1/24/13

Ride Home-ish 1/23 and Ride In 1/24: Dodsworth

Last night I had a social engagement at a synagogue and I didn't bike the whole way home. Rather I bike to Bicycle Space, which is on 7th Street. To get there, I rode down Massachusetts (cold wind makes eyes go cry) and then took 21st street (not wide enough for two lanes, but wide enough for one car lane and one two-way cycle track can I get an amen?) to L Street Cycle Track (where the opprobrium for bad driving is thick like molasses and comes from other drivers as much as it does from cyclists in a way that is somehow reassuring, like a cup of warm tea) to 11th street to M Street, which runs under the convention center because the convention center, like my speech pattern sometimes, but not now, is stilted, to 7th Street for a block and a half and then I locked my bike up out front where it stayed for a while until I unlocked it and locked it in front of another building where it stayed until I unlocked it walked it down the street where I locked it across the street from a Burmese restaurant before unlocking it once more before walking it down and then into the bowels of the cavernous system of the Washington MATA (the transportation that is either the namesake of the Chelsea midfielder or the third person singular conjugation of the Spanish verb to kill) where I had a minor meltdown because I am 1) not especially comfortable in the world of the mole people who take underground trains and 2) hate being the guy carrying his bike through Mole Land and causing all sorts of "problems" for people who are minimally inconvenienced by my having a full-sized (not fun-sized, though still fum) bicycle with me on escalators and in train cars. But then, after a change, we got back to our home stop, walked three blocks through Armory West (the fake name I've given my neighborhood) and then put my bike to sleep with lullabies and warm milk.

This morning there was snow. I used this as an excuse to leave the house later than normal. The roads were, for the most part, passable. The bike lanes were, for the most part, passable. For the parts where they weren't passable, I didn't ride in them. Quid Pro Quo, which is Latin for "I'm not riding in the bike lane if it's covered in snow." I rode down East Capitol behind Scott, who was on his Xtracycle, which has tires that are at least 9 inches in diameter. I envied them. I also didn't say hello, which makes me rude. I don't think he recognized me behind my scarf, which covered most of my face. I looked like a very twee bandit.

I decided to ride up 11th Street, which was fine and then R Street, which for patches was fine, but for other patches was less than fine, or at least snowy. There was another guy on his bike in front of me and he decided that he would ride through the snow, so sometimes I rode through the snow behind him and other times, I rode in road where there was less snow and more dirt and shit. You will notice that there are no pictures of the road conditions because it was simply too cold to take my gloves off to operate my camera, which also happens to be one of those old-timey cameras where everyone needed to stay still for 15 minutes. Frankly, I'd probably be easier to do a silhouette of the roads, though that would just require me to cut away all of the black paper, leaving just the white or cut away none of the white, obscuring the black (I don't know which way silhouettes work).

I tried to ride on the sidewalk up Massachusetts, but didn't for very long on account of the snow. I took the lane on the street and I kept my head down and tried not to think too much about the drivers whirring past. I did think, however, about a variety of topics that include things about which I have little recollection, like forgotten memories and people I never knew. Nah, just kidding. I thought about bike stuff and jerk drivers and the usual nonsense that you occupy yourself with when you're alone on the road and just want to get to work, which I did safely and soundly and in less than 50 minutes from the time I left home, which seemed like a fine amount of time to spend on snowy, salty, dirty roads. My bike, a magnet for snow and salt and dirt, I tried to clean when I locked it up, but soon gave up when I realized I wouldn't even bother doing an even marginally half-way decent job with my half-hearted attempts. It's just going to get dirty again and that's probably a metaphor for man's fallen nature or nature's fallen snow or the nature of the Olympia Snowe, from snowy Maine, or all or none of those things. Deep.

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