Ride In 11/30: Bertrand Russell and Bill Russell

It's getting to be more likely than not that I'm going to run into someone I know on one of my bike commutes. This morning, it was once again Adam and we rode together on the not yet fully repainted Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track for a couple of blocks before he turned up 4th or 5th street, I don't recall which. Thereafter, I rode mostly by myself, with the exception of the time I almost rode into the guy who was standing in the middle of the lane, waiting to cross the street against the light. I fumbled in my thick winter gloves and I couldn't get my ding on. Panicked, and somehow made mute, I swerved to the other side of the bike lane, avoiding this most mundane of collisions, a crash I very much didn't need on account of still feeling the effects of my crash earlier this week. I'm a bit sore, mostly in the lower back, but it's nothing major. It hasn't stopped me from biking, so it can't be that bad.

The stoplight by the entrance to the Reagan building has been rotated and now the arrows make no sense. I'm worried that due to CONFUSION drivers will turn right and drive across Freedom Plaza, in spite of the lack of road there.

Right arrow green

Speaking of confusion, my radio interview aired today. I sounded confused. Sort of. I remain rather positive about the L Street Cycle Track because, realistically, the vast majority of users (cyclists, drivers, pedestrians, llamas- I just assume llamas used L Street. Or maybe they use LL Street) seem to have no problem negotiating the bike lane and certainly any problems related to CONFUSION will abate over time as people get used to the lanes. There will be a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting  for the cycle track on Tuesday. Thereafter, I would suggest that any reference to CONFUSION should be excised from any coverage of the bike lane.

There is inauguration-related construction going on in front of the White House and it's creating something of a hazard for the many bicyclists and pedestrians who use the route to get from 15th to 17th street. I'm glad that they're keeping the area open (closed roads are the worst), but beware the backhoes.

Coffee coffee coffee coffee coffee and afterward, I rode G Street until Virginia Avenue. G Street is a remarkably pleasant street and it's unfortunately marred by housing the entrances to many highly secure parking garages (mostly associated with the World Bank and IMF) and this creates car back-ups and this impacts bike commuters, like me and the guy on the road bike who rode in front of me from 18th to 20th. G Street is a one-way street through FoBo (I'm trolling) and though I think it's supposed to have two lanes for car traffic, with the car parking on both sides of the street, it really seems too narrow for that. Traffic doesn't move that fast, so it's a pretty good street for biking. It also dumps you out on Virginia Avenue, which connects to the Rock Creek trail, so that seems vaguely convenient for some people.

I rode past the Watergate Exxon this morning. RIP.

K Street to Wisconsin to a burning sensation in my legs and lungs and a recurring discomfort in the small of my back where the glassware holding my lunch dug with each lateral sway caused by my out-of-seat stomping on the pedals. I turned left at M and right at 33rd. I have really positive connotations of Georgetown in late fall and early winter (not totally sure why) and I really recommend that you take some time during the cold weather to ride the bike lane on 33rd street through the really charming residential neighborhood. The hill is as gentle as the Georgetown gentry is genteel. Make of that what you will.

At Q, I rode 35th and then to R and then to 36th to T to 37th. 37th was beset by at least two assholes, that I saw at least, who saw the need to speed their cars and rev their engines and drive maniacally. It made me kind of sad.

The wheezing portion of my trip began in earnest on Tunlaw and continued through the steady climb on New Mexico. To say that I was as slow as molasses is to insult molasses. It had been a while since I'd taken New Mexico to work and I had forgotten how much this hill disagrees with me (The hill and I will engage in a series of debates on the Kansas-Nebraska Act). I made it, but I wasn't in the best of ways when I got to the top. But I much prefer ruddy cheeked and runny nosed (Runnymede?) winter biking arrivals to the sopping sweaty summer ones. Or at least that's what I'll be telling myself for the next few months until it gets warm again.


  1. 37th is yucky. It seems all those stop signs would calm traffic but everyone just races indignantly from one to the next.
    Insulting molasses. Heh.

  2. If I were more outgoing, I would have gotten the name of your doppleganger on the green folder with whom I waited for some construction equipment in front of the White House. Similar bike, similar clothing style, not entirely different build and body language, though I think he's taller than you.

    Regardless, I think this is just a week of feeling tired on a bike. At least, that's what I'm chalking it up to. The hill on 15th was really bad today, though the gallon of milk and six pack (Bell's Two Hearted for the birthday girl from Michigan) in my backpack surely didn't help.