In tonight's episode of Mission: Possible, I faced the daunting challenge of liberating one of the "secret" Capital Bikeshare bikes from inside the White House security perimeter. This was mande quite possible since I was already inside the perimeter, having attended an event at the Old Executive Office Building. My challenge consisted of exiting the OEOB through the same way we came in (we were buried in some basement auditorium), which consisted in my having to wander around the building and maybe go up a flight of stairs. Once I made it outside, it was a quick trip down the stairs and across the SUV-filled parking lot and over to the station. I inserted the key, freed the bike and headed across the driveway toward the exit. And the gate didn't open. And I stood there. Gate only opens for cars. And then I looked at the security guard in the booth again, having previously looked at him while I sort of shrugged at the bikes during my non-secret-agent-style approach. I said, "Do I go out the...?" and he was like "No, you walk the bike through the other side," so I wheeled the bike over to the sidewalk, lifted it onto the curb and waited at the other side of the access point while a woman was talking to one of the attendants about some meeting that she had. The guard saw me standing there and suggested that she step out so I could wheel the bike past. I did. And then I was on the outside of the perimeter, just another schlub on a CaBi. So, that was that. I may not have my black key any more, but I've got this. Easily the highlight of my trip and another hole punched in the Bikeshare stations used punchcard that I keep in my wallet (I don't actually have one of these, but I think that they should exist and DDOT/BikeArlington should give out CaBi schwag when you use 25, 50, and 100 stations. Maybe put your name on a plaque if you dock at all of them. In this case, a CaBi "century" would actually be achievable.
The rest of the ride home was plumb. The weather was pleasant. The CaBi rode fine and it was somewhat before rush hour, so the car traffic wasn't too bad. What about other bicyclists? Yes, there were some. What about pedestrians using the bike lanes as an extended walkway and refuge? Them too. Zombie joggers? Sure, but only a few.
I took the path alongside the Capitol and I think I've decided that the path is the way to go. And since a sign says that pedestrians should watch out for bicyclists, that means I guess I'm allowed to ride there. It's a rather wide path and perfectly amenable to bikes. I don't know why I've forsaken it until now.
Photobombed a bunch of tourists. This is getting to be my favorite thing to do on the ride home. How many dome pictures have been ruined by my biking through them?
I docked at 14th and D and stopped in the Safeway for some stuff for dinner and walked the rest of the way home. Back on the regular bike tomorrow.