Ride Home 8/26

I left work about an hour later than normal (an hour and half later for a Friday) on account of having to attend a social event for new and returning students. You might not know this, but most higher ed employees spend the first weeks of the semester attending as many catered events as possible in order to eat free food and stockpile chips and sodas and even in some cases drink school-sanctioned cheap Californian reds. No, we're not proud of it, but aside from the tuition remission (!!! if you need/want to take classes), it's the closest thing we get to a fringe benefit. It comes at the cost, at least in my case, of mingling with a lot of people I didn't know (awkward) and smiling politely at the people I barely know, but that's the price of admission, I guess. Never look a gift hors( d'oeuvre) in the mouth.
So, I missed the rain and I really missed the hard rain and by the time I left it was almost actually pleasant outside. Something like autumn even, but not really.
My front tire felt slightly softer than it did when I first got in this morning. I suspect that there's something wrong with it (a busted valve?), but I'm going to break my newly formed habit of constantly squeezing my front tire every time I stop because, aside from looking odd ("them bicycle peoples always fiddlin' with them their's bicycles" say the fictitious hill people driving their fictitious jalopies down the over-wide streets of upper northwest Washington upon seeing me), it dirties my hands considerably and that's always a pain. Nonetheless, the tires rode fine and I felt much more confident on the wet downhill part of my ride. There's something about these tires that make them feel more connected to the road than my previous ones. And now, I'm officially declaring myself a Schwalbe snob.
Frequently, when I'm biking along and I pass a bicyclist riding in the other direction, I look over and give some sort of nod of recognition. Not because I know him. And not (exclusively) because I'm looking for blog fodder, but mostly just to say "yeah, I know- biking, right?" which is really a nonsense phrase, but actually encapsulates pretty much what I'm feeling. However, I always have a hard time determining whether to smile or whether to keep the stoic "I'm biking and it's serious for some reason" face. There's probably a middle-ground, something like a blank stare + nod that means "I see you and I have no particular valence other than acknowledging you" but I'm not exactly wedded to that level of ambivalence. What kind of random look from someone you don't know would you like to get? Smile? Blank stare? Scowl? 'What me, worry'? Just ignore you and let you ride by in peace?
34th Street traffic was miserable. Bikes don't cause car delays nearly as much as cars cause bike delays. Finish the lane and maybe it'll be a different story. Otherwise, once that bike lane goes away, I'm riding on the sidewalk because too many drivers, much like gaseous materials, "expand" to take up as much of the roadway as is perceived available to them. It makes it hard to get by.
I saw the WABA crew (guy) on M street. A selection of stickers, pamphlets and maps were available:
I took these ones. 

And then I saw Michael. He shouted "It's Ride From the Sharrows!" Right! I mean, almost! The two girls waiting with their bikes to cross M looked back, but apparently the reach of this blog remains limited and I don't think they had any idea what he was talking about. I guess neither of them was L.  We rode out to the middle of the bridge for an impromptu photo shoot and pleasant, as always, conversation. I really love running into people I know on the ride home.
In Roslyn, I saw a bike traffic jam.
Anything more than four is a jam, right?
Before getting home, I made sure to stop for supplies. It was successful, but I worry that the local stores won't be able to meet demand.
Hurricane+ returning students= run on bottom shelf Vodka
I wish everyone a safe weekend. I have to go into work tomorrow, but I don't think I'll be riding. Please don't do anything stupid in or near the hurricane or any other weather event that might affect your locality.

1 comment:

  1. Not me, but this mention = secret dream halfway achieved.