Some people seem really upset that I've run some ads lately so I thought I would address them.
The reason I've done so is to cover the cost of the blog and other efforts. It costs money to host and to use typepad at the level I do, there are occasional FOIA requests [which in DC are free but for which I often have to pay for printing and in other places are not always free] and things like the Velocipede Race (which was a total bust, but left me with a box full of trophies that I donated to a worthy cause). So I'm hoping people don't begrudge me for trying to break even on all of that. And I feel better taking money from advertisers than through a tip jar. If bike shops and bicycle lawyers were beating down my door to advertise with me, I'd much rather go with them, but there you have it.
As for the DUI lawyer, I thought long and hard about that ad. In the end my thinking was that an ad for DUI lawyers makes the case that 1) Getting a DUI is serious business - you don't need a lawyer for a parking ticket 2) Lots of people get caught - so many that it's worthwhile for a lawyer from out of state to advertise on DC's 4th-8th best biking blog to get their name out there. I figured that ads for DUI lawyers probably make people think "I should not drink and drive" not "Wow, I can drink and drive and totally get away with it." I would not have run an ad for a license plate cover meant to allow one to thwart red-light and speeding cameras, but a lawyer is not meant to help you get away with a crime, even if that's sometimes what happens.
In the end, if the ads feel like a distraction, just don't read them.