As you might have heard, Capital Bikeshare launched today. As part of the launch, staff and volunteers rode the bikes from the Navy Yard/Department of Transportation to stations around the city. It wasn’t all of the bikes (it’ll take another week or so to get all the stations in place, I understand), but it was quite a few:
I was tapped to lead a group to the station at the corner of 21st and I St (NW).
It turned out to be a very DC ride with a very DC group of people (policy analyst, political staffer, university staffer and lawyer (me) made up my group). We start by heading up New Jersey Ave SE (that is not my thumb. Because I would never do that. Obviously.):
New Jersey Ave is closed to most vehicular traffic near the Capitol, but bit of bollard threading brought us out to Independence, where we made a left:
And from there, we wrapped around the front of the Capitol on First St., and then down Pennsylvania, where we hoped to take advantage of the new bike lanes. Except:
Ah, another MPD officer who confuses bike lanes for parking spots. Always one or two around.
Except, wait, why so many? And what’s up with that really angry one who decided that the best way to communicate with citizens is to adopt an overly aggressive and hostile tone while forcing us onto the sidewalk? Oh, this is why:
Obamacade! With that out of the way, we retake the street (because the MPD’s just gonna hang out in the lanes a little longer, thankyouverymuch):
We make a right on 15th to get up to I St., except . . . street closed again. Back onto the sidewalk (walking, of course, because you can’t bike on the sidewalk in the Central Business District in DC). Why closed? Oh, sit in:
These folks were probably about 15 minutes away from getting arrested, I’m thinking.
Next, from 15th we turn and head westward on I St. Hey, look, another unfair labor practices picket line (it was noted that the people in this line are probably not the usuals that get hired to do it):
And we arrive and dock the bikes at 21st and I, just at the edge of the George Washington University campus. Success!
It was a great ride, and I got to start my week with my friends Tim & Chris from BikeArlington, Chantal/Greg & the rest of the staff from WABA, Chris from Cycleboredom, Joel of Gwadzilla, Angela/Jakob of Revolution Cycles, Jay/Walter/Chris of Arlington County, Fionualla of FABB, and a bunch of other bike (and otherwise) friendly faces I’m sure I’m forgetting right now. All in all, an excellent way to kick off the week.