Saturday, February 23, 2013

Hi! I participated in this thing that Mary (@gypsybug) put together where people bike places and write about it and track it and show how useful bikes are in day to day life. I really liked the idea of this challenge because it required not that much more effort than I usually put into my life haha. And because I think that bikes are very useful and it's good to highlight this. There are only two potential concerns: 1. I did kind of a shoddy job keeping track with pictures. Hopefully my documentation is good enough! and 2. My lighting for the night trips (both dinner journeys, riding home from work) was legal, but subpar - one rear blinky. Someone stole my front light a few weeks ago and I haven't gotten around to replacing it yet :-/ cyclist fail. As a last comment/caveat, my meeting the challenge was also a little bit hindered by a pain in my knee that made it hard for me to bike the last week or so. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday that hopefully will take care of that. 

Aaaanyway, in general, doing this challenge was fun and I'm very grateful to Mary for putting it together. It definitely got me out on my bike a few times when I might otherwise have been too lazy. Also, I was surprised how difficult it sometimes was for me to recall details from the ride for filling out the score card thing, and over the course of doing the challenge this helped me be more present on my rides. Some highlights from the experience include: 

 1. Joe Biden: Okay Joe Biden was totally sitting behind me in church on Ash Wednesday. I know that sounds ridiculous but it was definitely him and we shook hands and said "peace be with you" and it was amazing. He was wearing aviators. This was my first time at church in probably years, so apparently I have good timing.
2. Alexandria ride: Biking to Alexandria for brunch with Rachel was an experience. Google Maps biking directions can sometimes be questionable and once we cross the river neither of us knows enough to know whether that will be the case. We took the Holmes Run trail and several windy paths through back side streets, and it was feeling very adventurous. Sketchy tunnels, steep inclines going in and out of rivers, unexpected dirt sections of the path, portaging our bikes around a closed section. It was fun. 
3. Fort Totten: One of the days I biked up to Ft Totten for something (from where I live in Glover Park), and I pretty rarely use my bike to get me to that part of the city. It was fun to get the different perspective and to see the way bike infrastructure is still evolving across the city (and how good it is near where I live). Also it was just a pleasant way to spend a Saturday morning.
4. Bringing Rachel to the pool for the first time was fun. I go pretty regularly but she doesn't usually join.
Rachel signaling a turn on our ride to Alexandria

My bike locked up outside Teaism in Dupont
I forgot to take a picture at church but it was Ash Wednesday so the evidence remained on my forehead
I also forgot to take a picture at Pizzeria Paradiso but I totally went there

Biking home from dinner in Bloomingdale. Good thing my bike had its hipster costume on (mustache).
The social safeway, purveyor of baking supplies (and other stuff, I guess)
Dessert selection from Whole Foods : )
Outside the pool at Marie Reed
Biking from Wilson Pool to Georgetown (on the sidewalk due to knee pain, booo)
This is what my bike looks like when it's locked up at work
Another pic of a different bike to work (this is the street my office is on. It's very narrow but always has big trucks).
The Basilica on my way back from Capital Area Food Bank