Wednesday Commuteblogging: Late Winter edition

This comes a day late as work has been busy recently. But I managed to stop for a few minutes at my favorite meeting point for D.C. bike commuters and the typical Washington car commuter: 17th Avenue NW and Constitution. Here we seek cyclists contend with the inattentive, aggressive big shot, the panicky, aggressive Hill staffer, or the depressed, aggressive federal employee. (OK, I admit, that’s a pretty broad brush!) Anyway, all seem to regard slowing for a yellow light as an obvious sign of fatal weakness.

Nothing bad happened yesterday; I didn’t even see anyone blatantly run a red light in about five minutes of watching, though I caught the usual number of illegal turns and illegal lane usage. It must be the fact that Congress is away this week, which lessens traffic into the city.

You first. No, go ahead.17th and Constitution: “You first. No, go ahead.”

See the shot above (click for full size). Our intrepid cyclist, coming off the bike-friendly paths on the National Mall, has to contend with a right-turning SUV to cross the street. Nobody is doing anything incorrect here; the driver has the green, and sees the cyclist. Yet the cyclist has to act to avoid a collision. Somehow I hope we begin designing intersections that are not car-dominated.

Buddy and fellow randonneur Branson in N.C. posts at Research Trailer Park about his own near-death experience when a driver totally missed a red light and barely missed him. See his post Here.

Over at Commute by Bike, we find out that Salsa’s top selling frame and built bike is the do-all commuter Casseroll. Yet when Salsa sat down with dealers, they had almost nothing to say to Salsa about their commuting customers. See the post Here.

Next week we’ll for sure start seeing the end of the quiet winter cycling scene; already smoke-belching tour buses are starting to clog downtown in the annual run-up to the Cherry Blossom festival.

2 thoughts on “Wednesday Commuteblogging: Late Winter edition

  1. Interesting point about the lack of interest by bicycle companies and LBS’s in commuter bikes. I’ll bet it has something to do with the way bike commuters operate. They tend to use what works for them in terms of clothing and accesories and don’t really care if it’s out of fashion or a little worn out. Poser racers and the like will lay down big $$$ on the latest carbon fork or Titanium water bottle bolts. Most commuters could give a hoot about that drivel. Think of it, the guy who buys the latest $5000 racing bike every other year probobly also buys a whole clothing kit, shoes, helmet etc every year.

  2. I might think profit margins are better on more expensive bikes. But commuters need service because they don’t pamper their bikes. It should all be good for the shop. Maybe we need to get “professional” commuters who ride carbon bikes, appear in $10 magazines that nobody buys at Borders, and get banned every once in awhile.

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