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#30daysofbiking: Day 6

April 6, 2012

The day started out innocently enough. My usual Friday morning meeting had been cancelled which allowed me to attend my first ever #fridaycoffeeclub (the early morning, non-alcoholic version of #bikedchh). To get there though I would have to take Washington’s most dangerous street, the 15th Street cycle track [of doom].

Yes, there were usual shoalers and red light runners, but today I also encountered a new level of stupidity. Heading south, somewhere around P or Q, one of two cyclists behind me decided to speed up in the left hand northbound lane. This was futile, I thought. The light would still be red when we both arrived at the next intersection. The women then appeared to give the stop signal for a moment. Curious. As we approached the intersection, from the left lane she made an abrupt 90-degree right turn (yes, I said “right”). I assume her initial thoughts where to turn left down a side street but realized with the traffic, she would have to wait at the crosswalk to get over. What better way to do this than by cutting little old law-abiding me off?

Riding defensively as always, I should have been able to avoid the crash. That is if it wasn’t for the other cyclist behind me who moments before decided the intersection was the perfect spot to pass me without warning on my right. The two hit each other first. I can’t be sure but I think he gave her his best Heisman – shoving her out of his way and further into my path. Luckily, I was able to stay on my feet. Heisman quickly clipped back into his pedals and rode away not bothering to see if we were OK. The woman apologized for something. Come on people! We’re supposed to be on the same team.  I shouldn’t be looking for a parade of taxis and BMWs for protection.  Moving on…

After finally getting to meet some new friends in person over coffee, I decided to get a few more miles in to clear my head. Before long, my late morning arrival to work turned into a work-from-home day, which quickly evolved into full blown hooky. Passing the 14th Street Bridge into Virginia, I entered the Mount Vernon Trail. Might as well take it all the way to Mile Marker Zero, I reasoned. You know, to clear my head.

bike in dc

Washington Monument...

...built for this guy...

...who had to bike to here...

...to get to his home here...

...so he could tend to his garden and cherry trees.

Distance: 40.28 miles

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    April 7, 2012 11:29 am

    Yikes! Glad you didn’t get hurt in the bike on bike crash. Lately I’ve adjusted my evening commute to avoid 15th. It’s usually ok in the early morning but congested in the evening. And now that it’s tourist season, look out!

    Great photos in this post.

  2. April 9, 2012 12:55 pm

    That sucks about the 15th St cycletrack. I’ve used in a number of times recently, but never during the highest point of rush hour. The trip to Mount Vernon looks great – I’ve wanted to do that, but I either have to build up to the distance from Rockville or get a rack for my car.

    • April 9, 2012 1:00 pm

      It was a nice ride down, mostly flat, and the scenery along the Potomac was lovely. If you wanted to go on the weekend you could always go intermodal and take the red line into downtown.

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