Once thing I do, often and for no particular reason, is change tires on the CrossCheck. This morning before work- because one should take on tasks early on a Monday morning so as to achieve something to start the week- I decided that I would remove the fenders and the gatorskins- tires that I really like- and put on some cream Delta Cruisers [I believe the Delta Cruisers were a minor fraternity in Animal House, but it's been a while since I've seen the film] and I enjoyed the change, mostly because I like the way the tires look and also because they're a little cushy and I'm only second to Forster in loving the Kush. [Forster jokes = mega SEO]
I went to work via First Street, where I espied the progress on the First Street, NE cycletrack. The roadway has been paved and painted, but the concrete curbs haven't found their way there yet and accordingly, paint alone stopped not various truck drivers from parking a top the new cycletrack. Should we all freak out about this? Um, yes and no, I guess, but more no than yes. It'll get sorted out soon and my hope is that once the curbs find their way in, it won't be (as much of) a problem. The funny thing about First Street is that (to the best of my recollection) it's a cycletrack that wasn't part of the 2005 Master Bike Plan. It sprouted thanks to the efforts of the community and the NOMA BID (and probably DDOT too) and it's really quite a nice spine for that neighborhood and I can only hope that the cycletrack is extended somehow down Louisiana Avenue towards the Mall, though I don't really know who would ride it there or why. I have a very limited conception of where people actually work, but there are probably plenty of people who live in [parts of north-central/east DC] who work [somewhere nearish the Mall and/or Capitol] who take it everyday and I'm sure it makes sense for them.
R Street all the way across town. What did we ever do before they painted green lines across Rhode Island Avenue?
I decided to take the long way home and that meant riding down Nebraska and Loughboro to the END OF DC- where the roads [literally] ran out. It was by the reservoir and there was a rocky dirt path down to the trail, but no sign or anything, so I was a bit trepidatious of the whole affair until I found myself eventually on the trail and zipping along under the shade of trees and happy for it. For some stretch of the trail, I rode behind a Swiss woman (she had a Swiss flag backpack, she spoke French, she seemed fairly neutral) and some kids in her charge and I couldn't quite pass them because the kids were sort of all over the trail and there were cyclists consistently coming the other way and it was all very FRAUGHT, except not at all because going slowly behind someone isn't really that much of a problem at all.
I've wondered where DC cyclists could replicate the SF "Wiggle" stunt and I think my answer is on K Street under the Whitehurst. I think that would get a point across. What that point is, I'm not totally sure.
Virginia Avenue is the worst avenue. E Street is one of the worst streets, especially in FoBo. E Street on the other side of the White House, where I also rode, is less terrible, but still not great. There were no curbs installed on First Street in the evening either and after checking that out, I rode down F over to 8th and then up the hill and over the Massachusetts, around Lincoln Park and home. The whole trip, the long way with stops, was under an hour. That's about 4% of my day. It wasn't a bad way to spend 4% of a day.