It's rare that I find myself driving on the highway during my morning commute, mostly because I bike to work and biking is discouraged/illegal on limited access highways, such as 395 where I found myself this morning. This has been the Week of the Car, with yesterday's emissions inspection and today's oil change and tomorrow's trip to the DMV and then a day or two of driving on Friday and Saturday. So, yeah.
I dropped the car off at the dealership and found my way to the nearest Bikeshare station, the one at the southernmost tip of Crystal City. It's actually the southernmost station in the whole system (for now). I did not commemorate my arrival by planting a flag or anything. That would be weird. I've gotten so used to the idea of bikeshare and one-way bike trips, that I barely reflected on the immense utility of this service. I'm sure I could have waited for the dealership to drive me to the Metro, which isn't far, but then I would have had to take the Metro to work. Boo.
It was a beautiful morning and it felt more like September than late December.
Crystal City I just don't get. It's sort of like an outdoor mall. I could help but wonder what kind of tax revenue Arlington generates from it. It's probably a lot. This revenue can fun transportation priorities and infrastructure, like bike lanes, and more vital things like mustache trimmers for certain County Board members.
The sign to get from Crystal Drive to the Mount Vernon Trail isn't obvious and if I didn't know generally where it was, I probably would have missed the turn entirely. I don't know if there's going to be better signage installed some time soon (as there will be/is in other parts of A-Town), but the lack of clear instructions on how to get to the trail and where that trail might go is a real problem. If Crystal City is to become a "bike hub," especially for tourists, you need better signs. And they should be bigger. Font choice are totally up to whoever wants to pay for the signs. I think Comic Sans would be puckish.
The NPS is the bane of the local cycling community, as far as banes and communities go. WABA is trying to help. And that's great and useful and connectivity and attitudes towards cyclists really need to change. But I think that I, at least, take for granted how absolutely wonderful the Mount Vernon Trail is, especially in the morning and especially when it's empty. It's better than it's NPS land better than not there at all. Because then I'd probably be biking on some mud or maybe an expanded highway- I don't really know. Nevertheless, it could be better still and I hope that the reality of that starts dawning on the Parks Service soon enough.
Sometimes I count bicyclists and other times I try to keep a running tally of how much money those passing cyclists spent at REI. It was a lot.
I'm proud to say that no one rode past me as I took my CaBi up the trail to Rosslyn. This might be because I have blazingly fast super-speed, but it's more likely that no one else was riding north. Or it could be because I was riding one of the newer CaBis and it has a Fabian Cancellara-style secret motor along with it's enclosed front basket. Probably not.
I jaywheeled across the Lee Highway intersection of doom. Jaywheeling Across the Intersection of Doom is going to be the subtitle of my eventual memoir. The main title is going to be "A Biography of Kareem Abdul Jabbar." Sure it's false advertising, but I think I'd sell way more books that way.
Hello Key Bridge bike-ped counter. I think I missed you more than you missed me.
I can't believe that I rode up 35th every day. There's something about repetition that has an abstracting effect. The hills on your daily seem to "flatten" as you take them day after day. But after some time off, they grow and maybe even get steeper than they were initially. In any case, I struggled. And it's only a block long.
Very quiet in Georgetown and almost sleepy in Glover Park. Except for the revving engines of, what else, the black BMWs. All BMWs should be painted a more soothing color to assuage the rage of the drivers inside. Calm down, dudes. It's ok.
I haven't figured out how I'm getting back to the dealership later, but it'll probably be by bike. Maybe the exact opposite route, maybe something different. Suggestions welcome.