Archive for the ‘Bike’ Category

Biking in DC

Monday, July 28th, 2008

There an article in the Washington post, I really like the line

I sometimes think that etiquette for urban bikers needs more emphasis. I am always surprised when another cyclist passes me without saying, “On your left.” With parked cars on my right and traffic on my left, those three words can be crucial; I wouldn’t want to swerve left to avoid a pothole, only to collide with a passing biker.

This is critical for biking, we are on narrow paths and dealing with cars and trucks, the last thing we need is our own being inconsiderate and not giving a simple warning before passing.

Just this morning I watched one of the metro circulator buses swerve in and out of M street, first it swerved right as if to stop to pick up passengers then it changed it’s mind and pulled out left hard into the lane in front of me, then it decided to force it’s way into the left lane forcing a black SUV out of its lane before it stopped at a traffic light. What do you know the driver had a nextel cell phone in his hand which he claimed is allowed because it is a work cell phone.

NYPD assaults biker

Monday, July 28th, 2008

This video is from Street Blogs

I think all you can say is holly crap, and I hope the cop is suspended and the sued for assaulting the biker. If we can’t trust the cops who can we trust.

UPDATED: Cycling not recommended to Wolf Trap

Thursday, July 24th, 2008


I am attending a concert tonight at the Wolf Trap Center in Virginia, and sent the following to the contact email on their website


I am attending a concert tonight at the Filene Center center, Do you haveany bike racks or safe place to lock a bike during a performance. I looked on the website and didn’t see any mention


I got the following prompt response, which unfortunately is not good news

Thanks for writing. Unfortunately without direct access to and from bike trails or light volume traffic routes into the park it would not generally be considered safe or easy for bicycle riders. No dedicated bike racks are available in the park, although if you choose to arrive by bicycle you could certainly lock it to a fence or other permanent fixture. You may need to consult with Park Police or a Ranger on site to be sure you are not in a restricted area. The good news is Metro service via shuttle bus is available for all Filene Center performances (except the International Children’s Festival).

Filene Center Performances

The Wolf Trap Metro Shuttle Bus Express provides service to all Filene
Center shows (except the International Children’s Festival).

1. Take Metrorail’s Orange line, any of the convenient Metrobus Routes (3B, 28A and 28B), or drive to the West Falls Church Metrorail Station.

2. Hop on the Wolf Trap Metro Shuttle Bus Express, which leaves the West Falls Church Metrorail Station every 20 minutes starting two hours before each performance. The last Shuttle leaves the station at
showtime. Round trip fare is just $3.00 per person (exact change required). The Shuttle Bus is wheelchair accessible.

3. Returning, the Shuttle departs Wolf Trap 20 minutes after the performance ends (no later than 11:00 p.m., Sunday through Thursday). The last train for Downtown and New Carrollton leaves the West Falls
Church Station at 11:32 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and at 1:32 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

For more information on Metro’s hours of operation, the Wolf Trap Shuttle Bus, or Metro’s One-Day Pass, please call (202) 637-7000 (TDD: (202) 638-3780). Or, visit Metro’s Web site at

We hope this helps,
best wishes.

On looking at google maps I could bike from Wolf Trap to the W&OD Trail. Taking Trap Rd south then turn right onto Clarks Crossing and follow it to the trail. Am I crazy for even thinking about this?

The Alternative is I leave my bike at West Falls Church and then take the shuttle back after the concert then take the 980 home.

UPDATE: July 29th 2008
I got the following response from Wolf

Good afternoon,

Your message was shared with Foundation staff and Wolf Trap National Park Service representatives and sub-sequentially it has been brought to our attention that a bike rack has been made available this entire summer season for events at The Filene Center. The location is just to the right (south) of the Main Gate before entering the venue.

We sincerely apologize for the oversight regarding this matter. Wolf Trap is committed to delivering our programs with the best possible service. We realize that one bad experience is enough to keep you from
returning. We appreciate your patronage and will continue to do all we can to create the best possible Wolf Trap experience for our patrons. Thank you again and we hope you will be back for a more enjoyable evening under the stars at Wolf Trap!

Best regards.

So it looks like they do have a bike rack, so as promised I have changed the title of this post.

