Roosevelt Island in the #DMV

For all you who ride the Mt Vernon Trail as a commuter, or as recreational cyclists – what do you think about the mulch and repaving scenario going on the Roosevelt Island parking lot?

If the mulch is dry, the route is doable. But in the spring, as it is now, the mulch gets VERY wet, basically unsafe and thus requires the cyclist to walk his or her bicycle through that section sometimes. I find this a bit troublesome because nobody ever asks drivers to push their cars around construction zones. This act is only demanded of cyclists.

But, in the flip-side, there are some decent, albeit more challenging in terms of hills and climbing, routes that are perfectly fine to ride to get around this section. Either up or down Wilson Blvd and around the cemetery ; or up or down the road by the Arlington courthouse and around the cemetery. This second route involves a very serious climb if moving away from the cemetery toward Clarendon.

Are there any cyclists out there who use these routes to get around the mulchy section at Roosevelt Island? Oh, I must add that this whole section is getting repaved – both the parking lot AND the bike trail segments. So it will be nice after the work is done.

Let me know your thoughts.

Thank you.

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Filed under Bicycles, Commuting

Riding on the Mt. Vernon Trail

The National Parks Service, grand organization, operates a beautiful pathway (the Mt. Vernon Trail) along the Potomac River – running from the Key Bridge (between Rosslyn, Va and Georgetown, DC) to George Washington’s historical estate, Mt. Vernon.

It is used by children, adults of all ages in all states of fitness and health as well as cyclists. Its distance runs through several neighborhoods as it curves near the river through Alexandria, VA and south.

It is also used by commuters who use it to connect to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W & OD). It is here that I want to make my point.

Much of the trail runs south in full view of the DC/Arlington bound traffic. The trail has faded yellow lines marking the “lanes,” but they do not reflect any light. The result of this is that ALL cyclists riding south have a very hard time seeing the trail because in the dark/dusk it blends into the grass around it – as these same cyclists must also contend with the huge number of car headlights shining on them (which also inhibits sight and safety).

Cyclists can use a lot of light on their own bikes or course, but this is also dangerous for other cyclists (and surely annoying to drivers).

So what we need is to work with National Parks Service to repaint the yellow stripes on the trail in order to make it a safer trail.

Please contact NPS and make your voice heard.

Thank you,

J.L.

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#Cycling in Traffic (#bikedc, #bikeva)

Who enjoys riding in traffic as much as I?

Not only is it my right to do so, but if I ride safely, I can enjoy a lot of terrain that soooo many drivers would rather have me avoid.

But MORE cyclists need to get out there on the streets. If we can do so, it will become even safer to ride our bikes on the roads funded by our taxes.

Cheers (be safe, have fun on your bike).

J.

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Filed under bicycle safety, Commuting, cycling

#Cycling at Night #bikedc

Who wants to go on long exploratory bike rides at night through the DC Metro area?

Please contact Jesse (@jlibraryist)

Also, e-mail: jesse@meta21st.com

Thank you.

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DC Midnight Marauders #bikedc – #Cycling at Night

marauders_logoA few of you in the DMV might know of a cycling group that still exists in Chicago called the Midnight Marauders.

I rode many long nights with this bunch when I lived there. We rode all over Chicago – west, north and south.

I am aware that Bicycle Space bike shop in the District operates a regular ride called City Explorers.

But what we really need is to take the pleasures of bike riding in the Metro Area and blend them with the pleasures of riding at night time.

Traffic is light (much much lighter) and the city lights can be seen better.

The goal of this post is to start a nighttime cycling group called DC Midnight Marauders and to drum support. We will mix DC exploration by bicycle (year-round) on either a Friday or Saturday night, plan the route in advance, and then ride everywhere. The more people we have, the more places we will be able to ride. And yes, we will start each ride about Midnight.

We will eventually have a Twitter for information related ONLY to DC Midnight Marauders as well as a meetup and this blog will be another destination for DC Midnight Marauders info.

But for now, you can reply here with your show of support or to my personal twitter profile, @jlibraryist.

Who wants to #bikedc in the dark of the night?

Thank you. I look forward to our rides.

Jesse

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E-Bikes are Motorized vehicles…

All the e-bikes I have seen in use are quite rapid. In fact, they are faster than many bicycle peddlers (those who pedal) can move their bikes.

The reason for is is the machine pedal-assist that sends the rider to speeds faster than many casual cyclists, but slower than the speed of a scooter or moped.

Has anyone asked the question about whether these are motorized vehicles?

I am leaning toward “yes” on this question.

The result would be that e-bikes would have NO place on recreational trails. In fact, these electric bicycles go so fast, I think they should go out to the streets with traffic.

Thoughts, rants, considerations?

Thanks for reading.

Jesse

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Stop Other-Side-of-the-Street Comments Drivers!

What is it about people who feel the need to say whatever they want to cyclists?

There is just so much rage against people who ride their bikes daily.

I am not saying cyclists are angels or anything, but NOBODY on this planet, as far as I know, is an angel.

Yet, still, some people, who are not even in the flow of traffic with a cyclist (a cyclist who is probably following traffic rules), feel the need to yell from THE OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET at a person on a bike.

This is absurd and immature.

And…it neither accomplishes any goals nor encourages dialogue.

In fact, it just adds to the stress of being on the road. Cars cause damage. A bike really will not in an accident. This means that the driver has a great deal of power – which also means they must rise to the occasion and specifically act like extraordinarily responsible traffic users. This is so because even if a cyclist has done something stupid or selfish on the road, it will not be the driver who gets hurt, it will be that cyclist.

Yes, it might be stressful for the driver to have to “worry” about how to get past a cyclist on a busy road, but one must realize that the cyclist has to worry about getting across every foot of that road at all times.

Yelling at that cyclist from the other side of the road adds unnecessary stress to a situation where none need be added.

Please avoid this habit.

If a cyclist is not in your path, and no such negotiation of road space must be worked out in that moment, you really don’t need to worry about them being there.

This way, everyone can be free to be where and how they are on the road.

Thanks for reading.

Jesse.

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