Monday, August 29, 2005

Biking Part 1: Georgetown

I know it is 8am and no one is walking around Georgetown being the stupid tourists that they usually are, but please don't bike on the sidewalk in Georgetown. I understand the Key Bridge. You are forgiven. Bike across the Key Bridge as much as you want. But at 8am, it's likely the only people walking across it are quite familiar with the pattern of foot/bike traffic and do not need to hear you ringing those bells or shouting on your left.
And to the woman who shouted on your left very angry sounding this morning multiple times, I HEARD YOU. I wasn't about to dance out into traffic, though sometimes I am compelled to get in your way (more on that later though), so I think once is enough. Unless I am seriously in your way, once is more than enough.
But come on. There is NO NEED to bike in Georgetown. If you work up the hill near where Georgetown is, bike on the going to VA side and cross at the light and get the fuck up the hill as fast as your legs will take you. If you work actually work in Georgetown or are trying to get to Foggy Bottom there is a beautiful and way under-used bike trail along the canal. USE IT. Not only will "I not be in your way" (as I see it, you are in my way, hands down, I am the smaller/slower vehicle thus I have the right of way, check out how boat traffic works, and if you were to hit me it would be entirely your fault), the cars won't be in your way, you won't be riding on brick, there are no traffic lights, just a nice peaceful trail going along the canal. Sounds pleasant doesn't it? It's even good to run on, should you choose to get that kind of cardio.
I digress though, bikers you are sucky sucky sucky, outside of saving the environment. You don't own the world. I would like to teach you that.
Note: If you are the guy who bikes down the bike trail by the Key Bridge Marriott in the Ernie & Bert jersey, hey rock on, you are a-ok in my book, but everyone else, seriously get with it.

1 comment:

DC Biker said...

Actually, if anyone is going to move from the sidewalk to the Canal towpath, it's a lot easier for a walker to do it than for a biker to. (The Canal towpath is not a "bike trail"; like the sidewalks of Georgetown, it is legally considered shared walker/bicycle space.) For one thing, many of the paths on/off the Canal towpath have stairs on them, which means it is hard to get a bike there. For another, the surface of the towpath has a lot of sand/gravel, which means it is easy to lose control of a bike on it.

Personally, if I am going to Foggy Bottom or beyond, I avoid both the sidewalks and the Canal towpath, instead following the Capital Crescent Trail to Water Street and then biking down K Street. However, if where I am going is actually on M Street, I will sometimes bike on the sidewalks. I don't think I own the sidewalks; I'm willing to share with pedestrians. I'll try really hard to avoid hitting you. But it sounds like you think you own the world, deliberately meandering back and forth to get in my way, so that I won't be able to use the sidewalk.

As for why we shout, "On your left!", it's because we get yelled at by pedestrians just like you if we don't. I used to try to keep behind pedestrians until I saw an opening, then go around them, without saying anything. I got yelled at by people who said, "Geez, you scared me half to death! Why didn't you warn me you were coming?" So now I say cheerfully, "On your left!", and you get upset about that, too?