Timelapse DC to West Falls Church Metro

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

This might make you a little dizzy, but this was my commute home yesterday

Code Red Day in NVA

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Today is a code red day, it didn’t really change my plans, I still biked from home to the Herndon Monroe Park and Ride and then mounted my bike on the 980’s bike rack for the trip to West Falls Church, then biked from West Falls to 18 an H in DC. Only benefit is that I didn’t have to pay the $1 on the bus 🙂

Trek 4300
Distance: 12.17 Miles
Riding Time: 50 mins
Av Speed: 14.5
Max Speed: 31
Odometer: 564.9 Miles

No Space on the Bus for bikes

Friday, July 18th, 2008

It had to happen sooner or later, but last night I came into the West Falls Church to find that two bikes were already on the 980 Bus. Turns out one of the bikes belonged to my wife who had biked independently from Ballston. So instead of taking the 980 to Herndon, I took the 505 to Reston Town Center and followed the W&OD to Herndon, this isn’t my preferred route since I have to travel on a couple narrow lane roads to get to our house. I also need to work out where the connector from the Reston Town Center bus Terminal to the W&OD trail is. It’s probably obvious but in my defense it was dark.

Open letter to Arlington, Fairfax an DC challenging them to improve pedestrian saftey

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

From: Ian Macdonald
Sent to:

I live in Herndon and work in Washington D.C. close to the White House. I was saddened to hear about the accident in Dupont Circle that lead to the death of a cyclist today. I bike from West Falls Church to 1818 H Street daily and I walk in the city on a regular basis.

We need to do something NOW to make the streets safer for pedestrians. The poor girl was killed today because of the mixed signals that are given out to pedestrians and motorists at the same time. The washington post is reporting that she was cycling along the side walk parallel to the trash truck that killed her. Both were given a proceed signal, a green light for a truck and walk signal for the pedestrians. Both proceeded to complete their journeys, resulting in a tragic end.

We need to separate the pedestrian walk signal from the traffic green light. When pedestrians get a walk signal all traffic that crosses that walk signal should be halted to allow the pedestrians to cross the street safely.

As a driver, when I see red light I stop, then look, to see if it is safe to do a turn on red. When I get a green I have been programmed to go. The same thing is true for pedestrians when you see stop you don’t cross when you see walk you walk. It is counter intuitive for a driver or pedestrian to see a green light or walk sign then have to proceed with caution because a pedestrian or car might be crossing into your path.

Every day I see drivers sitting waiting a green light while pedestrians are crossing, stressing out both the drivers trying to make their turn before the light turns red and pedestrians scared that they are going to be run over by aggressive drivers.

This is as relevant to Washington D.C. as it is in Arlington and Fairfax county.

We need to separate the pedestrian crossing signal from green lights NOW. The walk sign should only be lit when all traffic has been signaled to stop, allowing safe traversal of the crossing. This will make it much safer for pedestrians and will help prevent tragic accidents like todays from happening in the future.

If you haven’t seen the washington post article it can be seen at

video coverage is at

previous washington post article on pedestrian safety in dc at

Cyclist killed in Dupont circle

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

The Washington Post has details about the accident, with video

The cyclist was traveling along the side walk on R street parallel to the trash truck, both the truck and the pedestrians got green light and a walk sign. By law she was allowed to be on the side walk, in DC you are allowed to travel on the side walk outside of the business district.

This is why we need separate the walk signals from traffic green lights. We need to move away from the traditional turn on red signaling that gives a green light to both pedestrians and car and give pedestrians a dedicated time when all traffic is at red to allow them to safely cross the street.

I wrote about this very issue in May

Good tips on loosing weight

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

This is a timely article on loosing weight by biking on hills. Since I am planning on biking more often to work from West Falls Church metro I have been looking for a better solution to hills on the Custis trail close to the rosyln. If you know this tail then you know that it is a series of accents and decent that are more up and down when traveling away from Rosyln. This makes it a fun ride in the morning but a killer on the way back. So if I want to loose weight I should stick to the trail and follow the advice in the article of trying to stay seated on the bike for as long as possible.

Staying one step ahead

Monday, June 16th, 2008

I have always used public transportation, so I have no issues with my bike/bus/metro commute in the morning but with the gas price above $4 more people are starting to switch from driving to using a bike, the buses or the metro.

I suffered through Metro’s multiple issues on the metro over the last couple weeks with the hope that less people will be using it now that schools and universities are out, but that doesn’t seem to happening, in fact the over crowding on the platforms and the rail cars is getting worse.

I mentioned before that I have seen more people biking on the streets round Herndon. Now a new twist, just in the last 2 weeks the bike rack space at the Herndon Monroe park and ride has become very tight and I expect this will only get worse now that they have started a major rebhab of the parking lot which will significantly reduce the number available car parking spaces.

So how do I stay a head of the curve. My current plan is to cut out metro (also the most expense park of my commute) and turn my bike/bus/metro commute into a bike/bus/bike commute. This will save me $6 a day in fares and hopefully mean I drop some extra weight.

Today was the second time I did this commute and here are my stats from west falls church to dc, total time 45 mins, Avg speed 13.5, distance 10.39, Max 32 mph, total miles on my new specialized 4300 134.4. A shower and a change of clothes later and I am a happy camper at work.