Explored Washington today by bike. Walked from the Meridien in Arlington over to Fort Myer Heights to pick up the nearest Limebike. Rode it past Arlington National Cemetery and eventually across Key Bridge to Georgetown, which was as lively as I’ve ever seen it. Rode over to a friend’s old place on T Street for nostalgia’s sake, and along the way passed one of Uber’s JUMP bikes.
Since I was already sweating on the standard Limebike, I switched to the JUMP bike, which has an electric-assist motor. I think this was my first time riding an electric bike; it was incredible. The slightest pedaling effort is rewarded with assistance from the electric motor. I don’t think I broke a sweat again for the remainder of what turned out to be a 25 mile ride over the next few hours.
Rode the JUMP bike through Whitehaven Park, visited Washington National Cathedral, rode near the Naval Observatory and passed the Vatican’s embassy and the Islamic center, rode through Normanstone Park and back through Woodley Park before heading downtown along Connecticut, eventually passing Dupont Circle and Farragut Square and the Army Navy Club to the mall where I sat under the shade of a Constitution Gardens willow tree. After water and a quick bite to eat, rode on past the World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and on to the MLK Memorial. Rested again for a bit under a tree at the Tidal Basin, watching the swan-pedal boats and other revelers enjoying a picture-perfect afternoon on the water. Then to East Potomac Park where I watched planes arriving and departing from Washington National Airport. Circled back to the Jefferson Memorial, then made my way slowly back northwest past Watergate before getting a bit turned around and eventually finding my way back toward Georgetown.
Rode past Holy Trinity just as a wife and husband were emerging, newly married with family and friends smiling. Locked my JUMP bike to a signpost in front of Wisemiller’s Deli and almost immediately encountered an older neighborhood man who asked why I looked familiar, and on spotting my Penn State baseball cap proceeded to ask me why Joe Paterno was scapegoated by Penn State’s trustees, etc. Eventually extricated myself from conversation and walked down into Tombs for an ale and early dinner where we caught the closing minutes of the Russia-Croatia World Cup semifinals.
After finishing the ale, hailed an Uber back to Arlington where I picked up my bag and headed to Reagan for my flight to Seattle.