

Piazza della Casa Biancha (fun fact: I have no idea if that's actually Italian, a language that I only know from pizza menus and Nintendo games) was closed so I went to H Street to 15th and then took G Street across town to 11th to E and then up and around Columbus Circle, a circle so bad that Christopher Columbus ranks it even more embarrassing to reputation than assuming the New World. Why did McMillan hate cars so much? Why?


Rides 7/28: Cosmonaut Ice Cream

Every time they install a new bike lane in DC, I try to ride there and check it out. It's especially easy when it's on my part of town and pretty much along my commute route and so this morning, I checked out the new bike lane from Independence Avenue to East Capitol on the backside of the Library of Congress. It was...fine. It doesn't really connect to much, but neither did the electrical grid when it was just Thomas Edison. Sure, let's go with that.

Books thataway man

After that, I decided I'd take the long way to work and ride the Capital Crescent Trail and count all the bicyclists riding into town as I rode from it. I try to do it under my breath but sometimes I slip up and I'm sure I've confused more than one Bethesdan by calling him "37." Today, I counted 97 cyclists between the entrance to the CCT and the staircase at Manning Place. I also counted 1 Eliptigo-ist.

You ever so gassed that you're convinced that you've got a rear flat but it's actually just that you're slow and it's hot and your legs aren't especially up to the challenge of making it up a not-very-daunting hill? Yeah, me neither and especially not this morning.

I didn't wear a helmet today. Sometimes I do.

I apologize for the following rant, which I'll try to keep matter-of-fact, so far as rants go.

On the 1400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue, there's a cycletrack that runs down the middle and this is the site of many illegal u-turns. All but two of the blocks on Pennsylvania Avenue have recently gained parking stops and these serve as barriers to prevent (or strongly discourage) illegal u-turns. The 1300 and 1400 block of Pennsylvania Avenue don't have them. For reasons. (I'm not going to speculate and even if you think you know, unless you know you know, then you might not want to either.) I don't see a lot of u-turns taking place on the blocks that have the barriers. In fact, I don't think I've seen one u-turn over the barriers, though some of the barriers have shown some wear that indicate that they've been run into or over, though perhaps just from regular careless driving and not intentional u-turns. I don't know. Here's a picture of some of the barriers that aren't installed on the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue but are installed on all the other blocks:

Caption by author
On the 1400 block, one of the blocks where there aren't barriers, I see illegal u-turns a lot. I wouldn't say that I see them every day, but I see them most days and that's just for the minute in the afternoon that I happen to be riding along there. There was a protest about the lack of barriers recently along this block and the protesters witnessed and recorded many u-turns and the u-turns were such that even the police officers along this stretch felt compelled to issue tickets to some of the drivers doing this patently illegal thing. Today, I witness another u-turn, a u-turn that happened behind me, and only because I moved forward some because I'm not going to stand in the way of a driver looking to do something stupid. I'm sorry- I'm just not really disposed to do it. The best part of this affair and by best, I mean worst, is that the driver honked at me to get out of his way so he could make the u-turn. The cyclist behind me told him to fuck off and that it was illegal. He made the u-turn behind her. She told me that she's seen someone hit by an illegal u-turn and that she sees illegal u-turns everyday. I told her that I do too.

This is an anecdote.

Apropos of nothing, here's some words I read somewhere:

Vision Zero strategies will be informed by a systematic data and information-driven process that identifies and prioritizes interventions with the greatest potential to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries.
Unrelated to anything, here's a cat.


Rides 7/27: predictions of nostalgia

I had a bit of a cold this weekend and this morning I wasn't up to biking the whole way to work so rather than skip work entirely (allegedly, that's why I'm paid money every morning and not due to some residuals from my endorsing a Korean soda. Turns out they didn't even want my endorsement and keep tellin me to stop calling. No way man!) I biked to Union Station to take the Metro to work. Then at the other end of the trip, rather than bike to the office, I took the shuttle bus the less than a mile. I almost never take the shuttle bus because, for the most part, I always have legs and if you have legs you can pretty much always bike slightly less than a mile across flat terrain, even in a post-sick stupor. But today, I took the bus. And the traffic light was flashing at a key intersection and the bus was stuck in traffic [cue Alanis] as drivers mostly patiently (mostly) navigated their way through the four-way intersection. 

