Capitol Hill is, indeed, a hill. I rode up the Constitution side, but maybe the other side is less slopey.
From East Capitol down, it was a pretty good ride. A lot of bikes out. Also, a lot of people in uniforms with badges, which leads to my greater compliance with traffic laws. Though, based on the riding style of other cyclists, the uniformed people don't exactly enforce traffic laws.
I rode back from the house to our current place (we're not moving in officially until mid-September) down East Capitol and up Pennsylvania. It was around 6:30 and there were just tons and tons of bicyclists out. Working on the periphery of the city, I don't think I ever really gotten to see the extent to which the bike facilities and, more impressively, Capital Bikeshare are employed by commuters. Seeing this is quite heartening- especially because it means
On Pennsylvania Avenue, I rode past Tommy Wells. Shout-out ensued. When I told the Official Wife, she first was like "cool" and then she was like "wait, you know what our councilmember looks like? We just bought the house last week." So, yeah.
15th still a mess on the way back, salmoned a bit to avoid the more oblivious of the pedestrians. Rode in front of the White House and out to Pennsylvania Avenue on the other side. I someone with a really cool saddle bag affixed to a nice Brooks saddle on what appeared to be a Surly LHT. I rode by and glanced back and it was MG from Chasing Mailboxes. I (sorrily) interrupted her conversation to congratulate her on PBP, introduced myself "Brian, Tales From the Sharrows" mumble-mouthed as usual and maybe fumbled through some other pleasantries that I can't remember. Anyway, I don't know if this counts as an official "meeting" or more like a bike-by accosting, but it was cool to run into a second local bike celebrity in one night.
Didn't run into any other local bike luminaries for the rest of the ride. It would be pretty wonderful for DDOT to pick up the Penn Avenue lanes on the other side of the White House and take them to Washington Circle, but I don't think that's going to happen. The Circle, as always, was harrowing, but there were lots of bicyclists going through so I think that had a somewhat calming effect on traffic. I rode 3/4 of the way around to New Hampshire and had to merge to the far right in front of a pink taxi in a way that in retrospect seemed a bit unsafe. Drivers coming down Penn from Georgetown really, really don't seem to be looking out for bike traffic in the circle even though they're supposed to be the ones yielding.
New Hampshire over the TR Bridge, up the MVT to the Custis to the usual way home up Wilson and Fairfax. Fewer bicyclists in Arlington, but it was later, so I'll cut them some slack. Plus, I think the evening bike traffic in Arlington is much more trail-based than on-street, though we'll soon have bike/ped counters to find out whether than assertion is in any way true.