The CONCERT FOR VALOR has closed much of the NATIONAL MALL and aside from RUNNING OUT OF ALL CAPS DESCRIPTORS of relatively MUNDANE features of my NORMAL bike commute route, the closures have also PRECLUDE my ability to ride along the Mall, meaning I've shifted my bike commute to my OLD ROUTE along Pennsylvania Avenue and through DOWNTOWN, which hasn't been all too bad, though maybe not my top preference.
This morning, I followed Pennsylvania Avenue past the White House and out the other side, westwards towards Washington Circle and it was all very mundane, in the way that riding through a city on an overbuilt road is mundane. There's just so much road. I half-expected Sally Struthers to ask to send this extra road to the needy abroad. It's just superfluous. It's excessive. It's so much road.
I found M Street. It was where they last left it. I follow that to 33rd and followed that up and through residential Georgetown to Volta and westward still. They had 34th street blocked off for some on-street leaf sweepery and I watched somewhere between 1 and 3 Landrovers make sweeping left turns in front of me as I waited on the stop sign, patiently, astride my Brompton. I took the folding bike today, for reasons that might be explained in the part that I haven't written yet, and I can definitely imagine another version of myself that lives in a different place (London?) that exclusively rides this bike and is very ______ (content?) with that fact. Nevertheless.
The bike has two speeds, allegedly. It failed to shift and I found myself riding up the steep-ish hills on Tunlaw and New Mexico in the more robust of the two speeds, the one that required a more stern effort and a bigger push than I would have preferred for a Monday morn. This explains the afternoon, when I rode to BicycleSpace to inquire about the possibility of turning the two-speed Brommie into a 3 speed (with an internal gear hub). I'm still undecided on whether I'll actually see this through, but maybe the plan is to convert the bike for 2 to 6 speeds, which is about 4 more speeds and, I don't know, somewhere between 0 and 1 pieces of mind.
To get there, I took Mass to Q and rode across town to 7th. It was fine enough. Home from there was K to First NE, and there I diverted to check out the progress on the new cycletrack, which is progressing. They've replaced the temporary plastic sticks with permanent temporary plastic sticks. I think the plan is to add additional protection in the guise of parking stops. It's a pretty good connector, except for maybe the JOUSTING LANE, where the cycletrack constricts to abide some kind of 18 wheeler loading zone. It's not a treatment I've seen in DC before and while I understand that sometimes bike infrastructure must give way to realities on the ground (and I really do understand this), it's not especially intuitive. Maybe additional road markings will make this clearer. I don't know.
First Street, Columbus Circle and then Massachusetts Avenue to the park and then home. Monday's a done day. Bring on the next.