Sunday, October 14, 2012

Washington DC by bike

This morning, I had to go down to Washington DC for work. Since it wasn't going to be a full day, and since it looked so nice outside, I took my bike with me. And after work, I drove down to the National Mall, unlimbered it, and went for a bit of a ride.

Here's the Washington Monument. At 555 feet, 5 and an eighth inches tall, it's the tallest structure in the District. Alas, it's still closed following the earthquake that shook it up last year.

Going east, here's the Smithsonian Castle, the original Smithsonian Museum.

At the east end of the mall, past some renovation fencing, we have the United States Capitol.

Turning around, it was just a short ride up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

At least this time, I did not see the Secret Service out walking one of their patrol dogs. That always gets some tourist exclaiming: "Look, It's the Obama's dog! It's Bo!" Tourists can be real mouth-breathers sometimes, especially when you're trying to ride past them on your bike and they spread our across the sidewalk/bike path/roadway that you're on, totally oblivious to your approach even when they are walking towards you.

Next came the World War Two Memorial, or as much as I could photograph with all of the people who seemed obsessed with getting into my shots.

Then it was west down the Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln Memorial, which was just packed full of tourists.
I didn't bother going up this time. But the view back towards the Washington Monument was nice.

Cheese it! It's the cops!

Next I rode across Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery. Can't ride bikes inside, but I could stop and take this picture of the entrance, with the Robert E. Lee mansion atop the hill.
It's an honor to even be able to ride past it.

Next came a scenic view from the west side of the Potomac, looking back at the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument and the US Capitol all in a row.

This was on the way to the Iwo Jima Memorial, a monument that I truly love.

The detail is astounding.

I was going to ride across Key Bridge into Georgetown, but it was just too crowded for a bike, so after riding through downtown Arlington, I dipped back down the bike path along the George Washington Memorial Parkway and rode across the bridge to Theodore Roosevelt Island.

Here's Teddy!
And the view from the footbridge back up thew river to the Key Bridge, with Arlington, VA on the left, and Georgetown, DC on the right.

And lots of planes overhead, since we're in the approach path for Reagan National Airport.

Then it was back down the bike path to Memorial Bridge again, and eventually back to my truck.
Distance covered: about eight miles. Elapsed time: not quite two hours. Weather: beautiful. Satisfaction: high.


  1. That's awesome! Not very much interesting to see on my bike rides.

  2. Great pics, and people would probably KILL to get that ride to break up the monotony of their daily grinds (er... rides)... :-)

  3. Thanks for posting the pics!

  4. Since I see those helos all the time, what service runs those? Figured I'd ask somebody who might know.

  5. Andy, that heckiflopter belongs to the U.S. Park Police, the agency responsible for all National Park Service property and land in the greater DC area.

  6. Thanks, Murph! Much appreciated.

    I had been scheduled in Washington this week, but that got scrubbed a few weeks ago. No matter how dismal the business at hand may be, I always enjoy the sights (and the business planned for this time would have rated about 3 on a scale of 10 had it not gotten canned).

    Your photo sequence was the next best thing to a Washington excursion.

  7. Anonymous8:59 PM

    Awesome pictures

  8. Riding around taking pictures of the White House and other government facilities in Washington?

    Sounds very suspicious to me.

    I certainly hope someone assigned a drone to keep an eye on you.

  9. @ Msgt B: I hope so, too. It'll be so much easier for me to fulfill a life goal and shoot one down if it comes directly here.

  10. Hope to join you sometime; what a wonderful ride.

    PS: can I join the guys the last week end in October ?????

  11. @ RV There Yet: I was expecting you to. Looking forward to it.