Things I Notice From My Bike

During my short weekday commutes, there are plenty of things to notice and think about. Today I saw the guy who must be on a schedule much like mine, since several times now he and I have arrived at about the same time of morning at the part of Pennsylvania Ave that’s near the White House. He looks utterly comfortable riding his red folder maybe a Dahon) in T-shirt, shorts, and Vibram 5-finger shoes. An unusual cycling footwear choice!

During my DC commutes, plenty of people zoom by me on CaBi’s. I am impressed by their speed on those heavy bikes. That takes some strength! Then again,plenty of people pass me on all kinds of bikes. I am pretty slow and extra so in the city. I like to think I am giving myself time to react and avoid things like being doored. And I stop for red lights. Usually. I can always overtake a pedi-cab though, since the cyclist is handicapped by hauling 200-300 lbs of cargo. Talk about being strong, I can’t imagine how pedi-cab drivers (are they drivers?) can haul fully grown people around like that.

One evening last week, at the height of rush hour, a pedi-cab driver let his customers out right in the middle of the 15th St cycletrack near the White House. This is like stopping your cab in the middle of the road! Bike traffic halted as the customers lingered in the track, paying their fares and chatting with him. I expected cyclists to start ringing their bells in frustration. But we all just waited, more or less politely.

While there’s plenty of blogging and tweeting about drivers who park in bike lanes (damn them!) once in a while there is a pleasant surprise.  One morning I spotted a Coca Cola delivery truck parked in the car lane. It was early, there was an unblocked car lane to the left of the truck and an open bike lane to the right of it. Now that was nice.

After more than a week of high temperatures paired with equally high humidity, we had such pleasant weather on Thursday. It was in the 60’s in the  morning, cutting down the number of wardrobe changes and showers needed tremendously.

Lately I’ve been riding 15th to Pennsylvania in the evening, and then taking Constitution to Louisiana. It takes a bit longer but you get that great view of the Capitol as you ride along. It’s a great way to end the workday.


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