DC by bike

Trip Start Aug 20, 2011
Trip End Sep 30, 2011

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What I did
Got saddle sore

Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Thursday, August 25, 2011

This hotel supplies a free breakfast in the lobby each morning, so we tucked into some grub before heading off for the day. Whilst eating brekky, we noticed the intense media coverage being given to Hurricane Irene and the fact that it could hit Washington DC (worst case scenario). We vow to keep an eye on the weather updates and keep our plans flexible to avoid heading into the eye of the storm.

We hired bikes from a shop around the corner from our hotel so we could cover a lot of ground today and see all the sights. We rode down to the White House (I reckon Obama should change the racist name of his crib considering he is the first black president), then on to the Washington Monument (the big obelisk, which was damaged by the earthquake two days ago), the WW2 Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Korean Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial (due to be officially opened on Sunday by the President) and the Jefferson Memorial. It rained on and off during this part of our day, so we spent a few minutes here and there huddled under some trees taking shelter. We then rode along the bank of the Potomac River up to Georgetown, which was a thriving port in the 18th century. This is a very nice part of town, with the townhouses making it look very British.  My highlight was the C&O Canal, which started in Georgetown and ran all the way to West Virginia through hundreds of locks. Some of the locks have been restored at the beginning of the canal and we rode along the path alongside the canal for a bit (the path was once used by the horses that pulled the barges through the locks).  We stopped in Georgetown for some fantastic crepes for lunch, then continued on to the famous Georgetown University for a quick look. We then returned to the start of the canal and followed a fantastic path North along Rock Creek. We followed this path for a few km, before turning around and heading back towards town. We rode the length of the National Mall, past all of the Smithsonian Museums and ended up at the Capitol Building. To return to the bike shop, we followed a bike path up the MIDDLE of Pennsylvania Ave. It was a bit of a thrill riding in the middle of a very busy street, but the bike lanes were well defined (as they were all across the city) and the drivers stayed well clear. DC is very bike-friendly, which is something that made our day in the saddle that much more enjoyable!

After scrubbing up, we headed to Dupont Circle again, finding an outdoor table at a café called One Lounge. We tucked into a very nice tasting plate and had a few drinks whilst watching the world go by alongside us. On the walk back to the hotel, we stumbled across an awesome brass ensemble blasting out some funky tunes. Check out the attached video. This day was the highlight of our trip so far.
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