A big day here in the District of Columbia is State of the Union day when the legislative branch invites the head of the executive branch over for speechifying and calisthenics (with the standing and the clapping and whatnot). I't also like the Super Bowl of security (and the Pro Bowl of security theater) and I think I saw more uniformed officers around the Capitol today than I ever have. I might have seen undercover officers as well, but how am I supposed to know? And as far as invisible officers, I can (or maybe can't) confirm that I didn't see them also. I can't say for sure that the extra security had an impact on car traffic, but I suspect that it did since drivers were backed up the eleven or so blocks on East Capitol to the park. I don't really keep track of these things, but I'm pretty sure that a bicyclist can cover the distance between the park and Capitol faster than someone driving. It might depend on one's diligence when it comes to stopping at stop lights, but maybe not.
The only new (temporary?) security feature that I noticed were some concrete barriers placed at the entrance to the SSA parking lot at 3rd Street and Pennsylvania. I'm sure additional precautions will be erected throughout the day (mayhaps a portucullis or two?) and I'm planning my trip home accordingly. For anyone riding in the general vicinity, here's a list of closures. I'll probably approach from the north somehow.
Ride in was mostly fine. It was warmer (now it's even sunny, but it wasn't this morning) and there was a plenitude/plentitude of bicyclists, almost as if it was spring. I never know how many people I'm going to see on bikes on any given day (when it's sleeting, I expect approximately 2) and I was pleasantly surprised by how crowded the bikes lanes and paths were. I'd pass bunches of four or five cyclists coming in the opposite direction. I can't wait until modeshare hits 10%.
I did the polite thing and asked the security guards if I could ride through the security bollards. I don't like to ignore them when they're standing outside, but they seem sort of peeved that I even bothered asking. It's for their safety, remember. I guess I'll just skip asking in the future and just ride through. And on #sotu day, I guess they have concerns greater than bicyclists.
You probably know this bike. You've probably passed it hundreds of times. Or maybe tens of times. Or dozens. Or LXV times, if you're a time-traveling Roman centurion-turned-bike-messenger in the not-yet-written movie Maximus Rush. (which you probably aren't). It's at 15th and Mass, NW. It lives outside. It seems to be a pretty good shape, maybe some rust on the rear cogs. It's not a beater by any stretch of the imagination. It has fenders. I see this bike every day. Whose bike is this? Why does it live here? Do you feel that it's safe to keep it outside? Are you trying to teach it some kind of lesson? Email me.
I just can't quite not get ticked at people who shoal me.
I don't know what else there is to say. Climbing went fine, insofar as I made it to the top, though at no great pace. Descending went fine, insofar as I made it to the bottom. A little trouble not from riding in the door zone, but from having to leave it, and only trouble insofar (were a Bostonian's loose change goes) as getting passed too closely is concerned. General good rule for driving and cycling: don't hit the thing in front of you and if it seems like that's likely to happen, reconsider what you're doing. Maybe I should open up some sort of school.