I opted to take Bikeshare home (the whole way) in the afternoon since I went well enough and the weather was unatrocious summery following some thoroughly nasty thunderstorms. A slow Bikeshare commute is a true urban joy. Something about those bikes (the girth? The weight? The gearing?) just makes you want to take it easy and so I did, rolling down the usual route over towards 15th Street and past the White House. By the Treasury Department, a police officer stood on the sidewalk, ticket pad out, likely ready to issue tickets to cyclists who fail to stop at the red light by the entrance to the White House. I believe a few things simultaneously: 

1. Don't run a red light in front of a police officer if you don't want to risk getting a ticket. 
2. Cyclists should yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. 
3. There are probably better places to enforce against these kinds of things than this location (places where the likelihood of a crash is higher).
4. This has nothing to do with Vision Zero and anyone who tells you it does is a huckster and a fraud. 
5. Going through a red light in a bidirectional protected cycletrack at a T intersection that is utterly devoid of pedestrians shouldn't be a crime and the Council should fix that because it's pretty silly. Think Paris. 
6. Overly legalistic approaches are doubtful to really change cyclist behavior, if that's actually the goal and the goal isn't just to punish people. 
7. Sorry tourists who inevitably got caught up in this. 
8. This isn't the biggest issue in the world and probably didn't deserve all these enumerated points, but I just love enumerating points so much and that's yet another reason why the makers of Milkis need to stop deleting my emails. Delicious, delicious Milkis: the official soft drink of the 37th most popular local DC bike blogger whether they want it to be or not. 


Rides 7/23 and Rides 7/24: latergram

On Thursday morning when I was walking the dogs, I found some keys in the trash can around the corner. They weren't on top of the trash, but somehow hooked inside and were dangling above the trash. I wondered if someone had found the keys on the street and hung them up there in the hope that whoever dropped them would eventually work their way over to the can and see them dangling there. Better than leaving them in the street, I thought, but I was certain I could do better because the keys had next to them a Bikeshare fob and the Bikeshare fob had a member number and I hoped that if I contacted the good folks at Bikeshare, they could then contact the owner of the missing keys and long story short, there'd probably be a parade in my honor and they'd probably name some downtown square after me because of my epic heroism. Self-aggrandizement aside, I assumed that the keys likely belonged to one of my nearby neighbors and it seemed like a neighborly thing to do and at low cost to my time and effort.

The plan proceeded apace and I contacted Bikeshare and they contacted the owner and gave the owner my info and the owner contacted me and we set up a time to meet so I could give the keys back. We did that and the keys were reunited, mostly thanks to Bikeshare helping out. So, among the other amazing things that Bikeshare does is reunite people with their lost stuff, so if you've lost anything recently just call Bikeshare and they'll probably find it for you. Guaranteed. What was sort of strange about the whole key thing, though, is that the owner is the keys 1) lost them about 10 days ago and 2) when asked where I found them, didn't even know where the street was, didn't live anywhere nearby, doesn't work anywhere nearby, doesn't commute anywhere nearby, and hadn't been through the area recently, if at all. The owner likewise didn't mentioned getting robbed or thieved or pickpocketed recently, so it's still something of a mystery of how the keys were lost and how the keys found their way to being found by me on the other side of town from where the owner lives and works. Were they stolen and then thrown out after the thief tried to open a few random doors not exactly knowing how keys work? Were they planted by Bikeshare just so they could show off their key re-uniting prowess? I don't know. Could be anything, really. Except the Bikeshare stealing thing because that sounds pretty implausible and also Bikeshare is about sharing and not stealing. So far.

Another thing that happened to me on Thursday afternoon, on my way to reuniting the keys with their owner, was that a guy behind me, also on a bike, twice (TWICE!) bumped his front wheel into my rear one after the rider in front of me didn't immediately get going at the green light. I don't think it was on purpose or anything, but he didn't even apologize! Come on, guy. Not cool.

Friday I went into work around midday and I remember very little of that ride, nor the ride that took me home at the end of the workday around 5. If you saw me then and remember anything about how it was or how I acted, please leave that information in the comments.

