Ride In 10/19

First rule of "Biking to Work in the Rain Club" is that there's no such thing as "Biking to Work in the Rain Club." It's not a real club. It's just something that people do when it's raining and they happen to bike to work. If there was an unofficial uniform for this non-existent club, it would be the bright yellow safety jacket that I, along with many others, don for the occasion. Whether this makes us safer (or drier- mine seems rather porous) isn't quite clear.
Reverse commuting (in my case, heading uptown from roughly the White House) is sort of like a daily time trial, in that I'm riding by myself (not that I'm racing the clock. I'm quite slow. Even a grandfather clock could outpace me), whereas southbound commuters ride in bunches of five or six riders. So lonely.
You know who wasn't lonely? The kid on the back of (presumably) his father's bike, helmeted in a child seat, swiveling his head about while they rode in the rain. Everything I've ever gleaned about parenting  from trend pieces in New York Times Style section (a source that is, in almost all cases, wrong about everything) tells me that children must be coddled and protected, that we live in some namby pamby society (I think Evans-Pritchard actually studied the Namby Pamby, who might have been a tribe indigenous to Micronesia) where exposing a child to either a bicycle or rain (or god forbid both) is dangerous and inexcusably hostile to judgmental observers in wider society. But this guy stuck to his guns and was doing it anyway. Lots of child schlepping on Capitol Hill.
The Official Wife recently got a new pair of rain boots after her old pair broke and was wearing them for the first time today, a choice replicated by many of the women I saw on the streets of Washington this morning. Men, it appeared, wore their regular office shoes. I don't know if many of the women planned to change shoes at the office (that's a thing, right?) or just wear their rain boots all day (is this a thing?), but long story short...I don't know where I'm actually going with this. Gender inequality and patriarchy? Slippery street conditions for walking in high heels? Lack of good rain boot options for men? Treat this paragraph like a Choose Your Own Adventure and work your way out of it with the opinion of your own choice because I'm certainly not going to be able resolve this half-thought coherently.
I think that the Redskins QB controversy is weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of area drivers. How else can you explain all of the distracted, poor driving going on? Saw the driver of a white SUV almost run over a woman midway through the crosswalk without so much as slowing down. And the honking! It was everywhere and worse than usual. The collateral damage of a patented Rex Grossman suckfest ranges much wider than the confines of FedEx. (Or another theory: it was the same as every other day)
Someone out there might actually know the answer to this (or be able to look it up) so I'm going to ask: what were the desired specs/qualifications for the bikes purchased by the Capitol Police? They (the bikes, not the officers) don't look especially sturdy. And is there a Buy America provision? (or is that always the case with federal purchasing?)
Joggers in the rain. Zombies.
Is there something magical about bike lanes that attract fallen leaves? Like a special kind of paint, maybe? Seems to be more leaves in bike lanes than areas where lanes could be but aren't. Just be careful riding near/around wet leaves. It's that time of the year.


  1. Women change into their shoes at the office because its more convenient and comfortable. Plus, as a bike commuter, its just easier than schlepping them back and forth every day. I just took inventory of my shoe box at work: 2 pairs of heels, loafers, flats, winter boots, rain boots, hiking boots, boots w/heels, flat boots, running sneakers.

  2. OMG, CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE!!! That made my day.
    I was beaming the whole way in on what was my first bike commute in quite awhile. Heading down 14th street I only encountered one other rider today, where usually there are scores.

  3. That's an impressive shoe box. My work shoe collection only includes one pair of brown shoes and one pair of black shoes.

  4. My suspicion is that rain reduces CaBi ridership greater on average than people riding their own bikes. But that's just a theory.