Riders on the Metropolitan Branch Trail know that the trail by the train tracks dumps cyclists on 8th St NE under Franklin St. In the last few days sharrows have been added to 8th St NE which help cyclists and motorists share the road. So glad to see the sharrows on 8th St, even though it is a fairly quiet neighborhood street. The sharrows are helping because you can see from my lane position in the video that I am riding where the sharrows indicate I should and the motorists give me plenty of space while passing.
It does seem strange that the sharrows closest to Monroe St are painted up against the curb. Not sure what that’s about.
Any cyclists and drivers who have been on Bunker Hill Road in the past years have suffered through the constant poor road conditions on Bunker Hill Road in Mount Rainier, Maryland. It seems to have gotten even worse after recent work done by the water utility. This video below is a no-frills (sorry — dull) look at the road condition today.
By far it is the worst road surface on my 6 mile commute to work in the city. Not being a civil engineer I’m wondering why does the utility work leave the road with so many potholes and uneven ground? Why it is left in such an awful condition?
This felt like a distracted/aggressive driver situation.
The driver makes a fast wide turn into the right lane where the cyclists are. The shadow of the SUV announces the angle of motion and it’s not good. At the last moment the driver moves back toward the center lane and instead of stopping for the red light, s/he speeds up and goes through even after the first cyclist yells out “RED LIGHT!”
I’m happy nobody was injured because you can see how close the Jeep driver came to causing a collision. Here’s the video:
It literally stinks to ride on trash pickup day. My morning commute coincides with the trash trucks’ rounds and entire neighborhoods fill with the stench. It can be even worse when you cycle directly behind a truck.
The more persistent problem about trash/recycle days involves the new contraflow bike lane on R Street between 2nd & 3rd NE. The trash bins are left in the bike lane and leave a narrow path for cyclists that is essentially the dooring zone. The trash bins should be on the grass not in the travel lane.
This video shows how ugly it is to ride behind a trash truck and what the bike lane looks like on trash/recycling pickup days.
A plastic bag stuck in the chain can bring a ride to an abrupt stop.
This morning I had trouble staying in gear because wet leaves were stuck in the rear cogs. Probably should have stopped to get them out but it was cold and I didn’t want to gunk up my gloves. Eventually the leaves broke down and riding smoothed out. Not as lucky tonight.
This evening as I was rushing home to vote I didn’t think twice about riding past a plastic bag next to a stop sign. As I tried to accelerate past the intersection my gears wouldn’t change. I looked down and found an old empty plastic bag wrapped up in my tension pulley.
Be careful on the roads and watch out for (leaf) litter this fall.
Riding hands free feels great but I usually don’t even try it unless I’m on the trail. City streets are a too unpredictable for me to take my hands off the handlebars. I saw a biker last week who clued me in to how it’s done in the city: ride against traffic! This way you can see the cars approaching and can switch to using hands when needed. Here’s video:
Today on the ride home I was digging the reduced humidity. Riding through less water has to make the ride easier. Less friction perhaps? Anyway, the ride was great and by the time I crossed the DC/MD border I knew I was home free. Not so lucky today.
As I approached the Mount Rainier traffic circle in the left lane I was scanning for cars already in the circle. No cars were there but there was a driver in the right lane who was also scanning for traffic before entering. We both decided it’s free so it’s go time. We simultaneously enter the circle in our own lanes and the driver of the SUV starts to cut me off. There isn’t anywhere to go except the curb or to slam my breaks which doesn’t seem smart (no time to see what’s behind me) so I yell out, “Hey! Watch out!!” She then scoots back into her lane and she continues traveling east on Route 1 while I continue to ride in the circle and exit on 34th.
So, lady in the black SUV, please don’t change lanes in the tiny traffic circle. It’s a two lane road not a single road for your SUV. If you must change lanes, don’t do it without looking to see if someone is there. I have a flashing headlight, a day-glow orange bike and an orange safety vest. I’m visible but you do have to look outside of your automobile.
Since the collision with the delivery truck on July 11th I have been extra vigilant about taking the lane so drivers must maneuver around me safely. This plan has been going well and I’m happy to say the roads have felt safe except once.
On July 12th a van driver buzzed me since it seems s/he couldn’t wait a few moments to pass when there was more room. I can’t make out the logo on the back of the van but the plates are MD A168984.
Music: “Robot Summer” by Gurdonark