Monthly Archives: July 2010

Arena Stage: Almost Finished!

For those of you who pass through Southwest via Maine Avenue, something exciting happened on Wednesday. The barricades blocking off one lane of Maine Avenue were removed and now people can actually walk on the new sidewalk by Arena Stage. It’s TRUE! I walked there myself.

Arena Stage. July 28, 2010

In addition, it looks like Arena will be back in their home theater in October. Just a few more months! This has been a cool project to watch come together. In March of this year, things looked a little different.

Arena under Construction. March 9, 2010

I followed some of the Arena Stage construction project through a photo set on flickr. For those interested, it is here. Hard to believe it’s almost done, but I guess it can’t be under construction forever.

D.C. Commute Scenes: Spirit of Justice Park

This week, I had to run an errand near Capitol Hill. While in that neck of the woods, I took a couple minutes to pop into the Spirit of Justice Park. The park sits behind the Rayburn House Office Building between C and D Streets, Southwest.

Spirit of Justice Park and the Rayburn Building

I think I’ve been in this park before, but most often I just walk by it. I’m glad I stopped. It was peaceful (always nice to find in the city), the fountains were going, and the trees blooming. If you ever feel like the city is chewing you up and spitting you out, the Spirit of Justice Park might be a nice place to take a break from it all.

D.C. Commute Scenes: Bikes on Cars. Six of them!

While I was en route to the office yesterday, I happened upon this.

Five singles and a quint. It’s true!

This car is carrying six bicycles, including a quint.

The Quint!

I took several photos for you to examine at your leisure.  They are here. Bike passengers include: the quint; two Giants; a Look; a Cody; and an Andante.  It looks like all but the quint are fixed/single speed.  A couple of Phil Wood Hubs, one bike with a Suntour hub.  Ok, my bike geekiness ends there, but if you see anything else of note, let me know!

More bikes!

Several tourist types stopped to snap pictures as well. I think passersby were most impressed with the quint. And I think we all were amazed by the number of bikes they could fit on their car.

Cool, no?

Happy Friday, all. It’s mailbox chasing time!

Devin’s Rivendell Quickbeam with the Double Top Tube

Every day I see a bike that attracts my attention.  If I can, I’ll try and take a photo of the bike or at least tell the rider, “Hey, I like your bike!”

Recently, Felkerino and I saw a bike that turned our heads so much we chased the rider down to find out more about it. We don’t normally chase down our fellow cyclists (so don’t be worried, fellow commuters!). However, when we saw this bicycle, we felt we had to seize the moment.

Devin’s Quickbeam at the White House Plaza. Note the double top tube!

While I took photos, Ed asked Devin the story behind his custom-painted 68cm Quickbeam. Apparently the frame had experienced a cracked bottom bracket shell, and he had returned the bike to Rivendell for repairs and a repaint. One of those repairs included adding another top tube to increase the stiffness of the bike. Isn’t it beautiful? I have a few additional pictures posted in my Rivendell flickr set.

Quickbeam, brass bell, and the Sackville bag

Thanks, Devin, for taking the time to talk with us about your Rivendell! It was a pleasure to see your bike out in the city.

The Up-Side of Rain

The ho-hum commute became not so ho-hum this evening. A brief shower passed through our humid city and left behind a little present for the Washingtonians.

Rainbow over the 14th Street Bridge

The 14th Street Bridge may not make the most picturesque backdrop, but it made my day to see this colorful arc extending over the Potomac River.

Wild & Wonderful West Virginia RUSA Permanent

I am so lucky to live in Washington, D.C. Despite the large metropolitan area in which Felkerino and I live, we are a stone’s throw away from beautiful cycling (with mountains, yay!) on quiet back roads.

This weekend, Felkerino and I headed out to the Shenandoah and the mountains of West Virginia to work on our climbing legs. This particular ride was the 203 Kilometer Wild & Wonderful RUSA Permanent #713, designed by D.C. Randonneur George Moore.

Making the trip out was a bit of a haul (about a two hour drive), but the ride was stunning and lots of the riding was shady (always a plus  in the summertime). Here are a few highlights to share.

