Monday, August 29, 2011

American Portrait

....ironically, does not begin with a photograph....

Picture it...I was damn near doored on the way to work today. And...? Yes, yes, on the left. I was almost doored from the LEFT! I was not on the sidewalk and the car was not parked.

"What the FUCK is wrong with you!? You have a brand new baby in the car and you're slamming the fucking door?!!"

I could hear the screaming from the front seat over the door slamming in the back. Oh good, the pill is still regulated, drinking age restricted, and a license still required to operate a motor vehicle--babies, still popping out-- no responsibility necessary.

They do suggest a Mozart concerto for zygotes marinating in the womb. I'm not sure about post-popping, but I'm guessing door slamming is not so soothing to the cooing newborn. But really Mom, let's talk about your relationship with the shouting, cursing asshole in the front seat.

The beauty of the bike is it gives me a personal tour of Americana up close and personal like. And I hate to burst your bubble, but it's not so Norman Rockwellesque. Sometimes...

A few miles away, we have a puppy story, and who doesn't love puppies? In one corner we have Senor Perro Owner, rein in one hand, rein in the other. Two dogs stretched in either direction.

In the other a mirror image of Mademoiselle Chien Owner, leash hand, leash hand, dogs...intermersed and betwixt t'other...


Sunday, August 28, 2011

One Less Cop

I felt like the winner of the Tour de Crescent, except no one shoved a flute of Honest Tea in my hand at the end. The escort--not exactly necessary

I don't mean to be disrespectful, really I'd rather see cops on the trail than not, but don't they have bikes for that? Motor or pedal I'm not overly picky. I just don't feel like we should have to rally for One Less Car on the bike path!

And here I was worried about the deterioration of the plastic on their bike helmets when they leave them in their stifling hot cars. I had no idea they were that 'for show'. FYI, if you're looking for downed're going the wrong way!

But where were you 'bout a half mile back? Air Rights Tunnel. You've heard of it...can't so much see it, but could have used an escort there. Yeah, it's a wee bit dark.

I got to be someone's Hero...okay, maybe just 'Ro (it wasn't that great). Lights can come in handy, especially after Irene. "we'll just ride behind you".

Friday, August 26, 2011

BreEZy Pass

Yo G'burg Ear Up! There's a new trail in town and it's currently a critical path to nowhere. And it's up to you to make a difference.

I'm not entirely sure how it happened but a multi-use trail sprung up alongside the ICC. Citing financial concerns last I heard it wouldn't be built. But it's there now!

Unfortunately Gaithersburg doesn't care. It's no Rockville. If LAB offered a Bike Friendly Community-COAL award they'd be up for it.

Okay, it's not really that bad, but it's close. There's no noticeable bike routes, the sparsely lain bike lanes are about a foot and half in width, and the cops are pulling over cyclists for riding on the sidewalk. Apparently it's illegal in their city limits.

The ICC is like Gold in a down economy...for drivers and cyclists. It's a flat, straight, uncongested shot from GA to the Pike. As a driver you need an EZ pass to use it, and I can ride it for free. The irony of that is, I would likely pay to use it, it's that cool. But G'burg's gonna have to lane up first!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Business Casual

Really more business than casual. AND kicking my ass! I ain't too proud to put it out there. This chick in 9 to 5 wear and heels cleaned my clock on the CCT.

That's nothing. On the way home I was...going to say neck and neck with a caterpillar...until I considered, "does a caterpillar have a neck??" No matter, I was...S...L...O....W......

Here's the good news: the light at East West? Fixed. No need to push the button anymore, we are back on a regular cycle. Yeehaa. And the light at Georgia? It's unconfirmed but I believe it may have been adjusted so that a regular human being can cross the street safe and legal.

So go ahead lead the way in your heels and chenille...nothing can brake my happy cycle.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Gary Gnu Would Have Done It

What a long and interesting day. It begs an answer to the question: if the earth shakes while you are riding a bamboo frame, would you even feel it? And sadly, I may never know.

I was picking mail up off the floor when it started. It sounded like an attic fan rumbling to a start. I didn't feel a thing. I heard someone saying, "what was that?!?" as I walked around the corner to find my boss straddling the door jamb mumbling something about an earthquake. I heard it in stereo as someone else echoed the sentiment.

