3.19.2010

The Photos are not from The Congressional Bike Ride at the 2010 National Bike Summit

perhaps I should post this stuff before it is all forgotten...

these photos are over a week old...
they are getting stale
they are losing their timeliness
then need to be posted before they get lost in the digital shuffle

These Photos are not from The Congressional Bike Ride at the 2010 National Bike Summit!
these photos are from just after the reception in the Dirksen Building at The 2010 National Bike Summit
as I departed the open reception and I found a cluster of cyclists unlocking their two wheeled machines

many of the people were from out of town and needed instruction on the best route to get to The WABA Dance Party at Madam's Organ in Adams Morgan
since I did not have the NEW Google Maps for Bike Feature on hand I had to wing it

I gave everyone a few of the quick options in front of us...
there was the fast direct route where we would have to sharpen our elbows and fight traffic up Massachusetts Avenue or a slightly off course route that would involve less car congest
ion as well as offering a little more of a scenic view of the city down Pennsylvania Avenue

there was a shared consensus
the group that we should take the scenic route
a number of people in this group were on their first visit to Washington DC and were hungry to see what there was to see


being proud of the city that I call home I was more than happy to lead this informal tour

not being a city certified tour guide I just pointed to buildings as we passed
throwing in a fun fact or maybe an interesting anecdote as we rolled forward

from the Dirksen Building we passed THE US CAPITAL BUILDING with the US SUPREME COURT just out of view

not being a history buff I mechanically regurgitated information that was fed to me as a child in school
mention of the three branches of government came to mind
EXECTUTIVE-LEGISLATIVE-JUDICIAL
with those words before me I connected the dots like a multiple choice test

"The US Supreme Court or SCOTUS as it is called by people who deal with it more frequently is where our Supreme Court hold court... that is the home of our JUDICIAL branch of government..."
I avoided getting too deep into a breakdown of our system of Checks and Balances
or cluster of bikes was moving forward and I did not want to risk boring anyone so badly that they lost focus and crashed into a parked car

there were no ohhs... there were no ahhhss... it was a tough crowd

in the shadow of US Capitol Building I informed those listening about how The House of Representatives have offices for their 435 Members in the Rayburn, Cannon, and Lo
ngworth Building on the other side of the Capital Building while The Dirksen, Russell, and Hart Buildings are where the 100 Members of the Senate have their office.... leaving the US Capitol Building with its glorious dome and its angelic statue on its peak where they meet for congressional sessions..."

or something to that effect
we were all rolling forward

I was trying to snap photos in the darkness
while always trying to flow forward
and trying not to crash my bicycle

the cyclists moved at different rates and occupied different parts
of the lane
we are individuals with our own brains and our own interpretation of things
as we rolled forward I grew more and more self conscious of my riding behavior
one... to try and keep our small group together

and secondly... trying not to ride like one of those "skoff law cyclists"

in our small group a couple of the cyclists were in town for the National Bike Summit representing a Bicycle Safety Training group
one of the members of this group was riding to the letter of the law
somewhat oblivious to much more than the color of the lights

his riding style was far different than what I would view as an effort to be a safe cyclist
although I understood his intentions and respected his ideas
I was not sure if riding to the letter of the law is putting the cyclist in the spot which is most safe
nor did I feel that his driving style was very effective or efficient for a bicyclist

not trying to argue... I slowed my pace
all of the cyclists modified their pace
we all tried to maintain a safe position and move with this man on his small wheel bike
it seemed best for me to adapt to his way of thinking rather than trying to get him to move through the city as I see fit

although I thought it dangerous for a stranger in a strange town to ride with such blind confidence
I still respected his effort
all the while fearing he was going to get run down by an irate car driver that did not understand why a bicycle was trying to behave like a slow moving car

the tour continued at the base of Capitol Hill with gestures to the Reflecting pool which of course got mention of a few chance opportunities for ICE SKATING on the Reflecting pool

then onto The National Gallery of Art and how our Smithsonian Museums are free to the public
while the US District Court may have been attached to an anecdote or menti
on of Oliver North, Marion Barry, or another high profile case that was handled within those walls

the Archives Building boasts housing The Declaration of Independence and The Bill of Rights
while The Justice Department Building gets the MEESE IS A PIG messenger in a t-shirt anecdote
had I watched the X-Files more I would have offered and anecdote about Mulder or Skully as we passed the FBI Building... but we were really moving too fast

things grew more familiar to the riders as we approached The Old Post Office Pavilion and then the Ronald Reagan Building where much of the Summit meetings had taken place

in the distance we could see The Washington Monument where I made mention that I had only been to the top of the Washington Monument once... and that was the day of the second Bush Inauguration
my previous employer CBS News had cameras in the small room at the top of this building
I took a few minutes to visit the camera men and experience things from that perspective
I saw Bush get sworn in and then start his motorcade procession to the White House from that perspective

we made the turn up 15th Street where we passed The US Treasury Building and then a left onto the closed off sections of the 1600 Block of Pennsylvania Avenue to get a glimpse of The White House

we looped around not stopping long enough for a photo op
but offering a second glance and then a re-route again trying to avoid the more hectic city streets

on up towards Adams Morgan we flowed up Connecticut Avenue where there may have been mention of K Street without drifting into any diatribe on the evils of the lobbyists

a finger point and not the middle finger down M Street directed people to my old office as much of my anecdotal information came from the perspective of my previous job

rolling up 18th Street from Dupont to Adams Morgan I reviewed the intentions of the various riders
who wanted to do what? who was expecting to meet someone where?

people were dropped off at various bars for side show action, while others went for Ethiopian food, and of course
others were pointed to Madams Organ where they could regroup with other people from the Summit

me.. I was starving and went to the Swarma Joint for an amazing sandwich
only to regroup with a completely different set of people at Madams Organ later that evening

it was a good little improvisational bike ride
it was something I enjoyed
part of me wished it had been longer
as I am proud of this city and would love to show off more of it

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