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Gear Prudence: After months of lobbying, my boss finally agreed to let me work from home. I’ve been teleworking for a few weeks now, and it’s great, except I really, really miss my bike commute. I’ve taken a few lunchtime rides, but they’re not the same. Would I be crazy to stop working from home just so I could ride my bike to work? —Having Obvious Melancholy, Ennui
Dear HOME: A dramatist once wrote, “In this world there are only two tragedies. One is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” It sounds like you didn’t realize how profoundly you would feel the loss of your bike commute. You could perform a cost-benefit analysis to determine if riding back and forth outweighs office drudgery, but begging your boss to return to your former arrangement so soon makes you seem fickle. And what happens when one of your charming coworkers heats up her fishy lunch in the microwave? Will you look at your bike with scorn and resentment and think, I could be wearing pajamas right now! WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME?!
Try this: In the morning, ride your bike halfway to work. Then turn around and ride home. At the end of day, do the same. You’ll reap all the benefits of bike commuting and all of the benefits of working from home. And maybe take a ride at lunchtime, too. Because why not? —GP
Gear Prudence: My husband and I were having a debate, and I’d like you to settle it. How many days a week can you wear the same bike clothes on your commute? He says you can wear the same clothes multiple days (and does) and I say once and done, because ewww. What do you think? —Difference In Rank Tolerance
Dear DIRT: It’s hard to think of a more personal question than one that focuses on the intersection of cloth and skin and the relative grime that sits between. It seems like a matter of personal tolerance, and preferences will vary widely based on a number of factors related to individual bodies, the route, the weather, and if you happen to make a wrong turn and accidentally ride through a carwash. Wearing the same clothes a few times does cut down on laundry, which seems like a nice benefit. Also, repeating your outfit is just simpler. It’s not slobbery; it’s smug minimalism.
The benefits of wearing different bike attire each day seem obvious. Primarily, it makes it harder for enemy spies to track you, if, for example, you’re the kind of person tracked by enemy spies. There are clear hygienic advantages to not wearing soiled clothes as well. Bacteria has consequences, including saddle sores, which can be quite painful. You really don’t want that. —GP