Rides 8/4: Unsurprising Cakes

Yesterday didn't feel like a Monday and that's because it wasn't, so in that regard, all's right with the world. The morning was another one where I swung by the First Street Cycletrack, which was still not yet fully installed, in that it was missing curbs and that fact meant that it remained the site of truck parking. As I type, curbs are being installed and so things are moving along and tomorrow (Thursday) when I ride to work again (for I am not going in today), then there will hopefully be more pictures of a more fully completed cycletrack, one free of parked trucks.

Sometimes you look up and you see that all 10 cyclists around you are women. This isn't totally remarkable- DC is not a male penal colony and does, in fact, serve as both and workplace to all genders, but the quite gloss on 'biking diversity' is that that statistics tell us that there isn't much and that it's a commute mode dominated by men. And those statistics might be right, but they're not right everywhere and I think depending on where you count, you see something much closer to a gender balance. This seems to be especially truer within the city itself and the imbalance seems to tick up the farther out you go. On the CCT, for example. I see far more men than women. This is all very interesting because other conventional wisdom tells us that women prize safety (though this reeks a little of patriarchal notions of female delicateness) and a trail separated from cars would seem like a pretty safe place to cycle (though, biking through the woods on an unlighted trail might pose other safety perception risk). Anyway, the point that I'm failing to make is that 1) I'm not totally sure how true the statistics are and 2) I'm not sure there's any monocausal reason why people of whatever gender do or don't cycle. So, great paragraph. Definitely didn't waste anyone's time. Good job.

It's been very hot, but I've been riding with a messenger bag and it hasn't been so bad. If you're going to sweat a lot anyway, the bag doesn't seem to make anything worse. I've got a Chrome one. It's rather quite nice and capacious. Fits a gallon on milk easy. Probably would fit a gallon of other liquids too.

I took L to 11th home and followed 11th to Pennsylvania and then rode up the hill, but on the House side, which is the less popular side for bike commuters. I watched a guy on East Capitol weave between some other bike commuters, which seemed mostly impolite and needless, but it was more annoying than dangerous. But annoying is still annoying. But it's only annoying.


  1. I always see a lot of women bike commuters too. Maybe that's "in the city" and fewer women do longer commutes from the burbs?

    Hooray for barriers! Maybe this town actually will move forward and improve for all commute types.

  2. I see quite a few female cyclists on the Custis in Arlington. Still probably a minority, but a reasonable one.

    Oh, regarding trucks in bike lanes, this morning I saw three trucks bunched together on G Street taking up almost the full block (not sure which block, but near Metro Center). I didn't feel singled out though because they were also taking almost the entire eastbound travel lane, such that to get around, the SUV in front of me had to go all the way to the light in the oncoming traffic lane. (I was happy to use him as a screen from the oncoming traffic.) I've never seen this before, but I'm sure they had a very good reason for being there, like that they are more important than car and cycling commuters.

  3. I have heard the 26 percent of DC area cyclists are women. I doubted this for the same reasons you would. So I decided to take a count. For 2 days I counted DC-bound cyclists in the evening on the Mount Vernon Trail. I counted until I reached 100 cyclists each day. Overall average: 25 percent. I was truly surprised. Like you, I saw clusters of women cyclists, say five or six in a row, typically followed by a dearth of women. I may try this again soon.