Friday, November 11, 2011

Up & Down Hills - Through City Streets - Off to Work I Go -

The first couple of days of my new commute, I chose to mostly ride on Rhode Island Avenue, as I needed to stop at stores on the way home. Rhode Island Avenue from my house isn't too bad to start with - it's relatively wide for bicycle travel, but then as you get about halfway to the city, the road narrows significantly (as you go under the Metro tracks) and stays that way. There's no room for me, so I hop on the sidewalk, which can be a hairy time, with pedestrians. I felt like I was in a video game of "Frogger". :)

So I studied my bicycle map for the Day 3, and chose a more western route towards Catholic University, along Michigan Avenue. That was much better, though there was traffic on Michigan, there was a sidewalk available, and no pedestrians. It's where I took this picture, with the pretty golden Fall leaves. I hang a left on First Street which takes me towards downtown and is a one-way street. When I get to R Street, there is a nice and popular bike lane that brings me to my office. It was kind of nice to, at times, find myself surrounded with other fellow commuting bicyclists, some in bike garb, but a lot just in their office clothes. I felt like I was in Copenhagen! :)

Even though the new commute is only 2 1/2 miles longer than my previous commute, I was kind of surprised that it took twice as long! That's because a city commute consists of stoplights and stop signs nearly every block. :/ I miss the quietness and speediness of the bike path I used to commute on. But riding through the city is neat in its own way. There are shops along the way and people to watch. In fact, when I was waiting at a light, I turned to see a lady from my office walking by, so we stopped to chat briefly. She has biked to work in the past, but lately has decided to take the bus so that she could have some "reading time". :) I challenged her to see who would get to the office first...but she smiled and said she knew I would win. :)

On my commute home, I ride on Q Street, which has a nice bike lane to enjoy. Also, as I get closer to home, I veer off on Monroe Street, which parallels Michigan, but has less traffic. This morning, I thought I would try riding Monroe Street towards work and realized it wasn't as fun because it has a LONG uphill that took my breath away. Much better to save Monroe Street for my ride home, when I could enjoy a DOWNHILL. :)


Spence said...

That's a good photo. I also like the pace of your narrative, and the
idea that biking to work is safe and fun.

Yesterday I heard second hand that cyclists that commute to a camera shop have all these "close calls" all the time. I don't have close calls and don't understand, is it their route, or are they doing something I am not?

Anyway thanks, this is interesting.

Char said...

Spence: glad you enjoy my blog and stories along the way. :)

I think some people have "close calls" because they don't keep their eyes and ears open. I've seen a number of cyclists run stoplights and stop signs and I think they are asking for trouble.