3/22/12

Ride In 3/22: How many pints in a bushel?

The highlight of the spring season in Washington, DC, America is looking at trees, specifically the cherry trees that George Washington didn't chop down after we beat the Japanese in World War II. My history might be a bit fuzzy on that, but it doesn't change the fact that this time of year makes all Districtians (the collective name for those of us who live in the District of Columbia, I think) exorbitantly arborphilic and angry at outsiders who dare come into our territory with the same affliction. So, rather than head to the nearest Chili's, I took in my preferred awesome blossoms, by bicycling southwesterly through the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market/Capitol Hill region via South Carolina Avenue, which was fine, but a bit bumpy. Perhaps as an homage to its namesake state's overall anachronism and backwardness, SC Avenue is not paved with asphalt, but have an old school brick finish, which as I just wrote, makes for a bumpy bike commute. Glad today wasn't "Bike Your Faberge Egg to Work Day," and I'm equally glad that's not a real thing.
South Carolina left me on E Street SE and then I ended up at a park and staircase that I mounted took my to New Jersey Avenue. Perhaps there's a more ADA compliant way to reach NJ Avenue, but I didn't bother looking for it. On NJ Avenue, I saw some police and their bomb sniffing dogs sniffing (the dogs, not the police officers) around some parked tour buses, presumably for bombs, but maybe also for random chicken bones left on the ground. At least that's what Ellie the Poodle tends to sniff for, and abscond with, when given the opportunity. But then again, Ellie the Poodle is not a trained K-9 unit dog and that decal that I've stuck to my car indicating as much is wildly inappropriate and maybe even fraudulent. 
While there are other ways to cross the blossoms from chez nous (namely along M Street to Water to Maine), I wanted to take New Jersey to I to check out the new bike lanes. I parallels M and both would arrive me (is arrive transitive?) at the Waterfront, where I coulda been a contender, but instead would just be a bike commuter. 
The I Street bike lanes are perfectly serviceable or at least would be were they not so blatantly ignored. First blocked by construction and then blocked by some parked construction vehicles and then blocked by parent drop off at a school, they aren't exactly "respected," assuming one can actually respect the space between two white stripes. To add insult to insult (for there was no injury), my coffee mug flew out of its holder after I hit a bump on the west side of South Capitol, careened a bit, landed in a puddle, and emptied most of its contents (coffee) into the puddle (brackish water). I worried that the mug was broken, but upon later inspection, it appears not to be. A little scratched around the surface and a little dinged, but otherwise ok. Stopping to pick up my mug allowed me to notice that the I Street bike lane stops for about 20 feet on the west side of S. Capitol before picking up again. I don't know why, but it might have to do with the width or the road. 
7th to Water Street to past the fish market. I would've taken a picture of the Fish Market, but elected not. Any picture of the Fish Market would look like it's been put through the Instragram filter for "dingy." Oh well, that's some local character. A few bicyclists heading along the path and a few joggers, but the volume of people didn't pick up until the other side of 14th street, where the blossomage begins. 
Kids, don't try this at home, most because your home doesn't have cherry blossoms to film while biking past. No idiots trying to take video with their phones were injured during this taping.
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Fun fact: soundtrack to first cherry blossom video includes my half-whistling Ke$ha! (This makes me a terrible human being!) 
Now you don't have to come here. Also, if you want to see what the Memorial Bridge looks like in the morning fog, here's a picture:

After the blossoms, it was a quick trip up the Rock Creek trail, past the Kennedy Center and over to K Street. K Street to Wisconsin and then uphill. Man, I love that Wisconsin climb. It's rare that this happens to me on a commute, but I got into one of those rhythms where my legs just felt really good and I was just churning through the climb and didn't feel tired or sluggish and wasn't really thinking about anything except how good my legs felt as I worked my way uphill. This is why I bike. This isn't:
A line of  stopped cars
It's just not fun to get stuck in car traffic. For anyone, really. 
At Wisconsin and Mass, I saw a campaign worker holding a Shapiro sign, trying to get drivers to honk. No one honked. So, I think that means Biddle, huh. 
I don't think I'll be posting tonight, though I will be riding home. I've got a meeting at which I (amongst others) aim to foil a plot by a corrupt politician and evil billionaire from destroying our neighborhood. It's very epic and whatnot. It also involves a offensively named sports team and an Armory, presumably in which is stored armor. More info here, if you care to know. Otherwise, see you all tomorrow. I mean, in a way. 

1 comment:

  1. Aw man what a great picture. The paleness of the cherry blossoms with the willow behind it and the bridge partially fading into the fog gives the whole thing a very otherworldly feel.

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