Ride In 1/22: The Transparent Trap

It was very cold this morning. Colder than it's been all winter. Colder than I wanted it to be. Very, very cold. I wore many, many layers of clothes to combat this cold, but it didn't really work, especially towards the tips of my toes. While the rest of my was warm, the toe cold was deeply unpleasant. Even recalling it now is unpleasant, though my toes are currently somewhat thawed. Managing the cold is in many ways more about managing expectations (thinking that it will be thousands of degree colder that it actually is, so reality in comparison feels vastly less frigid) than it is about the actual clothes. 90% of winter biking commuter is 100% mental, so never said Yogi Berra. 

I'm amazed that I'm still shocked by the disdain that some people display to those sharing the road with them. You would think I'd be used to it by now. A driver doesn't yield to a guy crossing the street by Lincoln Park. The car get stuck behind another one and idles on top of the crosswalk markings. The guy crosses the street behind the car, then flips off the offending driver, casually. The driver returns fire, flipping off the guy crossing the street. Guys, it's like 8 AM on the first day back from work after a long weekend. Such negativity really has a way of polluting my own attitude and that might have been why I said, mostly under my breath, "No turns, you fuck" to a guy who made a left across the bike lane on Pennsylvania and 14th. Or maybe I would've done that anyway. Maybe I shouldn't have been upset and maybe he just missed the sign that told him that it was illegal to turn left. But, here's the thing about my being hard on drivers: I have to assume that they're being willfully negligent because the alternative, that they're just not paying any attention whatsoever, is vastly more unpalatable idea that scares me far, far worse. And on that happy note, I will suddenly segue with a picture of a Canadian toy poodle wearing pearls and a straw hat

The now famous Pennsylvania Avenue cycle track is back to normal, with the exception of the blue stripe, which remains, and piles of asphalt, hastily removed to reinstall the traffic lights. 

I like the blue stripe
For some of the ride, I rode behind a woman on a beautiful Pashley and for other parts of the ride, I rode behind a man in a cycling jersey that had on it images of sunflowers. There was a lot of bike traffic today and far more than I expected given the temperatures. A cadre of four of us set off from the White House plaza and rode down the western side of Pennsylvania Avenue, where at least two of us turned right at 20th and then I did the jerk thing where I stopped in the middle of the L Street Cycle Track to take a picture of a delivery driver who did the jerk thing of parking in it. 

The President and the Vice President were attending something at the National Cathedral this morning and police vehicles were gathering to take their places along Massachusetts Avenue. I was well at work before the motorcade passed. I'm amazed at the unwillingness of some drivers to make way for emergency vehicles, though I am at least a little happy that they don't take immediate evasive action to pull over and crash into me. I think there's a probably happy medium. 

I arrived at work very cold, as previously mentioned. I don't think I'm looking forward to revisiting the cold on my ride home, but at least I'll better be able to manage expectations. Long weekends are rough. 


  1. I'm having a recurring dream where I am suddenly capable of effortlessly pulling a wheelie on my bike.

    Can you tell me what this means?

  2. I love that you classify motorcades as "emergency vehicles". Perhaps you're newer to the city and less jaded. As far as I'm concerned, whatever the ballot color of the current monarch, pushing people out of your way for safety concerns is hardly an "emergency".