Rides 12/11: laura and petrarch

For a couple of henceforth unelaborated reasons, I've been struggling with socialability for the last couple of months, but Friday Coffee Club (which is basically the gathering of juggalos sans juggalos plus bike people plus coffee) remains a fixture of my weekly calendar (as it has for the past, gosh, three (four?) years) and today, like each Friday marked another get together at the MESCO. The weather was warm, but the group divided into factions, an interior and an exterior group, and I stuck with the interior group. The coffee and chatting were, I assume, of the same high quality in both places. Of note, however, is the new advertisement postcard produced by the Swing's featuring many of the bikes that weekly gather in front.

Bikes welcome
I think this is great and for reasons exceeding simple vanity (my bike is in the picture and is now famous). I've always been a bit worried to that coffee shop found us to be a bit of a nuisance (us being, sometimes, more than two dozen cyclists crowded around tiny cafe tables), but I guess that's not a concern at all. Also, it's nice to see a local shop, perhaps unwittingly, get on board with the whole 'bikes mean business' thing. A lot of pushback on bike infrastructure comes from businesses worried about the the impact of losing street parking since there's an assumption that if drivers can't park right out in front, they won't shop and an even (in my opinion, more toxic) assumption that most people who frequent those shops arrive by car and rely on that parking. By putting bikes on the postcard, it's a repudiation of this idea and a recognition that this notion is just purely fallacious. Because for urban coffee shop a block from the White House (just blocks from the White House!) and a few blocks further from the World Bank and IMF and in the midst of the whole host of other office buildings and their office workers in the middle of downtown DC, OF COURSE their business isn't coming from people driving into town and parking right in front, so there's really worry about embracing people biking to the shop. It's just how people get there. Now, I'm sure I'm overthinking this- they probably just liked the picture because it's a nice picture and because it shows the name of the shop, but still, it's something. Anyway, thanks Swing's. It's nice to visit you. 

G Street, Virginia Avenue, K Street, Wisconsin, Massachusetts. Zero troubles or at least zero that I can remember. 

On the way home, I saw a road sign that had been struck by a car or bus or something much larger and more forceful than a person on the bike. The sign was knocked down to about a 60 degree angle and it was twisted. The sign had a picture of a bike on it and words underneath that said 'Yield to Peds.' Yeah, I hardly think this is the biggest issue here. 

Made the mistake/great decision to watch the new Danny MacAskill video before leaving work and while I wasn't so emboldened as to ride off rooftops and do backflips into the ocean, I did, quite radly, zip and zag on and off curbs as I saw fit along Mass Avenue. It was remarkably unrad, but I'm not going to let objective self-criticism spoil my deluded sense of self. 

People keep accidentally parking in bike lanes. Fire up the education campaign about what "No parking or standing" means. Just need a little more education, I bet. Just a little more. 

Sometimes a thing I think about is the "theory of traffic," which is to say where do people think traffic comes from. Like, if you asked people to explain why there's traffic and then asked some follow up questions about why the traffic exists at particular times and why not at other times and what, if anything, could be done about it, I have no idea, what they would say. To me, it seems quite obvious, but I have no idea what the average DC driver thinks. I would think that if pressed they would agree with me about what causes traffic (cars), but in my less charitable moments, I can't help but suspect that drivers think that there's some guy on a bike or some distracted walker not in front of his car (since what's in front of his car is another car) and maybe not quite in front of that next guy's car (because that's another car) but somewhere out there in front of somebody's car that is the cause of all the delays and if that bicyclist/distracted walker wasn't there, it'd all be going just fine. 

I was lucky enough to run into the running MG on the way home. This is her, leaping. 

She's got mad hops.

It was ungodly warm for December 11. I think I forgot to mention that.

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