Ride In 1/23

Monday, and those darn Federals (I do civil war reenactment on the weekends and I can't quite seem to shake the vocab) delayed the opening bell (or however their workday starts) by 2 hours on account of a freezing rain that I'm not totally sure materialized, at least not in the city or at least not in the parts of the city that I rode through. So, while I wasn't spared having to go into work at normal time, I was spared biking through an icy mess, so I suppose I have at least something for which to be grateful. This evening (I ride I shall not be blogging on account of my getting home later than usual on account of my deciding, at least temporarily to enroll in a course, on account of my employer's rather munificent tuition remission benefits, on account of their commitment to personal and professional development of staff) should likewise be cold and maybe wet, which this morning wasn't, and perhaps I'll get to ride in iced roads anyway. I take no pleasure in this. Ice is to bicyclists as I have no idea what is to zombie joggers BECAUSE NOTHING CAN DISSUADE THEM FROM THEIR ZOMBIE JOGGING.
At the base of Capitol Hill, I rode past a gaggle of troops, officers I think, decorously laden in medals and merits. By gaggle, I mean maybe 40. Maybe #occupy has started conscription for the winter or maybe these are some prospective von Stuebens in a yet to be conceived reality show. More likely, they were attending some business with Congress, perhaps about missiles. I only suggest missiles because I have little idea of their branches and I assume missiles are a rather ecumenical concern for our men and women in uniform.
Rode behind a guy wearing shorts, tights, red socks and a bright yellow jacket. His bike also had bar mitts. When a boy adds bar mitts to his bike  it's called a bar mittsvah and it's an important rite of passage. I think he got stuck at the bike light at 15th, whereas I ditched the bike lane and turned from the right lane, getting mostly stuck behind a bus in a manner that could've been perilous, but wasn't. I was in the "no zone," out of view to the driver as he completed his turn. Strive to avoid the "no zone." (this is on an inspirational poster hanging in my office).
I'm glad I wore thick winter gloves today. I needed them, as the wet air made the temperature seem much colder than the duplicitous thermometer might have read. A thermometer is duplicitous if it has the temperature in both Fahrenheit and Celsius. The Official Wife has long tried to convince me that moisture in the air does make it seem colder and I'd like to acknowledge that I now agree with her.
I'd estimate that the late opening for the government workforce reduced the number of bike commuters by about 75%. There were still some of us out, and not a bad number either, but it was definitely fewer than normal. I wonder to what extent the weather delay, on the potential bad weather later, will have an impact on the decision of later arriving bicycle commuters.
Garbage trucks block bike lanes and there's not a damn thing to be done about it. A guy in front of me, after passing a garbage truck that blocked a bike lane, turned around and shot the driver a dirty look. I'd recommend channeling that passive-aggression elsewhere.
It's very frustrating to cycle behind a driver who doesn't know where he's going.
I saw a woman who was stuck in traffic dancing in her car to the reggae that she was blasting from her speakers. Much better than honking, I think. This was around the same time that pedestrians walking abreast nearly forced me into biking through slushy mud. Some people just don't move over. Ever. For me, see here. Oh well. I guess I could just bike in the street.
If anyone would like to supply a guest post for this evening (or any other Monday for a while), please email talesfromthesharrows@gmail.com. Remember to include your credit card information and social security number. (Just kidding! Only credit card info please!). Also, remember about Wednesday.


  1. You probably saw officiation of the "March for Life" (http://www.ncregister.com/blog/march-for-life-2012-live-blogging). I rode by the Verizon Center and they were all over the place too.
    Today I gripe about the conspiracy of the rain gods. I went down into the garage for my bike, and I came up, and they'd sprung rain on me. I would've (/could've/should've) gotten my rain pants on if I'd have half of a warning, but no! They's got a conspiracy aghinst me!

  2. Bunch of sissies. My 4th grade daughter biked to school today, without even the benefit of flinty Chicago toughness and the two hour delay it delivers.

  3. Anyone who is ANYONE in China on a bike or scooter has bike mitts. Any self-respecting ladies on bikes/scooters have forearm protectors AND bike mitts. I am neither anyone nor do I have self-respect, as my bemittened hands and single-sleeved forearms often got a look or two or derision/confusion.

    I may have posted this the first time you mentioned bike mitts. Or, I may have hallucinated that.

  4. I think I found my new must-have bike item.