8/30/15

Rides 8/28: Summery

Been too long (two days) since this ride for me to recollect anything in detail. So, that's put the bottom line up top and say 'it was fine.' Now might also be a good time to mention that the blog is going on a bit of a hiatus as I find myself going back to school. As with the previous hiatus, I'm going to try to maybe remember to pop in when I have more free time and write things and I really hope that I do this with some degree of regularity, though I don't intend to make any promises.

We're coming up to the most palatable month of the year for bike commuter. September, even more than April, is a bicyclist's delight. The heat wanes, the crispiness begins and the leaves crimson, but still cling. If it doesn't rain much, then it's even more of a treat. I'm going to try to ride as much as I can whenever I can and maybe even squeeze in an ill-thought "adventure" later in the month. If that comes to pass, I might even try to write about it.

3rd Annual Boundary Stone Bike Ride- September 19

Not sure I'll be participating in this, but it sounds fun and maybe you'd like to go? History is pretty neat as is biking and there's an after-party with beer, so there's really a lot of like. Also, the #BSride is a pretty great hashtag and one I strong identify with given how mostly BS my rides are. Anyway, it's the week after the 50 States Ride and if that doesn't quench your thirst for riding the highways and byways around the District, surely this will.

3rd Annual Boundary Stone Bike Ride - September 19th

Do you like history, biking, and/or adventure? Are you trying to check off all the items on the Washingtonian's bucket list of things to do in DC? Do you just need something fun and different to do on a Saturday in September?

Whatever the case, join us for a bike ride around the oldest federal monuments, the DC boundary stones: http://www.boundarystones.org/ The whole ride (including bike back to Boundary Stone) is a metric century; each side is approximately 15 miles - join us for 1, 2, 3, or all 4!

Meet at Jones Point Park at 9am, wheels up 9:30am.

As always, the ride will be sponsored by Boundary Stone DC = ride shirts and an awesome after-party at the bar with specials on DC Brau Brewing Company beers! This year, our new partner Phoenix Bikes will be on-hand at the ride start and rest stop(s) for bike safety and maintenance checks.

Mark your calendars, register to make sure you get a tshirt and swag bag, spread the word (#BSride2015) and check the Facebook event for more details!

8/27/15

Rides 8/27: balance bean

After my adventure of my extremely loud brakes on the Cross Check the other day, I made some adjustments when I got home and then set the bike aside just in case the adjustments I made didn't actually fix anything. This is the equivalent of the fingers-in-ears-"lalala-I-can't-hear-you" method of winning an argument, but that was my approach and I stuck to it for a few days. Today, I felt myself capable to running the risk of once again encounter extraordinarily loud and embarrassing squeaky bike brakes, but, perhaps due to my intervention or perhaps due to the intervention of magical elves who took pity on my for some reason, the brakes were utterly silent and I was happy to once again by bike on the nice light fenderless summer bike and riding blissfully easily through the astonishingly wonderful summer morning.

Tires might've been a bit low. Can't have things too perfect. Might get spoiled.

There used to be a time around these parts when five or six cyclists stopped at a red light was remarkable, but that time has long passed. It's more remarkable when there's nobody. In fact, I remark 'hey, where is everyone?' and then there's no response because no one's there, but that's also ok because then no one sees me talking to myself.

Some really dashing figures cut their way through town on bicycles. Like, genuinely good looking people, dressed neat, kempt as kempt can be, all astride bicycles. Good for them. I don't think this really says anything about bicycling or bicycling in DC or fashion or whatever, but as far as mobile scenery, it's not bad.

Oh, the other day I saw the license plate POLISCI. That's pretty darn Washington.  But, what would Disco Stu say?

Up Wisconsin and Volta and 35th and New Mexico and into the parking garage where my bike rest all day before taking me home down Massachusetts Avenue where I was passed rather closely by a very young driver in a very large expensive car. I think it's funny sometimes that bicyclists are supposed to be cool with the idea of multiton high speed machine being piloted by barely-paying-attention teenagers like this is the normal state of affairs throughout the course of human history. "Let's give our teens the mechanism of death and destruction!" And then, as I do, I thought a lot of medieval Europe and kings and barons and nobles and such as and then was like 'oh yeah.'