Gear Prudence is about cycling while phoning (generally, don't) and the ethics of patronizing businesses that aren't bike friendly. There's a woman on my commute who almost everyday uses this time to make a phone call (she uses headphones) and it seems fine and all, except whenever she pulls up behind me, I always think she's taking to me and then I turn around like 'excuse me?' and then I realize she's talking on the phone and I'm like 'oh.' So, that's another reason why maybe you shouldn't talk on the phone: so some narcissistic bike weirdo doesn't turn around and accost you under the mistaken belief that you're talking to him. A small, but consequential, benefit, I'm sure.


Ride 7/22: circle of circuses

I took the Ogre. On one hand, it felt slow. On the other hand, it wasn't any slower than usual. Perception is much more real than reality sometimes, though it's possible that my time to work on the heavier bike remained consistent due to an increased effort to compensate. Newton never proposed a Law of Conversation of Bike Commute Time and this falls squarely on his shoulders for also not inventing the bicycle a couple hundred years early. Sure, we got calculus and that's fine I guess, but just think how much different the the War of Jenkins' Ear would have gone if the troops had bicycles! Just think! This is the counterfactual historical fiction that I want to read. My tastes, perhaps, are peculiar in this regard.

There's construction along the Rock Creek Parkway between the Lincoln Memorial and the Kennedy Center. It's road resurfacing season. It's not parking meter installation season, though once upon a time, NPS promised that parking meters would be installed in various locales around the Mall, but I don't think I've heard anything about this for months and months, so who knows. You probably wait until winter to install parking meters anyway. One more summer season of free parking says Uncle Sam. But, please let them be in before Cherry Blossoms. It'll help add some semblance of order to the whole affair. Between parking meters and the new Mall circulator, it's almost as if the attitude towards cars is changing. Almost.

 My bike makes a period clicking sound when I pedal. Also, the chain keeps falling off. I wonder if these two things are related. I'll let you know when I write about the calamity that eventually befalls in, I don't know, a few days? A week? Tales from the Sharrows: your go-to source for avoidable bike problems that weren't avoided.

On the ride home, I saw this guy on L who rode a Bikeshare bike alongside another bike with a flat tire. It was an impressive feat.

2 Bikes 2 Furious

Like, really impressive. And what make it more so wasn't just that he ghosted this flat tire bike while riding another one, but that he was able to zig and zag through the mixing zones in between cars blocking his way while guiding both bikes through pretty narrow spaces. I can barely do this with one bike! I even saw him pass another bicyclist! This is some next level stuff. There are amazing people in this world and some of them ride bicycles.


Rides 7/21: habit hat

I've more or less given up riding the Ogre for the summer. It's very heavy and slow and I'm trying to minimize the amount of time I spend out in the heat and the amount of strain it takes to get me from one place to the other. It's unclear to me if this is the correct decision. It weighs on me somewhat, weighs on me like a preposterously heavy bike. 

I went a little out of my way this morning to pick up a savory biscuit from The Wydown, a place on 14th Street that sells these kinds of things. I found the biscuit less savory than I would have generally preferred. Good though. Going out of your way to pick up a breakfast novelty is one of the true joys of bike commuting. 

A bit laggardly I went up the Massachusetts Avenue hill this morning. Maybe I should've eaten my savory biscuit before the climb instead of preserving it for a more civilized at-desk breakfast. I doubt that would've made much difference. Maybe I should start consuming those gross energy gel packs. Do they, like savory biscuits, come in bacon, sage, fontina flavor? Likely not. Gourmand goo. It's the next big thing. You saw it here first. 

I rode back through Georgetown, which was fine enough. One driver declined to look for me and nearly drove his car into me and that was less than thrilling. But it was a Prius, so I guess the carbon impact of my impact wouldn't be so bad. 

U see a U sticker on a car and U get out of the way before U get hurt. U dig? Also, U Thant is one of my top 5 favorite UN Secretary Generals ever. But that's neither here nor there.

Sometimes I ride through Washington Circle, though it's the worst. Maybe they should rename it Nixon Circle or Buchanan Circle. 


Rides 7/20: the re-return

Family matters took me away from town and from biking, but as I'm back now and as I biked today, circumstances warrant writing about it, such as it was. 

This morning I took Bikeshare to Union Station. There are new bike lanes on 4th and 6th NE around Stabton park and though they're oh two blocks long, they connect the previously existing ones and the elimination of this gap is a biggish deal, at least in comparison to non-biggish deals. Bike lanes that disappear and reappear with no rhyme or reason are almost as bad as bike bloggers who do the same. 

