I got up early and left early, but I didn't exactly have to rush into work, so I didn't. Instead I explored. I guess it wasn't really exploring since plenty of other people had already done rides where I rode, but then again, we celebrate Columbus Day and he all he discovered were a bunch of people who were here already. And be here, I think I mean Hispaniola.
First, it was to the east. The signage around RFK is terrible. I don't know how to get from roads to the trails and the trails themselves appeared to have been diverted through a series of rather large construction projects. There should be better signs and fewer of them that say "Dismount bike." I'm pretty sure I've never actually "seen" a "Dismount Bike" sign. They come out of nowhere, you know?
And then the new bridge. It goes up and over the railroad tracks. Here are some pictures:
|Near the end of the middle|
The other side of the trail was fine, but empty. The street lets off on M and M is pretty much fine, except that if people want Near SE/Navy Yard/Unnamed Ballpark Neighborhood to be a real neighborhood that's nice for people, M needs a road diet. Streets are too wide.
After a while, I got bored on M and decided to ride on I, which has a bike lane. The bike lane is fine, and was less obstructed than the last time I took it.
7th and then the fish market. Fish markets smell like fish. But how to fish smell? Through their fish noses, obviously.
And then I got swept up in a bout of ridiculous and rode to Hains Point. That's where people ride "intervals" and "laps" and there are "pace lines" and traffic LAWS that bicyclists must OBEY. I wanted to do a "lap" (a circle, not licking the ground), since this is a thing that bicyclists in DC sometimes do and I've never done it before. And, to make to occasion momentous, or whatever facsimile of momentous substitutes for as much as a narrowly read bike commuter blog, I would time my lap, using the Strava. I would, in essence, be epic. I would then adjust the time downward to account for the 30 something padded envelopes, tax documents, and towel in my pannier. And I tried to take a lap. The first way I went didn't seem to be lapward. It seemed like a road that then stopped. So I turned around and started again. This time I rode a bit, stopped at a stop sign because of the aforementioned TRAFFIC LAWS, and then turned right. But then at the next stop sign, it was a one way and the one way it was wasn't the way I thought I was supposed to go. But I took that one way anyway and ended up by the Jefferson Memorial and Ohio Drive, which I'm not totally sure is where I was supposed to go. In short, until they put a coffee shop or grocery store or my workplace on Hains, I'm not going to be able to figure out how to get around down there. Only a few roadies out. Maybe I should've waited and followed one, but then he might have thought I was racing him and that might be a faux pas.
Ohio Drive and then past the Kennedy Center and then another diversion up through Rock Creek Park. A few bicyclists heading into the city, but no one really going my way. The sidepath seems a bit narrow. Good thing that they turn the road that runs through the park into a monodirectional highway for cars. I'm sure that's what the founders of the National Parks movement would've wanted. Pretty sure there's a section in the Ken Burns doc about that.
Hill from the park to Calvert is a bitch. And then the hill up Cleveland wasn't much fun, but not nearly as bad. And then Garfield and Massachusetts. On Mass, I saw a dude in a kilt, drinking a Red Bull. I emailed myself a reminder about that once I got to work. I care deeply about the quality of my reportage.
Home was the usual way. Roadwork on Mass closed a traffic lane by Sheriden Circle and it also closed the sidewalk. I think DDOT had a policy. Must be like the policy about not embezzling from youth charities: optional.
Ever see a crane truck salmon down a wrong way? I have. It's terrifying.
On Q, I think I rode behind some Spaniards. I could tell because they [insert some combination of jamon iberico, lisps, soccer, and sovereign debt crisis here]. There was also a guy on Q who just couldn't stop and had to ride mostly into traffic and then in circles and then midway through the opposite lane. Just put your foot down. I promise. The ground isn't lava. Trust me, I've lapped it.
Best way to hail a taxi from the bike lane is to not stand in the bike lane. The only thing you'll hail is dirty looks, but maybe they were trying to hail dirty looks because they were masochistic misogynists. There are a lot of conventions in DC.
I'm glad no one tweets about the liberties I sometimes take vis-a-vis traffic laws. Spotted: some guy kind of playing fast and loose. Sorry. One thing I don't do is block crosswalks. So, that's a point in my favor. (A point from pedestrians, which is like the lamest point you can score. The coolest point you can score is from the drivers of WWII replica tanks. Those guys give you a 'point,' then you're doing something awesome, something that probably involves kicking Nazi ass)
Doughy people by the Capitol. I hear America singing.