My new commute, day 19
Tuesday, July 05, 2011
Today was a great day. I biked to and from work, and it actually seemed a little easier. Really! I am not sure I was going noticeably faster, but my legs didn't ache all the way uphill as they usually do. My new tires are also working well (so far). It was a little bit on the hot and muggy side, but nothing I couldn't handle.
Remember what I said yesterday about thunderstorms and trees? Well, guess what?! There were about 8-10 fallen trees across *my* section of the trail today -- so many that I stopped counting. That must have been some storm! Fortunately, there were relatively straightforward ways to get around them, and a couple of guys even stopped to help me across the harder ones. That's a first! By the time I rode home, all but two of the largest ones had been cleared.
When one of the other bikers commented that he thought it would/should have been a bigger priority to clear the trail, I pointed out that our hard-working park rangers were probably still busy cleaning up after the "big birthday party" on the Mall yesterday.
Speaking of which, downtown was kind of a mess today. The portajohns hadn't been removed yet, and there were temporary fences in unexpected places on the Mall, put up, no doubt, for crowd control. I wasn't the only biker mislead by a sign that said "Pedestrian Detour." Except that the "detour" didn't actually lead anywhere, momentarily stranding me in a fenced area with no signs to help me find a way out in the direction I wanted to go. I tried to warn other bikers, but nobody was listening. They must have been wearing headphones or something.
All of the people I saw in Park Service uniforms were busy picking up trash. It's really too bad that there was so much of it. As someone who had lived in the Washington metro area for many years, I watched the fireworks from the comfort of my couch. I've seen them many times before, and I wouldn't have enjoyed the crowded and stuffy subway trains, the broken escalators (see today's NY Times), the delays and the out-of-service elevators. Hopefully by tomorrow the Park Service staff can start to get on with their regular work.