When I arrived at Union Station, there were 4 people queued by the dock waiting for bicyclists to arrive. Like a taxi stand for the 21st century. I wonder if this'll be disrupted by Uber, but for Bikeshare whereby would-be riders summon current riders to maybe slightly go out of their way (or perhaps just fortuitously along to their planned destination) to arrange a CaBi swap. Smartphones and capitalism can fix all of our woes, or so I've gleaned. But probably not: queuing and waiting one's turn seems to have established itself as the preferred means of bike exchange in scarcity situations because, well, that seems to make more sense and be much more reasonable anyway. 

I also biked from Tenleytown to work. I took Bikeshare from work down Massacusetts Avenue to Garfield (I hate Mondays) and then down over the Ellington Bridge and into the Devil's Playground to pick up my bicycle from BicycleSpace, where it had been getting some work done. I got new handlebars. They are called Noodle. Thus far they seem quite lovely. 

18th to Connecticut to L to 15th and then the standard way home. Standards like Ellington. Gonna rename my bike the A Train. #confusion

I try to not complain about fellow bicyclists and for the most part I'm successful because minor annoyances aren't much to complain about and dwell on. But sometimes I have complainy thoughts. It happens. In fact, I'd venture that the average bicyclist has more complainy thoughts about other bicyclists than drivers ever do. You see silly things and you think "ugh, silliness," but then you get over it because it's not a big deal. Too hot to ugh too long anyway. 


Rides 7/7: Pal in Drone

Sometimes I think about Vision Zero, but I shouldn't, because it makes me sad. It's not because I question the goal- in fact, I think it's one of the more nobler things we can aim for. No one should die just getting around. There's nothing complicated about this. I guess the thing that bothers me is the lack of moral imagination that's needed to see it through. If we don't want people to die as a result of simply trying to get around, then we really need to do things to address that. Real things. Consequential things. Now, maybe we don't think that doing these things is worth it and that's fine. But if we don't think that doing these things is worth it, then we shouldn't say that our goal is to bring about a result that requires doing these things. I guess what I'm saying is this: let's imagine two scenarios. In the first scenario, everyone who gets around by walking and biking stops doing that. In the second scenario, everyone gets around by driving stops doing that. Which of these two scenarios is more likely bring about Vision Zero, which is to say zero transportation deaths? I don't think this is a very complicated question, but I'll fully concede that maybe I'm missing something. So if you're aiming for Vision Zero, which direction should you aim for?

Here's the thing about Vision Zero that I don't think is mentioned enough: people driving die all of the time. They die and it's terrible. It's terrible every time. And we have an obligation to do more than shrug. So long as VZ is seen as 'that thing about not running over pedestrians and cyclists,' it misses the point. And that's a disservice to everyone. Because you don't get to zero by making it safer to walk or bike. Yes, that helps and as someone who gets around mostly by biking and walking, it's in my best interest to praise these kinds of improvements. But you don't get to zero by just doing that. You just don't.

Anyway, that was maudlin and I apologize. This is what happens when you dwell on serious things during your bike commute instead of thinking about fun things. Don't dwell on serious things. Ever.

Way in: Pennsylvania, M, Wisco
Way home: Mass, 21st, L, Penn

There were a lot of bicyclists out and I liked that very much. Amsterdam on the Potomac.


Rides 7/6: wait, I do this every day?

Monday after a holiday weekend and light bike traffic on the Hill and through downtown. A DDOT crew was installing another block of barriers on the cycletrack on Pennsylvania Avenue and now the overwhelming majority of blocks are protected. Whether this will result in more people using the lanes, I don't know. I would suspect so, but I mostly think that those people who don't feel comfortable biking in DC won't be persuaded by only one mostly protected avenue in a city that lacks a whole lot more. Maybe a few bike commuters who gave up Penn for other routes will find themselves drawn back. I don't know. 

Also new is the relocation of the guardhouse at Pennsylvania and 15th and E. This has opened up a more direct path to the Elipse and a theoretically faster westward path, which would be great except for the fact that E is one way east at 17th and 17th itself is mostly a disaster. It's almost as if minor piecemeal changes don't add up to overwhelming systemic change. 

