Ride In & Ride Home 7/17: It Used to Be Called The Merry Wives of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Some more housekeeping. Buttons. I used to sell them. I have credit card information from two of you, but not your names. One of you has emailed me previously, but from an address that keeps bouncing back my reply, so if you could send again me another note, with your name and address, that'd be great. Sorry for dropping the ball on this and for the delay. The other person- the one I haven't been able to figure out- should send me name and address, and the last four digits of the card used. It was in late June. Hopefully you still read the blog and haven't abandoned it thinking I've stolen your money and absconded with your rightful button. My email address is talesfromthesharrows@gmail.com. Thanks!

I was gonna do the whole normal "ride the whole way to work" thing, but I came downstairs this morning to find my bike's rear tire as flat as [geographic place that is very flat] and this was discouraging. Also, EtP (Ellie the Poodle) was a little sick (poor baby) and this delayed my leaving the house, so when I decided to take Bikeshare, I figured that I'd combine Bikeshare with Metro and make my trip multimodal. That is was about 90 degrees when I left the house also factored into my Metro decision.

I got the final bike at 15th and Independence SE. Sorry, guy who normally gets that bike. There were three showing on Spotcycle, but two people took bikes right as I turned the corner. Had there not been a bike there, I probably would've just gone home and cried for the rest of the day. That, or walk another two blocks to the next station. (For what it's worth, I'm ridiculously spoiled when it comes to all matters transportation. I live three blocks from a Metro Station where a lot of buses stop, two blocks from one Bikeshare and 3 blocks from another, and my house has a detached garage where my weekend car lives. I really need to remember how lucky I am before I opine on how others should get places). I rode up Mass, passing the guy who got the CaBi immediately before I got mine, circled Lincoln Park, where there was one CaBi remaining after 8, and then headed down Mass towards Union Station. My office is closest to the Tenleytown stop on the Red Line, so rather than take the line nearest my house and transfer at MetroCenter (ugh), I figured I'd bike two miles and avoid the transfer. I don't know if this provides any financial benefit or lessens the cost of the trip. It did allow my to add biking to my commute instead of frustrated standing around on a train platform, so that was nice. Also, I might be daisy-chaining bike trips in order to juice my numbers in the 2milechallenge. Not ashamed of that in the least. Get off your bike to tie your shoe? Pretty sure that's a distinct trip. Just saying...

The Bikeshare station at Union Station is on the opposite side of the building as the Metro entrance. Sort of dumb.

I can't tell you much about my Metro trip other than the escalator was temporarily out of service (like for 15 seconds until an employee inserted his key, twisted it and it was off again. Two keys for nuclear launch, one key for escalators) and that the train was there when I got to the platform, so there was no waiting. I don't take Metro very frequently (you know, with the bike commuting blog and such), but it always reminds me of a waiting room at a doctor's office. And not just because everyone is suffering from some sort of malady and looks miserable. I think it's just that feeling of people killing time until the next thing happens, namely their exit. It's a place and space where time passes, but it's nothing time. I guess it's good for reading. I listened to the Slate Hang Up and Listen podcast.

I exited at Tenleytown and took the Bikeshare to work, where there's also a station. It was under a mile, I think. I left the station prior to adjusting the seat. Guess I was in a hurry.

Riding home, I decided that I would also combine my bike trip with a train ride, but this time would skip the hill at the other end of my trip. The "stage profile" of my commute looks sort of like a V, with hills on both ends, so I figured I could handle the downhill part after work and use the Metro to skip the uphill part. I aimed for Farragut West.

When I take Bikeshare, I ride on the sidewalk down Massachusetts Avenue. I can't get a CaBi to keep pace with traffic, so I figure it's just better to stay out of it. At the base of the hill, I reintegrated into vehicular society. I'm pretty sure that didn't require I check in with a parole officer.

Mass to 20th to New Hampshire to 21st (should've just taken 21st initially) to the still cycle track-less L Street, which somehow seems less fraught you slower you go and then down Connecticut Avenue to not making an illegal left turn onto K to instead ride illegally on the sidewalk for half a block, so my bad. The dock is at the northeast side of the square and I docked and walked the last block to the Metro, caught the train relatively soon thereafter and took it to Stadium Armory and walked the three blocks home.

I don't have many deep thoughts to share about combining Bikeshare trips with train trips, other them it seems really convenient and I wonder if a lot of people do this kind of thing daily. Inspired by people in Sweden (no, not ABBA), I try to take all of my shorter trips (under 3 miles) solely by bike or walk. I think it's a pretty reasonable goal and I don't think you need to be a "cyclist" to do it.


  1. Cabi/Metro is a great combo. I also take Cabi to avoid having to change metro lines on the days that it is too hot, or i am too lazy, to bike the whole way.

  2. Well I combined CaBi and Metro...but then I count as a tourist, right?

    Seriously, if/when the planets align and Seattle gets a bike share I can see it being used in tandem with our paltry little light rail system (or minuscule street car) at least for errand running around downtown...Until they add a useful bus route to my 'hood I'm still walking/riding most everywhere.

    Oh, and get some tubes.