Stillness in the Ruckus of Washington, D.C.

Buses align Ohio Drive, one after the other, and block my once-daily view of the Potomac.

Large chatty groups of tourists swarm the National Mall, oblivious to the bike commuters that weave around them. They start the day early, and I fail to wake up any earlier to avoid their field trips.

The sudden influx is an annual jolt. The quiet commute is gone. Rush hour noises surround me. They seem even louder than before. People chatter and shout, buses belch and surge. And there’s honking. Always honking.

I still seek stillness in the ruckus. It’s my silent scavenger hunt. Instinct guides me, and the camera in hand is like an extra set of eyes.

A moment may be all there is before a still spot vanishes. Years ago, that would anger me. Now it is all I need.

Forsythia on the Mall
Forsythia on the Mall
Bike shadow on Green
Bike shadow on Green
Early Blossoms on the Mall
Early Blossoms on the Mall
Tidal Basin plus Surly
Tidal Basin plus Surly

Fallen flowers on 14th Street

Celebrating a sunny warm day as the cars go by
Celebrating a sunny warm day as the cars go by

Categories: Commute Reflections, DC Commute ScenesTags: , , , ,


Brevets, commutes, tandem rides, coffee. Sometimes a marathon. Washington, D.C.


  1. Love this post!

    I was in a bit of a bummer mood at work, and your happy words and pictures lifted me right out of it, thank you!

    The goofy “Jump for Joy” at the end really did it for me. I thought “How cool is that?” as well as “How silly was that?” at the same time as I pictured you trying to get the shot and clearly not caring what the passers-by might think while you did.

    I’m in my happy place now. Wasn’t there before. Thanks!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Peter from Canberra

    Great post, from a former tourist (twice) to your grand city. For visitors, the notion that residents of your city actually use that incredible National Mall area as a thoroughfare is perhaps not front of mind, particularly if they have just stepped out of the Air and Space Museum (which has taken said mind to another planet). Fascinating to see your emergence from winter as we descend in to it. As the days get shorter MG I will take some inspiration from you soldiering on bike and feet through the coldest days. Regards from Canberra.


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