Found on Craigslist: Mt. Pleasant Bike Swap

It got cold again. I’m going to have to drag out some winter gear again. Also going on this weekend is the Mt. Pleasant bike swap on Saturday March 26 from 12 – 2 PM in Lamont Plaza.

From the listing on Craigslist:

DC Bike Swap 2011
Saturday March 26th, Noon till 2pm.
We will be setting up in Lamont Plaza in Mount Pleasant DC. (Mount Pleasant Street and Lamont Street across from Heller’s bakery)

There are no costs or overhead.

There will be mechanics and others to assist your shopping. Feel free to bring bikes, tools, parts, accessories, bike art, food, books, movies, BIKE ART,etc.

(Tables and blankets are great for display).

Tell your friends, come get brunch, volunteer for the Farmers Market Bike Clinic Coops (Bloomingdale, Glover Park, 14th and U, Mount Pleasant), The Bike House, DDOT’s Bike Ambassador or any other DC bike programs. Learn about Cabi, DC’s bikeshare (Biggest in the nation). Learn about local bike shops, great rides, etc.

Potholepalooza 2011 is On and DC Needs Your HELP!

A PotholeDuring the winter, snow falls, snow melts, the water runs into the street and falls into the cracks of the asphalt, and then the water freezes at night. Combine this with plows pounding the streets, and you get potholes everywhere.

Potholes are a safety hazard for cyclists. They cause us to have to suddenly move side to side into traffic or other hazards. Potholes send vibrations through our spines. Potholes pop our tubes even when we’re late for work.

But now you can do something about it. Now through April 21st is the DC government’s Potholepoolza. If you see a pothole, you can stop, take a picture of it, send the picture and location to DDOT, and they will try to fill the pothole in 48 hours. No joke. This is called getting stuff done.

There are four ways to report potholes:

Instead of cursing as you ride by potholes, you can stop, click, and email.

Mini-potholepoolza contest: I’m going see how many potholes I can report. I can think of at least 7 off the top of my head. Can you beat me?

Sign of the Times: You’re Doing it Wrong

A sign that say "Bike with traffic"

"You're doing it wrong!" says the sign near the Capital Riverfront

I wonder if this sign actually encourages people to ride with traffic on 1 st SE.

Authority figures can have a profound affect on people’s behavior. Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment measured people’s willingness to obey an authority figure. An authority figure (a guy in white lab coat) would tell them to shock people or perform other acts that conflicted with their conscience. Despite their personal reservations, the subjects carried out what the lab coat just told them to do.

This experiment has been repeated many times over. However, cyclists defy the results everyday.

  • If you put up a sign that says “don’t bike here”, the cyclists scoffs and says “watch me.”
  • If you put up a gate that says “Stop”, the cyclist scoffs and rides up on the curb, nearly hitting a pedestrian, and goes around the gate.
  • If you put up a fence that says “No bikes”, cyclists portage over the fence with panniers et al. in tow.
  • If you put up an electric fence, cyclists dig a hole and ride under the fence.

As long as it saves them 30 seconds, they’re going to do it.

In general, I don’t know what inspires people to salomon down the street, but they’re going to do it whether you put up this sign or not. If you’re not afraid of facing a 3000 lbs car head on but you follow the guidance of small sign off the side of the road, I’m not sure what’s going on inside your head.

If you don’t want people riding against traffic, maybe both sides of the street should have a bike lane.

Walking the dog?

Walking is so over.

I ride my bike most places, but c’mon man that dog clearly can’t keep up. Put the dog in a basket.

Friday Reality Check

It’s 77 and sunny in DC on a Friday in March at 4:30. What are you doing reading the internet? Go ride.

Bikes outside of a bike store

These bikes are waiting to be ridden.

Who Ya Gonna Call: 15 St Edition

Keeping on my theme of cars in the bike lane this week, if you see a car parked in the 15th St lane you can do something about it:

Who Ya Gonna Call: DCDPW

I’m not sure if ticketing is enough to deter bike lane parkers in the long run. However, it is more productive than just complaining that the cars are parked there.

Do Cars Stop at Stop Signs?

Not all the time. Check out this video of cars at an intersection that I filmed today in the District of Columbia a little before 9 A.M. on a Wednesday.

This doesn’t excuse cyclists from their own behavior on the road. Nor does it address the fact that traffics laws designed for motorists do not always work when applied broadly to cyclists.

People are not great at perceiving their own group. Drivers don’t see drivers running stop signs; they see cyclist running stop signs. When, clearly, both groups run stop signs.