I rode on the L Street cycletrack on the way home, as I normally do, and I also wrote about the L Street cycletrack in this week's Gear Prudence. I think my advice is sound, at least sound enough for me to following it myself, but you all (the 9 of you who read this + my mom) are all smart, savvy bikey people, so I'll rely on you to (as bombastically as possible) tell me how wrong I am, either in the comments here, in a drunk text, and written on a note wrapped around a brick thrown through my front window. You do you.

I saw and talked to Kyle (and a fellow Workcycle owner whose name I didn't catch) at 15th and Pennsylvania and then after a few more miles of bicycling I was home.

8/26/15

Rides 8/26: putting the extra i in electricity

We're well on the other side of tolerable right now, the side that's excessively pleasant and the numbers of bicyclists and runners gracing the streets shows it. The more the merrier, I say. To deny someone the opportunity to be out and about in weather like this seems utterly unconscionable. Thanks a lot, car dealerships. Why do you hate freedom?

Height: majestic grandeur

Height: light and air blocking Manhattanization

I decided that I wanted to take the long way into work today and that normally means the Capital Crescent and I'm glad that I made the choice, mostly due to the some unintended consequences and happy accidents. Firstly, I chanced upon this weird workout dance party thing:

OONTZ OONTZ OONTZ

It's called Daybreaker and it's either your idea of a dystopian nightmare or it's another thing that isn't your idea of a dystopian nightmare, but, come on, seriously. However, in addition to the dance party shenanigans, there was a gent from the DC-based eBike company Riide out front offering test rides and since I'm all 'yes, and' these days (and also because I've always wanted to try a ebike) I took the opportunity to avail myself a test ride. A few quick thoughts:




1. Ebikes are definitely a thing. I'm not entirely sure what that thing is. I don't know who exactly the target audience is, but I'm also quite confident that there's a target audience.

2. The Riide bike was very simple and intuitive. I liked that.

3. As a bike, it was mostly just fine. But it's not just a bike and the e part was really quite captivating, especially for helping get back up to speed after having the slow down some. Instant acceleration.

4. I used the e part to get up a rather steep hill to get the C&O. Effort-wise, it was all engine, so I did nothing. Speedwise, it wasn't much faster that I could've gone if I pedaled. But then again, I'm a world class grimpeur. Or is that griper?

Anyway, one of the more interesting things the company is doing is setting up a subscription service (aka a lease) where you pay a monthly fee, get the bike and a lock for 2 years and they'll take care of all the maintenance and whatnot. After two years, you turn it in and can get the new model. I think it's an interesting idea (sort of reminds me of old cell phone contracts) and I'll be curious to see if this model gains any traction. Best of luck to them in any case!

Capital Crescent the long way and then up the dirt path to Loughboro, which has too many unnecessary traffic lights. Stop signs are amazing. We should use more of them. Traffic lights are the worst and quite dumb. No one's coming, but the light stays green for another 30 seconds? Dumb.

Stopped at Bicycle Space AdMo on the way home. Bought some bar tape. Pondered buying other stuff. Saw Rachel. And Marko. Then rode down 18th Street to Q and then 11th and then Pennsylvania and eventually home. Didn't stop at the grocery store and have minor regrets about that, but I'm gonna get over it.



8/25/15

Rides 8/25: magnetism

This evening on the ride home not quite ten blocks away from my house the woman on the bike in front of me looked back over her shoulder and said to me 'you can go around' and I said 'that's ok, I'm in no rush.' And she said 'I'm just out for a ride. I'm out here trying to get rid some of today's bad technology rays.' And I'm like, but not aloud, 'yes. that's what we're all out here doing. that's why we're all out here on this ride. Just trying to get rid of some of today's bad technology rays. Bicycling is the ultimate degaussing. This lady is a genius.'

And that's pretty much all for today folks. Get rid of today's bad technology rays. Live life.