Rides 9/8: Pull Up Jumper From the Top of the Key

The heat broke and those who didn't ride in the heat were back in action and the streets teemed with cyclists in the way that an early fall day does. I rode along the Mall with many others and a paucity of drivers looking for a shortcut. It sometimes shocks me that there are barely any drivers on Jefferson Drive in the morning, but I guess that Constitution, which parallels it, is speedway-y enough at that time of day. There is a lot of parking along the Mall in the morning, in spite of signs that claim that parking is prohibited until 10AM and I have half a mind to write or call or otherwise badger whatever agency is allegedly responsible for enforcing this dictate that is so clearly unenforced. Park Police maybe? If I had my way, and I don't, cars would be banned from Madison and Jefferson drives (those that buttress the grassy part of the Mall) and only tour buses and pedestrians and cyclists would be allowed through, but clearly this is an awful idea because, um, George Washington drove a Hummer or something? The Mall, a place I ride along now every morning from one end to the other, is a remarkably stolid place and I don't think in a good way. It reminds me of a cemetery. I get the idea of 'grandeur' but I don't know if we wear it especially well. America is, to my mind (or imagination), a too woolly place to be celebrated with boring geometry and even more boring grass. Tuileries whatever.

Rock Creek Park, K Street, Wisconsin Avenue and the whole way up. Lots of car traffic by the British School. I blame all the people driving on the wrong side of the street. something guv'nah something.

Riding home was fine. On Massachusetts, I followed a man on a bike who wore a reflective ankle band around each pant cuff. I think this is fine and all, but what I'm really pining for is hi-viz tattoos. I feel like there's a whole market of bicyclists out there who love tattoos but are meh on visibility at night and could really go for this, to say nothing of all those who would love to wear a hi-viz ankle band but suffer from debilitating velcro allergies. And yet, we lag behind in hi-viz tattoo ink technology. Thanks, Obama.

Dance like nobody's watching
Love like you've never been hurt
Sing like nobody's listening
Drive around bicyclists as if you actually gave a crap about their safety

L Street to 15th to Pennsylvania Avenue. I'd go home a different way but then I'd have to move. I spent some of the trip thinking of some hypothetical Gear Prudence questions I'd write (please write in. Mine weren't very good) and also about other things. Bike commuting, and the not-reading and the not-listening to anything that it provides, is like not wearing socks. You breath a bit. And instead of foot juices that evaporate into the ether, it's day worries. Let loose the foot juices of your mind. Ride a bicycle.


  1. How do you get from Jefferson Drive to the RCP trail to Wisconsin? I am trying to figure out a good way to bike from Cap Hill to Friendship Heights without going through downtown at rush hours, and getting between those locations tends to be a bother. Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Luckily, it's a pretty straightforward process. I ride past the Washington Monument on the paths on the north side and then down the path to cross 17th by the WWII Memorial and then on the path on the north side of the reflecting poo. I cross 23rd and make a right on the road that runs to the Memorial Bridge. At the volleyball courts, I cross the street and then that's the Rock Creek Park trail.

    1. Thanks! I haven't tried the trails north of the monument or the reflecting pool, because I worry that I'll have to weave among tourists. I'll give it a shot, though!