Monday, November 24, 2014

Coffeeneuring 2014

Coffeeneuring turns four this year. Not coincidentally, this is the fourth year I've participated in this event. It's not a difficult challenge: ride a bike more than two miles round trip to get coffee (or another seasonal beverage), seven times over a seven week span. Also, document the rides in photos and words.

One change from previous years is that I didn't do it alone. Where in the past I tried to fit these rides between other life events, or occasionally sought company from people who were not attempting the series, this year I rode all seven rides with a single partner. I can attribute this change to several factors, but the biggest is that this year Jean and I have a tandem bike. So, this is a team entry to commemorate our team effort.

The biggest change though is that I (we) actually completed the challenge! The other years I've participated, somewhere between life and other things I either didn't make enough trips or didn't ride far enough - or more regularly, didn't fully document the outing.

Thus I present my first official, complete, and thorough Coffeeneuring report - after the jump.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Mugging, 2006

I chased down a mugger once. I heard a yell from across the street. Looked out and saw two kids pulling a bag from a woman.

I saw them run in two different directions. I jumped into a pair of shoes and rushed outside to follow one at a distance.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Last class

Interesting (meaning far more sucky than necessary) commute in this morning. Glad to see the six plus months of pavement work on the east side of the Capitol has wrapped up and we can make full use of the path. Frustrated that all sorts of temporary barriers are up in strange places in preparation for the 4th of July concert and I probably can't go the way I usually do to get where I usually go.

Completely without surprise to find the DDOT potato wagon pre-staged for the concert and parked in an unregulated area not quite off the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cool bike hunting

Six years ago I made an impulse buy, to give my sentimental favorite beater frankenbike a rest from daily commuting. The new bike was muscular but sleek and sexy, good with a rack and fenders, good stripped down to bare wheels, good in sloppy weather, good on perfect days: it was good.

Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra

But it had a flaw disguised as a feature, a super-proprietary front end that hardly any shop can maintain. This year's cold and snowy weather fully revealed that flaw, and the bike that was meant to carry me wherever I wanted to go whenever I wanted to go there turned into one I dreaded HAVING to ride. Especially on cold days, when a few minutes into every ride the suspension would collapse and the handlebars would drop 3" - more than enough to drastically change the handling. It had to go. I had to get a new bike.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ride Report: 3/3/2014

Started near Capitol Hill as the next-to-last snow trailed off. My brakes quickly became useless in addition to being pointless as the pads froze and packed with ice, but there was almost no traffic to stop for so I continued. Skidded down the hill on Constitution, then cut first second third tracks in the Pa Ave bike lanes, where I spotted DC's finest parked in the bike lane for the security of Israel or something. Huffed my way up 15th St, then across the Lafayette Park plaza to continue on Pa Ave all the way to Georgetown, spotting just one other rider out on an orange bike - we exchanged "have fun" and "be careful" pleasantries. I skidded out just a little in icy car tracks on M just past Wisconsin and nearly got run over by a taxi-van who seemed impatient to get nowhere.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Equity", defined.

  1. 1.
    the quality of being fair and impartial.
    "equity of treatment"
    synonyms:fairness, justness, impartiality, egalitarianism;

Hashtag en-bee-ess-fourteen.

Bikes I have known

Words about my current and former bikes

This is a glossary of the language of bicycles I've had stretching back to the second bike I ever bought on purpose. Before that my parents provided my bikes, usually as a result of lucky purchases from farm, estate, surplus, and police auctions. It's intentionally a bit coy because it's not about the makes and models as much as it is about the experiences they've given me.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow problems...

Some days it feels like DC is the best city on earth to bike around - but it doesn't feel like that every day.
“The standard bike lanes…get plowed with the rest of the street, the majority of bike lanes are already already taken care of”
DDOT Bicycle Program Specialist Mike Goodno believes that to be true. He's quoted here from a recent WNEW radio interview examining DDOT and DC-DPW's performance at clearing DC's bike lanes, cycletracks, and other paths.

His position isn't borne out by what's plainly visible to anyone who cares to look.