A mailbox we chased down.

51 Miles Per Hour. That’s right, baby!

I Heart Bikers! Not sure they meant us, but we liked it!

The full set of my pics is here.  I’ll link to Felkerino’s as soon as he posts them.

Hope you all were able to get outside for some sunny summer riding (or other activity), too.  It got a little toasty this weekend, but I really like the riding this time of year.  The longer days, no worries about layers, the green of summer.  It’s a fun time to be out.

And now, it’s back to the grind.  See you on the commute!

Washington, D.C., Bike Parking Scenes

One of these things is not like the other
One of these things just doesn’t belong…

Can you figure out what it is?

Bike parking. And dog parking, too?

This was the status of the bike rack at my local grocery store Thursday evening. I know it’s not always easy for people to find a place for their dog to hang out while they’re inside shopping, but I was a little bummed that a dog beat out my bike at the bike rack. It is a bike rack, after all.

Oh well, I hope the pup enjoyed mingling with the velocipedes. Happy Friday, everybody! I’m off to chase mailboxes.

Rain Welcome, but Timing Needs Improvement

Did you know that in the past six days, the Washington, D.C., area has received over 3.77 inches of rain? Capitol Weather Gang told me so!

It’s Raining Again

I’m glad the area is getting rain because apparently we are at the beginnings of a drought. However, I do have an issue with the timing of the recent precipitation, as it seems to coincide precisely with the moment that I step outside. I’m trying not to take it personally.

Last night’s commute home?  Downpour. This morning’s commute began dry, and two blocks after I left my house proceeded to devolve into a steady drizzle. The return trip seemed to promise no rain, but as I arrived on the National Mall so did my long lost buddy, the rain.

The upside of today’s afternoon commute was that, near the World War II Memorial, I ran into two hardcore commuters. Their names were Mr. and Mrs. ???? and they were riding two great bikes (with fenders, yay!).

Sharp-looking Soma. Fenders and Ortlieb. I approve.

Beautiful Independent Fabrication. Love these panniers!

I need to improve my blogging skills, as I was so taken with their bikes and dedication to the commute that I completely forgot to ask their names.  I quickly took their pictures and then we all rode off into the rain with hopes that we had just experienced a passing shower.

The skies did clear, the humidity cranked up, and the sun finally emerged. Hello, sun! Where were you at 5:30? I pedaled a few extra miles on the Surly LHT to enjoy the afternoon rays and then headed for home.

The Long Haul Trucker in the Rain

Attention! New York Avenue Sculpture Project

One of the reasons I like walking and riding around town is that I see more of the city than when I’m in a car or going subterranean on Metro.

Today, over a lunchtime stroll, I came upon these.

Arbre Serpents (Serpent Tree)

Les Trois Grâces (The Three Graces), detail

These sculptures by the late French artist Niki de Saint Phalle are installed right in the middle of New York Avenue. They are impossible to miss.

Wow, these are cool, I thought to myself.  They must be new. (The full set of my pics from today may be found here.)

In fact, these sculptures have been on the 1200 block of New York Avenue since the end of April. They are part of a the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, a public art project by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.  It’s taken me over two months to notice them!

#23 Basketball Player

When I found this out, I tried to rationalize my oversight.  They’re still kind of new, surely I can’t be the only person who hasn’t seen them.

Ultimately, I had to accept that I had not seen them because I just hadn’t been curious enough to investigate the happenings on other streets. I’ve been locked in my narrow commuting path and lately, I have not been going beyond that.

I definitely could have walked by these ladies (and that crazy serpent tree) before today. I just didn’t do it because they are not on my regular route and I never think to walk that direction.

Silly me! What else is out there that I haven’t explored? I better get to it.  In the meantime, come check these guys out.  They’ll be here until next spring/summer and then they’re moving on.

Washington, D.C., Commute Scenes: The Monuments

Sometimes the city is so beautiful.  These clouds we saw tonight on the commute home are amazing!

Clouds, the Washington Monument. and the Reflecting Pool

Now, if they could just get rid of that fence in the middle of the Reflecting Pool.

Have a great weekend, everybody!