Ride Home 5/21: Forward Poodle Move

I wanted to see how long it takes me to get home. I used Strava. I just turned it off now. Apparently, it takes me three and a half hours (I left early today). Whoops. Maybe tomorrow. I'm not normally quantitatively inclined and, frankly, I have a hard time believing that my life would be dramatically different if my bike trip takes 41 minutes or 47 minutes, but I was taken by the idea today, or at least taken by the idea at the beginning of my trip. Oh, and I'm allegedly in 12th place for climbing up the hill in the parking lot on the north side of the Capitol. I'm epic.
Having left early and traveling at a nonstandard commute time, I didn't notice a tremendous difference in the traffic volume or driver quality. Much of my trip I was thinking the following: it's utter foolishness to on traffic laws to keep you safe from people who ignore them. I think this is true for all modes of travel. Laws are only as good as the paper they're written on and nowadays, with the internet, I don't even think they're on paper at all. Though, that's not exactly what I mean or even correct. I think the point that I would be trying to make if making points were a thing that I attempted to do is that there's no substitute for observation and good judgment. Laws might help suggest behavior, but they sure don't limit it. And I'm not even bringing this up because I have an especially fraught commute or even one that's particularly dangerous, but just because it seems like good sense and when I'm struck with infrequent bouts of good sense, I like to share it with the world (aka the nine of you reading this), just like I'd be struck to share if Safeway had an especially good deal on avocados. Never pay more than a dollar for an avocado.
This commute was one of those tipping point rides where my bike switched from "everything's great" to "hmm, might want to check the tire pressure and maybe lube the chain." It's a pretty dramatic difference and I can feel it when it happens. Sometimes I wish my bike were a Pixar animation because then I could see its worried animated face and I could rely on that to make my maintenance decisions. Without anthropomorphism, it's much harder to judge.
It was muggy.
Let's just put bike lanes on 11th from Mass to Penn already. I'm sure there are no significant hurdles to this and my insistence will help materialize it. I can't say for sure it will make any difference to me as a cyclist, except maybe that a bike lane will degrade my commute or improve it in no real way since I'll continue to take the right travel lane so as to avoid the right-turning cars, buses, and drivers exiting the multitude of parking garages. But as a matter of principle, I'd still like there to be a bike lane. Symbolism matters and I'm for marking public space with as much bike symbolism as possible, even if it goes mostly unused. Bike infrastructure should be seen as an integral (and common) part of the urban fabric. The default expectation should be that there will be cyclists and that there should be a dedicated space for them to be. It shouldn't be an afterthought or an add-on.
Crane Services. That's written on some Jersey barriers by the Capitol reflecting pool. I don't know what crane services are. I think it's this and not this and definitely not services performed by cranes, because I don't even know what kinds of services cranes could do aside from sit in your mudflats and maybe eat some fish.
12th place up Capitol Hill, but first place in my own estimation of getting past the tourists and out East Capitol and then home. It's a boring last mile. Pretty, but boring.

1 comment:

  1. Um, correction...you're TIED for 12th place with the alliteratively named 3234th most popular #bikeDC twitterer. I shall have to remedy that on the morrow...