Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virginia. Show all posts

Friday, November 10, 2017

Wildlife on Urban Cycling Travels

Hawk (?) or Falcon on Four Mile Run
Falcon - or Hawk? - on trail along Four Mile Run in Arlington VA

Saw this today - remarkable how much wildlife I see along streams on trails around here. This was no more than 100 yards (meters) from the 395 interstate highway going into Washington DC. And I saw a rather large fox while walking our dog this morning!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Dockless BikeShare Bike Hiding From Riders in Plain Sight

Little Lost Dockless Bike
Parked at this location on a busy street for a full week

This bike arrived at this location last Sunday morning. (The photo was taken from the local multi-use trail across the street from the bike that is heavily used by walkers and cyclists.) It is at South Wakefield St and South Walter Reed Drive in (South) Arlington, VA, at a bus stop. Biking by most direct route, it is less than ten miles from Capitol Hill, which is the middle (assuming you look at it that way) of Washington DC. Not the distant suburbs, but not a quick bicycle ride either.

For the "docked" Capital Bikeshare system, this area is at the edge of the present network of bikeshare docks. The nearest station is now about one-third of a mile away. There are about (per https://www.capitalbikeshare.com/how-it-works) 3,700 Capital Bikeshare bikes available across the metro DC area with this network.

This orangy bike is part of Mobike's dockless bikeshare. In the DC area, Mobike has started with 400 of their "dockless" bikes. Mobike ("the world's largest smart bike sharing company" they say) has a press release with some details of their plans.
Mobike is a re-imagination and delivery of the ultimate urban bicycle with innovations such as the chainless shaft transmission, non-puncture airless tires, a lightweight aluminum anti-rust frame, an enhanced and durable disk-brakes and an auto-inspired five-spoke wheel. These functional design elements result in a maintenance-free bike, with each Mobike’s lifespan estimated at 4 years of fix-free cycling. Each bicycle is connected to the Mobike IoT network via GPS-embedded smart lock; forming one of the largest IoT networks on the globe.
Some of this isn't accurate for DC - apparently Mobike bikes are usually single speed bikes with a shaft drive (no bicycle chain, but rather a drive shaft like a car). Here, in their first US location, Mobike decided to have a three speed gear system and apparently for the time being they aren't able to combine a low cost durable three speed hub with their shaft drive system, so you get a bike chain (with chain guard to keep chain grease off clothes). Some of it sounds good in one way but is more about reducing the company need for bike maintenance than anything else - as they mention, they hope for "4 years of fix-free cycling." (Four years without lubricating the chain will be . . . interesting.) So the "non-puncture airless tires" (by which them mean flat proof) are mostly about avoiding any company time spent fixing flat tires and not because you are going to prefer the ride of a bicycle with hard tires. (Part of the genius of the basic bicycle design is that the shock absorbing system is built into the inflatable tire, which is mostly not possible with airless tires.) And the "auto-inspired five-spoke wheel" (that has five pairs of spokes, or ten spokes, but OK) is also about low maintenance since unlike regular bike spokes, no maintenance or adjustment of spokes like these is even possible. (The idea that people using bicycles want something inspired by automobile design is curious.)

To get back to the subject at hand. Mobike's PR continues:
Mobike’s distinctive silver and orange bikes will be initially deployed at key downtown locations such as DC Metro stations, university campuses, and public parks. To use the service, users simply need to download the Mobike app, register, and scan the QR code on the bike.
While they may have been "deployed at key downtown locations" this one has been ridden to an obscure South Arlington location where hundreds if not thousands of people have seen it there. Since use of the app is presumably still becoming commonplace, in the course of a full week no one has been interested in using this thing. And Mobike, which is presumably seeing it with their gigantic "Internet of things" network, can't be bothered to move it to some place where it might be useful since that would cost money.

Is there anything seriously wrong with this scenario? Not sure.

Post Script: After a week and a day, the bike disappeared from that location. Perhaps the Mobike people reacted to my tweet (to them) on the subject.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Part of My Commute on YouTube



Someone's video of the trail I use for several miles of my commute. The video starts where I join the trail on my commute.

I understand why the camera angle is the way it is, to show the area traveled through more fully, but this doesn't show very well the condition of the trail itself and how (for example) the width varies. The last mile or so (starting around minute 11) shows the most recently "upgraded" part of the trail that is wider than most of the trails around here, but this isn't obvious from the video (alas). I also find it disconcerting when the video is playing at 300 percent of actual speed. . .

Monday, September 25, 2017

LimeBikes on Mt Vernon Trail Near National Airport

LimeBikes near National Airport on Mt Vernon Trail
Two LimeBike bikeshare bikes parked on the grass just off Mt Vernon trail

At around 6:45 AM, there were two of these LimeBikes in the same location, although one was on its side. I was surprised to find that they were still here on my ride home, around 4:45 PM. Now though both were on their kickstands, looking like they were posed for a bikeshare ad!

