Rides 4/7: better than the best

One more morning of looking at trees that weren't much to look at. Not yet at least, but we're getting there. Maybe tomorrow.

This is a map of part of the District of Columbia:

I don't feel strongly about too many things, but I think I feel strongly about the best way to get from the eastern end of Capitol Hill (the far right) to the Jefferson Memorial (the far left) by bicycle. There are other ways to go, and maybe even other ways that are actually better, but the way I go is 14th SE to South Carolina to to E to New Jersey to I SE to 7th to Water to the East Basin Drive. I don't know why I think this is the best way, but I do, and I doubt I could be persuaded from it. (Though really, qualitatively, East Capitol down the Mall to Washington Monument to down those paths and sidewalks towards the Jefferson is probably better, but it's not better for me. Maybe because that feels too usual and not enough 'special out of my way to see trees.')

After the Jefferson I headed over to the MLK memorial and then down Independence, which has a nice wide sidewalk, which if doubled, would be a pretty great cycletrack. I am not holding my breath that this will happen and then I saw Nate and I rode with him for about 25 seconds and then I went one way and he went the other way and then I rode up 23rd Street, which is the worst street. Strangely enough, I think this street would be less worse if it had a streetcar and that streetcar ran down from down by the Lincoln and up to and maybe past Washington Circle and I think this streetcar would be great, especially for the State Department employees who walk from the Metro to HST. There won't be a streetcar just like there won't be a cycletrack and there won't be a story of me stopping for a bagel with cream cheese because I didn't, even though I wanted to. Up Wisconsin I went, where there will also be no streetcar and where there aren't bagels with cream cheese or at least not that many I'd want to stop for.

I got home via Wisconsin too, at least the parts of Wisconsin that went from where I was up past Tenleytown for a post-work gathering to where it meets Massachusetts and my normal route home. It's an inhospitable bike route and that's a shame because that stretch, at least once they knock down Fannie Mae and build up some more mixed-use development, will be the kind of neighborhood that deserve a better boulevard and one that isn't so obsessed with moving drivers through it so quickly. I don't know if it would occur to anyone to make that stretch better for people, but if it ever does, I will be rather grateful.

Massachusetts Avenue gave way to 21st Street, which I took to Pennsylvania Avenue, which I took down and across the White House, through the pedestrian plaza. Each and every time I ride through I ask myself this: if traffic laws are to deliver us and if traffic laws are to keep us safe, how come more people don't die in this space that doesn't have them? I guess it's the same reason that people don't die when they're walking around shopping malls, where there also aren't traffic laws. There aren't cars there either.

A row of bicyclists and me slowly progressed ourselves across town and then eventually up the hill, though I was at the front of the row by then, in something of a rush to get home to feed the dogs since I was a little later home than usual. Generally, you shouldn't rush since rushing makes you make bad decisions, but I didn't rush too much and the bad decisions I made are bad decisions I would've made anyway. At least I'm consistent.

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