Friday, February 20, 2009

May the wind be always at your back

Necessity is the mother of... getting on my bike. I'd taken out the recycling yesterday and decided it was too blustery. The day before was too cold and drizzly. This morning found me peering out the window at the leaves and plastic bags blowing past. Sheldon and I exchanged glances -- inasmuch as an inanimate object can look disapproving, Sheldon was pretty convincing (in fact, I believe he is more communicative than the last guy I dated) -- and I knew I could not put off a bike ride for a third consecutive day. Okay, time to bundle up.

While all the layers made me feel a bit like the kid brother in A Christmas Story -- "I can't move my arms!" -- I think the added padding helped with my confidence. Especially when I almost got run off the road a few times. I tried to map out a route that had bike lanes before heading out, but I couldn't find a path from Columbia Heights to Union Station (where I had to run some errands) that didn't involve other streets, too. So I had to ride in traffic. Not my favorite.

Now, conventional wisdom says that when there are no bike lanes, the safest place to ride is in the middle of the traffic lane. I swear at least four cars (mostly on New York Avenue -- admittedly not the wisest choice for my return route) swerved into my lane in spite of there not being anyone in the left lane. Grrr. Biking is beginning to challenge my belief that people are intrinsically good. Maybe I should amend that to "people are intrinsically good when they're not behind the wheel." At one point I had to surrender and head onto the sidewalk for a few blocks. Still, it was a nice ride up 7th Street a bit further on, where there was a bike lane, and when at last the wind was at my back.


  1. When I was riding much more often this summer back and forth to work, I came up with multiple categories of the types of drivers. Drivers who had never been on a bike, drivers who were also bike riders, drivers who were scared of bike riders, drivers who hated bike riders, drivers whose cheating ex-boyfriend was a bike rider, etc. I had to use some serious buddhist thinking sometimes not to just wallow in anger. But then the adrenaline would get going again and I'd sail down a hill and it would all seem worth it. And props to you for getting out there in the wind. I've been traumatized just by walking out there. :) p.s. I'm planning to make cookies again this weekend for a bake sale, and I'll write down the recipe as I go.

  2. Biking. I'm so jealous. These icy roads have kept my bike in the garage 'til spring. How'd the monster cookies turn out? Hope you liked them as much as we do. Someone told me that the cookie monster is now the veggie monster?? I get the idea of encouraging kids to eat veggies, but this troubles me. I don't know if I'll get to sleep tonight.

  3. Hi, Beth. There was a bit of a mishap with the cookies. Apparently steel cut oats do not substitute well in this recipe... I had to comfort myself with making a few curries afterward. You know, bolster the confidence. I think the crumbled cookies may work out as the base for a crust, though.

  4. The recently published book, Traffic had some interesting insights into car/bicycle relationships. One of which was that the more room you take (as a cyclist) for yourself on the road the less margin a car will give you! Amazing.


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