Friday, January 30, 2009

Bikes at the Inauguration

They say 1.8 million people flocked to the Mall for the Inauguration. I left Vienna a little after 10 AM on a bike, explored the bike parking situation, and arrived near the Indian Museum for the Swearing In. From the Virginia side of the Memorial Bridge to the Lincoln Monument, to FDR to Jefferson there were bikes locked to racks, fences, and trees. These photos capture the volume of the bicycles used that day.

Buses, Metro, walking and bicycles brought the crowd to the Mall that day. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could reduce the use of the automobile like that every day?

Visiting Colorful Ballard

Visiting Seattle is always fun, but this time was even better with visits to the Ballard neighborhood. The colorful flags were part of the street baracade for the Sunday Farmer's Market. The Dero Fish Bike Rack was out in front of Ray's Boathouse. I thought the porta-potty was transported to the Farmer's Market on the trailer and then set off for use, but nooooooo! They pulled out a step and it was ready for use while on the trailer. The comedy potential is just too great not to mention ....just image the possibilitties.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bits and pieces

It is 8 AM and I am trying to guess what the weather is going to do this morning. My intention is to ride into Washington with a group and look over the preparation for the Inauguration. The weather looks iffy with snow chances increasing after 2 PM about when we would be starting back. This may not be a good idea.

In contrast I had good weather riding in Seattle last week. I sent a Dahon Speed P8 out and it was a good choice. Seattle has lots of concrete streets which have seams and bumps that the Big Apple tires on the Dahon smoothed out. The hills were easier with the 20" wheels. With all the recumbent riding I have done in recent years I did note that the seat became uncomfortable on my longest ride which was exploring the Burke-Gilman Trail (

The reason for the Seattle trip was to met my new granddaughter, Sadie Ruth. Oh, what a sweet baby she is. She is snuggly and a little hot water bottle who I loved to hold. I also brushed up on my book reading skills with her older sister, Mira. I like this grandparent role.

I also got to spent time with my wife's mother who is 90 I believe. Coming home on the plane I pondered these two lives. One beginning in the early years of the 20th century and the other which may reach the 22nd century. This is an incredible span of the human experience to consider, especially during this week.

Saturday, January 03, 2009


Years ago on a trip to Washington State to visit my wife's family, my family got involved in a game of counting VW buses. It was a week plus visit which had us traveling quite a bit. The VW bus game became a natural part of our activity started by the spying of the first bus. ONE! naturally started the game for that day. Fifteen or more years later it is still likely when a number of us are in the car and a VW bus is spotted that someone proclaims "ONE!"

I've decided to start a new game for myself in 2009. After yesterday I can exclaim ONE! because January 2 was a car free day. The question is how many days in 2009 can I make car free. My potential for a high number is good since I live within a half mile of the store. My rules for myself are simple ... it is a car free day if I do not travel more than a block in a car/truck/van. I rationalize that there may be days I need to move a vehicle in the parking lot at the store or move the car from the driveway at home. What I want to do is encourage myself to bike and walk to work.

One fabled day on that trip in Washington State we counted EIGHTY-THREE! VW buses. I'll be pleased if I can tell you that I reached that number of car free days in this year. We'll see, this morning I'm thinking about how today can be TWO!