The ride home saw a brief torrential downpour, then some run, then some rain, then more sun, then my biking down K Street from 7th to North Capitol in the sun, but thoroughly soaked. What do you call a street who's buildings have evolved to the point where the street no longer matches? It's like finally getting to the point that all new cars have CD players  now that digital streaming music has rendered CDs basically obsolete. Yes, they still work and yes, people still have them, but they're decidedly anachronistic. This is K Street, a former commuter highway that's now fronted by hundreds of apartments. The 2010 (?) redesign is already obsolete. Slow it down. Make it for people. 

Stopped at The Big Board on H to bring home some burgers. (This culinary decision might be shaped in some way by recently binge watching Bob's Burgers.) I was slightly more worried than usual about wiping out on streetcar tracks, but nope. After burgers, I biked 5th and then rain again, and then Mass Avenue and then home. 


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.


Rides 7/1: Subtitles are hard

Hiatus over.

They say that you never forget how to blog your bike commute- that, in many ways, it's like something else you never forget how to do (I can't recall how the phrase goes. It's something with transportation. Like riding a ____? I don't know. It escapes me at the moment. Maybe something with a moped?) and since this project has been a rather amorphously defined puddle of word vomit and since it's the internet- there are no rules, much less any good judgment, about putting written ephemera on it- it's safe to say that I could just get back into the swing of things, picking up where I left off, and continuing the very same format that has brought me such success in the field of local bike commute blogging. You don't get to be 37th most popular local bike blogger without putting in the time and effort and taking part in a series of montages with cut scenes showing me bicycling, then typing, then looking at things, then raising one finger up as if I had an idea, then typing again all while "Walking on Sunshine" or some other such musical exuberation plays in the background. You also don't get to stay the 37th most popular local bike blogger when you take a hiatus and I think it's safe to assume that I've slipped some spots in the rankings. New local bike commute blogs spring up like mushrooms everyday [like a bike blog by a guy who regales us with stories about things he carries around the city called Porteur Bellows] and the bloggers are younger, smarter and hungrier for the fame and fortune that local bike commute blogging can bring and it'd be foolish of me to think I can just get back to the top 40 without yet another musical montage, maybe one where I'm biking on a beach, and then sitting on a beach towel typing furiously, and then clutching my hair, and then dramatically holding down the delete key, then looking up at a framed picture of Czeslaw Milosz for inspiration, and then resolutely pounding on the keys once more, all under the dulcet tones of the appropriately trite "Eye of the Tiger." Also, for those of you playing along at home, that was a poorly done mushroom pun back there for which I profoundly apologize.

This is an awfully long run-up to say that I'm sorta tired tonight and I'm not sure how much more I plan to write. The morning was fine- there were broken twigs on the ground from either the tremendous storm or some late night urban forestry and I rode over those those twigs, some time with aplomb and other times without it. I forgot once again that the path by the Lincoln in closed and I was through a chain link maze to ride alongside Constitution Gardens, which is one of the sadder places in the whole of the National Mall funplex. Yes, they will revamp it. But until then, it's some ruddy paths next to an algaefied pond. Why do we even need a pond there? To remind us of the primordial swamp from which DC was hewn? For ducks? I don't know.

The ride home took me to and through AdMo and the BicycleSpace outpost newly opened there. For the past few months, BicycleSpace has been operating out of the cramped quarters of an old Burger King while they've waited on the build out for 3 new locations- AdMo, MVT and Ivy City. The two latter are still in progress, but the gigantic Adams Morgan shop is open and well worth the visit. Along with the old staples, L'Espace now stocks Bianchi and Salsas. [I think I once ordered a Bianchi con Salsa as an appetizer at an Italian restaurant.] So, if you're in the mood to buy one of those brands or just in the mood to get lost in the vastness of their new location (bring breadcrumbs), go by and check it out.

After that, I rode home down 18th to Q to 11th to Pennsylvania and then the usual way. Work continues apace (does apace mean super-slowly?) on installing the parking stops to the Pennyslvania Avenue cycletrack. Still a few more blocks to go on the east side. And on the west side. But the middle side, that's all set.

There is a new Gear Prudence. IT'S ABOUT RAGE. Believe it or not, I'm against it. I like my anger like I like my soup: slowly simmering. And with alphabet noodles. Anyway, your soup preference and rage valence may vary so feel free to excoriate me accordingly.