And then I definitely felt it as things around me fell to the floor. I still didn't feel the urge to bum rush the doorway, but it seemed important so I did. I would have rather been outside. But I'm afraid I would have missed the whole thing.

What was my very first comment? Really? You have to ask? Something about a night of suck I'm sure. I wonder what it's like to have something like this affect you and just think about YOU. Instead of, I have to get to work, or oh god, I'll be stuck in audio all night, or guess I'm having pizza for dinner....

I have to admit approaching the station and finding a congregation on the curb did make me slightly pause before driving up to the garage door to gain entry. Did I really want to drive into an underground parking garage when the majority of Wisconsin Avenue was standing outside and a 5.8 earthquake just rumbled up the east coast 15 minutes ago? Is this really wise? Necessary, maybe not wise.

I'm finally home, after 7 full hours of news. And I use that term generously. The finials were still damaged at 11:42pm, no new news there. My neighbor described the scene like this: I thought I was having a seizure. Then I looked around and realized everything was having a seizure, it wasn't me.

Parker is fine. Glad to have me home. The earthquake damage is minimal. Not unlike the white chairs on the internet. You see that stick lying on the ground in the picture above? Bottom right. It used to be on the 1x4 above the fireplace. It fell down. That is my earthquake disaster. It might not make the news.

And thank you #Washcycle for finally posting the CaBi map I've been trying to see that all night! No one thought it was a big enough story. That also didn't make the news. Even after 7 hours! I personally think it should have.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Deer Bike Blog:

They are hard to see here, but it's a cute little family. On the right we have momma and two tiny twins. On the left three more little leapers.

In a car I may not have seen any of them. I found the ones on the right after turning around to watch the ones on the left. I've been watching them grow over the weeks.

They are so cute and trusting. The wee baby came right up to me the other night like a little puppy. It really was knee high to a grass hopper. Or 2/3 of a bike wheel, whichever is taller. That's about 460c.

Soon they will become toddlers and then teens. And they really do. Once the boys start getting their racks...teehee...isn't that interesting and somehow when the boys start developing their racks, they act a little like inner city thugs or maybe richie burbies trying to be inner city thugs.

No, they aren't flash mobbing the local denim store...they usually do that alone and although they do a ton of damage they don't actually steal anything. But the boys all circle up and take turns clashing antlers. It's the most amazing sound. A cool, foggy night, with the echo of deer testosterone bouncing off the trees.

Yeah, it's awful riding in DC after dark...

Monday, August 15, 2011

Racer Profiling

So I hear they are pulling cyclists over for running stop signs now. Deliberately staking out areas in hopes of catching the two-wheeled offenders.

Well, I hope it's not just the two-wheelers. That would be somewhat unfair. What about the four-wheeled infractions? I hope they don't give them a thumbs up and drive's been known to happen when drivers commit wrongs.

I know, I know, NONE of them do it. Drivers don't run stop signs or red lights. If they did the county might start installing cameras to try and catch them.

Take case MD-8DDK11. She failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign and almost killed me in the process. I think she may have been distracted by the hands on cell phone call she was engrossed in.

Yes, yes, she very well may have employed her turn signal-- I hadn't noticed as I rode for my life around her front bumper (perhaps this is an egregious exaggeration, but makes for a better blog). Regardless, she did indeed finally yield right-of-way.

Technically, I suppose she did stop near the Stop Sign. Does that count?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thread Count

I was watching Hoarders last night, you know the show where they turn peoples' homes inside out and then the family goes trailer park on each other over the trash in the yard...

Well, I've only successfully gotten through a handful of episodes. My neighbor tried to turn me on to this show over a year ago and I just can't make it through the whole thing. I have the urge to purge before segment three.

So last night I went upstairs and emptied every drawer, closet, crate, and nook and cranny of cloth I could find and dumped it in the middle of the downstairs floor. I once heard, I think Teri Hatcher, say she has her family clean by removing everything from the room and then taking it back piece by piece.

This is genius! That way you have to WANT to put it back. It doesn't work on Hoarders, but, although that pile overwhelms me, I'm far from landing a spot on TV. It just might work.

Reminds me of a time when I was about 9 years old and my dad got tired of telling me to clean up my playroom. What? That's the play at home version of the trash compactor scene in Star Wars. Go on, get in the closet and push on the walls, now scream out like Chewbacca...

