Thursday, April 26, 2012

#30daysofbiking: Day 25

Only 5 days left. Yikes, time is flying by.

Today's ride was an easy spin around Hains Point a few times. I took some notes Sharrows style so I could actually remember what I saw.

Scooter on Cycle Track, Fellow Cyclist Sympathy:

As per usual, I took the 15th St cycle track southbound. It was surprisingly empty of people. I must have missed the morning rush. It was, however, full of debris (thank you leaf & grass blowers) and potholes (DDOT-can I just report all of the cycle track as one giant pothole for potholeapalooza?). Uneventful though. That is until I got to the stretch between L & K St. Then I saw a jackass fellow citizen riding on a MOTOR scooter IN the cycle track. He even had the nerve to tell me to get out of the way (I was riding in the middle-ish due to aforementioned potholes). Are you kidding me? As I pulled up to the stop light at K, I encountered another lady cyclist who was shaking her head at the scooterist (that's a word), and we both grumped and griped about it until the light changed green, which was approximately 3 seconds later.

Hains Point Tour Buses:

The rest of my trip down to Hains Point was fairly quiet, probably due to my mad tourist-dodging skillz. Oh, I was held up for a bit when Secret Service stopped traffic due to a dignitary motorcade, but it was only for 5 minutes. No big deal.

As I rode around (and around and around) Hains Point, I couldn't help but notice there were far more buses than I've usually noticed. I don't know if it was because I was slightly later or if it was just coincidence, but it seemed packed with buses. School buses & charter buses. There weren't very many riders (or runners). Most of the time, I don't mind them. The drivers are usually patient and don't try stupid things. But this time, I got buzzed twice which was not pleasant. One was 25 feet from a stop sign! The driver actually tried to pass me (on one lane), then realized there was oncoming traffic so he tried to squeeze me into the curb. Why was he so eager to pass me? To get to the stop sign first, I suppose. How moronic. Anyway I showed him my "bird"; twice, even. By "bird", I meant the photo of the heron that I posted from my canal ride last week. Herons are neat birds. What did you think I meant?

It was sort of my "fault" I suppose because I gave him the room to do it. I should have just taken the entire lane and forced him to stay behind me for the entire 10 seconds until the stop sign. Silly me for thinking he had common sense. Anyway I saw a news crew out there, and I later saw an ABC7 tweet about a supposed "crackdown" on cyclist scofflaws there due to an increase in cyclist collisions (one of which apparently occurred that morning). I did not witness any such "crackdown" but then again, I find the easiest way to avoid getting tickets for running stop signs is to stop for them, especially in sight of any law enforcement folks. Odd how that works. Anyway I noticed that the other cyclists out there with me were also obeying the signs, and I'm not sure if that was due to the alleged "crackdown" or common sense. This had one memorable exception when a "roadie" attempted a most spectacular boneheaded move. A bus was slowly approaching the stop sign and he was behind the bus. The lane had narrowed down to one lane (and the bus took up 99% of it). Instead of simply waiting the 5 seconds for the bus to stop and then proceed, the roadie attempted to SQUEEZE by on the RIGHT, and when that became apparent it wouldn't work, he then very narrowly squeezed by on the left. Stupid, stupid, stupid. There was no way that driver could have seen him, since he was plainly in the blind spots. God help him had the bus decided to turn right. All for what? A few more seconds? I was literally holding my breath when I saw him pull that stunt. Please be careful & patient out there. It's really not worth it.

Anyway, that was it for scofflaw behavior. Everyone else got along just fine. I did see one unfortunate gal that clearly had not performed the "see thru" test on her bike shorts. Ladies & gents, check your shorts in the daylight! Unless you like that sort of thing. The dude drafting behind her sure did, I bet.

Other good news is that my back did not bother me at all. Maybe I've finally found the magical height for seat/stem.

Oh, and some ducks tried to bite my toes off.

They just walked right up to me.

Flooded sidewalk:

The river had gotten a little high after the other day's rain. Maybe that's why they felt so bold.

Sobbing Girl at 15th & E:

As I headed north on the cycle track to go back home, I noticed a female cyclist near the White House gate at 15th & E. The reason she caught my eye is because of her yellow reflective vest & panniered (also a word) bicycle. She gave the appearance of a knowledgeable & experienced cyclist. As I got closer and stopped at the red light, I could hear that she was extremely upset & basically sobbing. She looked physically okay and was talking animatedly with a secret service officer at the gatehouse. I have no idea what it was about but I did hear the phrase "almost hit"*. I figured one of two things probably happened (and this is pure conjecture)...

1. She got yelled at for being where she wasn't supposed to be. It's happened to all of us and it can be upsetting if you didn't mean any harm and were ignorant of the rules.

2. More likely, she ignored the signal light and was "almost hit" by a vehicle exiting/entering the gate and got upset when she was probably barked at for not obeying the signal. I see tons of tourists & non-tourists do this all the time. Many folks don't realize that it IS a working gate and traffic goes in & out and they just blithely stand/walk in front of it.

Either way, I felt bad for her because it is never fun being clearly upset in public and I hope she had a better day and is okay.

And that was my bike adventure for day 25. At least as far as my notes go. Anything that may have happened otherwise, I probably forgot.

*I will save my rant post about "almosts" another day. Nutshell version: if it "almost" happened, it didn't happen.

Miles: 24.2 (damn. I should have made it an even 25 miles for day 25)
Toes missing from duck maiming: none, thank goodness
Pollen, cut grass & bugs inhaled: all of them.

1 comment:

  1. Why do you assume the sobbing biker was in the wrong when almost hit? Couldn't she have been following all the rules and almost hit by a scooterist or stupid bus driver?