A year ago from today, I ended my winter bike commuting drought by putting the car keys away. I drove all winter on account of the what I now consider misbegotten belief that biking all year round would be too difficult or too cold or too dark or just something that isn't done. I didn't even try from December until March and, while I luckily I avoided trying to bike during the various snow-pocalypes, I'm sure I missed countless other days where I easily could have ridden in.
To celebrate the sunniness of the day and the fact that I didn't have any reason to be at work prior to the 10 AM staff meeting, I decided to take the long way, biking the Custis and Capital Crescent Trails rather than on the streets through Arlington and Georgetown. Some days you want to be mixed in with cars and taking the most direct route, other days it's just nicer to be on a separated trail surrounded by the kind of brownish, brambly, unkempt nature that lives next to mixed-use facilities.
Fewer people out than I expected, both on the Custis and Capital Crescent. Of the thirty bikes I saw on the Capital Crescent, one had aerobars, one was a recumbent (the rider had stopped and was looking through binoculars at water foul [or maybe just rocks or trees since I didn't see any birds] out in the river) and one was a CaBi up by Fletcher's Cove. That's a long way from a docking station! (About 2.75 miles from the Wisconsin Ave station and about 2.5 from Georgetown U). I hope she wasn't looking for a dock courtesy of the NPS...
I carried my bike up the steps at Manning Place. Woo, cyclocross.
I spent the last leg of my trip thinking that there should be some sort of club or at least portmanteau label for bike commuters who go ten miles each way. They should be called something like dec-commuters and maybe they could wear special patches or have a sticker on their helmets indicating their special status amongst bike commuters. In fact, I'd be in favor in some sort of judo/sumptuary law system as a means of motivation for would-be bike commuters. Bike 3 times a week? Great job- here's a peacock feather for your helmet. Ride in from Herndon? You, sir, (sir!) get to wear epaulets! Anyway, I think it'd be fun and maybe some local bike shop could partner with a costume store/party supply depot and make this happen.