I was riding home as usual on the Mount Vernon Trail. In Old Town Alexandria the trail merges with a bike lane on Union Street. At 426 North Union I left the bike lane to avoid the rear of a car parked perpedicular to the curb. Then I came to a full stop at two stop signs. Then I approached the busy interesection with King Street.
I came to a full stop at the stop sign as two pedestrians slowly crossed the street in the crosswalk in front of me. Take. Your. Time. People.
Then I crossed King. Just beyond the next crosswalk a car was parked illegally blocking the right lane. My lane. It had its flashers on (making it clear to anyone who might care that he was parking illegally) and its white back up lights were illuminated. I approached with extreme care not knowing what the driver was going to do. Cars were legally parked at the curb in front of the Starbucks across from the illegal car. Two cars were coming toward me. Their headlights were shining directly in my eyes. Because of the illegally parked car I had only a few feet of roadway to use.
As I passed the illegal car, I turned to look at the driver. The headlight on my helmet lit up his face and hands as he played with the cellphone in his hand. Typical.
I turned my head forward and there was a pedestrian. Mid block. Dressed in dark clothing. About one foot in front of my front tire. She was holding a Starbucks cup. She shrieked and quickstepped. I have no idea how I did not hit her.
Starbucks addicts do this sort of thing routinely at King and Union. Mrs. Rootchopper told me last night that about a mile away Starbucks addicts dash across the street in mid block during rush hour to get their caffeine fix at a Starbucks on North Washington Street, a major commuting route for cars and buses.