So he took a HUGE snow shovel and relocated everything in the room to the basement. Then he informed me when trash pick up was. I've been good about it since, except for clothes. And maybe bikes.

And the clothes have always been a problem. It might be inherited. But that's not an excuse. My goal is to wear it or pare it. The problem is the wardrobe lifestyles...there's the punk ass biker, emergency business, I work in an ice box, angry lesbian, single white female, runner, climber, sexy fiancee..."I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint...."

A little told me girls need clothes. We like variety she said. Cute. This coming from a girl with 27 pairs of cargo khakis (that I can SEE). But look, the grease marks on these look like a monkey, see there's the head.... ( this is where you laugh at yourself)

So, I embraced today. Who I am right now. I kept the punk ass, emergency biz, ice box variety and donated the rest. Well....almost. My inner angry lesbian still pokes out every now and again. Next up....SHOES!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Smells Like Lemon

There I was in the backyard just trying to clean my bike, armed with nothin' but a rag and a toothbrush, when it hit me. I mean really hit me. That's right, my chain exploded!

Okay, okay, it came unlinked, she said, as if it were a delicate bracelet with a tricky clasp. It was the chain of a bicycle. I'm just saying.

The unyielding force between you and successfully changing that rear tire yourself. The lifeline between pedals and wheel. The mechanical beast that withstands the constant beating of street and feet...

And I singlehandedly disarmed it with....a soft bristled toothbrush? Have you tried removing a chain? I mean it's not difficult but it does require a specialized tool.

Some shops will add a special link just to forego using a chain tool. But even they, are hard to remove. I am less than successful with the removal of a Quick Link, even after watching the e-How video.

Turns out I was using the wrong tool. It's not Park or Craftsman or even Black and Decker. Oral-B soft. Dentist approved.

I wonder if it works on hubs? Because mine currently feels like someone dumped a box of Grape Nuts in it. Crunchy hub, dismembered chain, loose spoke....maybe it's time for a new mechanic? Then again, this from a girl who cleans her bike with Pledge.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

TIny Rocks

A while back, in honor of 7/11 day, the crew got Slurpees. Strike that, the TALENT got Slurpees, and I gotta say they didn't deserve them.

An unmentioned Talent, Fostered *wink* the idea that Slurpees were for kids. She said something like, when's the last time you had one of it had been ages!

Oh, okay. You know what, just because it comes in a fancy cactus glass with cheesy fruit on top, and spiked with a little courage, don't mean it ain't a Slurpee. You can take it out of the paper cup and remove the plastic hat, but it's still just a Slurpee. An Adult Slurpee, but it's really just a straw in some frozen water mixed with sugar and some fake form of fruit. Yep, Slurpee.

They don't typically make your mouth blue but there is a joint locally where you can get a concoction called a Swirlie. That's adult. You can take the toy out of a Happy Meal, but keep your hands off a Tex Mex Swirlie. Frozen, fun, fancy glass, and some come with a tiny umbrella or plastic monkey hanging off the side.

But you're right....Slurpees are for kids. So are Trix, so stop playing them! PS if you buy a $2 kids' drink it can become adult in a flask...I mean flash. I'll take mine virgin thanks, it's this kid's recovery drink of choice. Enjoy your Recoverite old lady.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

and This is Not

So there I was on the right. Where you want me to be, doing what you want me to do. And there on the left, a passing driver. Good so far. Careful, slow. Yes, yes...

A dirty mind might wander....fine, fine. Cause I got effinghamed in the end! Well, now that does sound a

Back to the slow passing driver, on the LEFT. Who, on a downhill, ever so slowly CUT ME OFF to turn RIGHT. Does this fall under the heading of 'what not to do'?

I don't trust them, so it wasn't even close. If I had been riding at speed it would have been ugly. But you know what, if he had hit me, and got caught, who knows if he would have stopped, he would have said, "I didn't see her". And he would have walked because it was dark. Light or no light.

And then there is the curb over on Connecticut. Yes, that again. Well, I think it's a serious problem and I'm inraged that no one is talking about it! I almost wrecked's too tight, too tall. I know what they are trying to do...get us off our bikes in the crosswalk. To make it safer.

Well you know what?? It would be a shitton safer if the drivers got out of their cars at red lights and stop signs too. Then they could push their cars through before getting in and proceeding...but do you think that is ever gonna happen??