The LimeBike user agreement states, "Upon conclusion of your ride, the Bike must be parked at a lawful parking spot, i.e. the Bike cannot be parked on private property or in a locked area or in any other non-public space." Keep in mind that these dockless bikeshare bikes are "locked" by disabling the ability of the rear wheel, but not locked to a fixed object. One wonders if the Park Service thinks of the areas adjacent to the trail as a "lawful parking spot" for such bikes.

In Seattle there was considerable discussion before permits were issued to operators of dockless bikeshare systems about where they could and should not have their bikes parked. That hasn't happened here as far as I have seen, with DC government in particular taking a wait-and-see attitude.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Summer of Glass on Mt Vernon Trail

More glass Mt Vernon trail
Bits of glass from a broken bottle distributed on overpass bridge of Mt Vernon Trail near National Airport

If you click on the photo you can see a bit more of the glass, which in this image isn't that bad looking. Some days there has been quite a bit more than this.

There are three different overpass bridges on this trail near National Airport. Since the beginning of June there has been new glass appearing on one or another of these bridges at least once a week and sometimes more often. One sees cyclists pulled to the side of the trail changing flats (not surprising) as a result. It is obviously malicious since it happens over and over with the same kind of clear glass each time, spread across the trail. There are never sizable chunks of a bottle as you usually see with a broken bottle. There have been several dozen different times glass has appeared anew.

The clever aspect here is that on this part of the trail, given how the bridges are constructed, there is no place for the glass to go unless it is swept up by someone.

I have regularly sent email reporting this to the contact email on the web page for the Park Service people for the GW Parkway. Apparently they are able to send someone out to clean up much of the glass but sometimes it takes a day or two. It is quite . . . annoying. (To clarify - it is annoying that someone keeps putting broken glass on the trail, not that it may take a while for the NPS to clean it up. The NPS is not funded to sweep the trails on a daily basis!)

Quite a few cyclists don't seem to see the glass, even when it seems very noticeable to me - they go riding on through it at speed. I slow down and sometimes walk the bike through it.

Ugh.



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Four Mile Run Trail Open

New observation platform along Four Mile Run (Arlington VA)
New observation platform along Four Mile Run

Part of the trail along Four Mile Run that I commute on has been closed requiring a detour. Finally the trail is open. It is somewhat odd since the barriers and signs that had closed off a portion of the trail have been removed but otherwise there is signage suggesting the detour is still in effect.

As is usually the case, since they replaced the old asphalt trail with new asphalt, the new trail is easily 18-24 inches wider than what was there before. It is crazy better than the Mount Vernon Trail that it leads to, for example.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Commuting in Heavy Rain


Tweet shows Four Mile Run as it was during my afternoon commute

The Washington Post called it a "heavy summer rain event" that was "very strange." Perhaps not the most sensible day to commute by bike? Where did I put my common sense?

Yeah well.

For one thing, in the morning there was no rain at all - the rain was only going to show up later in the day. It is easier to deal with any rain, including heavy rain, if it is only on the way home. Even if the stuff in my Timbuk2 bag got wet on the way home (although it didn't) it's no big deal once I'm home. Also, I have done this commute for a long time and I have a good sense of where the problem areas might be in different kinds of weather. I had decided that aside from getting pretty wet, there were few serious risks. I didn't ride down Independence Avenue but rather more slowly through the Capitol grounds and down the National Mall. Once I get past the Jefferson Monument to the 14th Street bridge I am on trails the whole way home (for about seven miles). There are parts of the trail that can flood, but there are ways around those spots.

It was 70-some degrees (ie, around 20 C) but I decided to wear a rain slicker. I wore a thin wool t-shirt under it. Of course, I was soaked after riding 10 miles, but I was neither cold nor hot.

The main problem is having water mixed with sweat (or who knows what) run into my eyes that then irritates them. It is kind of hard to ride with your eyes closed. I have this cap-thing I wear under my helmet (see below) that has a bill which is usually great but it failed with this amount of rain and my eyes got pretty irritated; I had to stop several times as a result.

Barrier cap-thing gift for Christmas 2014

My main concession to common sense in this weather is to ride at a conservative pace - it is easy to misread what you are seeing with water accumulating in unusual ways and it is better to ride into trouble at a moderate speed than while riding as fast as possible.

One aspect of being out in the rain in weather like this is how striking it is how little people driving cars are thinking about how unusual the weather is or are making the slightest adjustments to it. A modern car, with radio (or whatever) on, windows shut, AC turned up, isolates the driver a significant amount (says the cyclist). I could give examples but I am suddenly bored by this subject.

Spindle with cars

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Trails - Just Like Roads?

OK excuse me for a little grumpy kvetching.

Lucky Run (Arlington VA) multi-use trail - early morning
Lucky Run trail re-striped just like a roadway

Above is part of the multi-use trail near my house, that runs next to a steam called "Lucky Run." Streams in this part of the world are often called a "run" (for running downhill, I guess). The stream is the right.

Riding home from work a while ago, I came across a private company with road type equipment applying these nice new painted yellow lines the trail. A worker encouraged me to avoid riding through the fresh paint. Yes . . . the trail has been here all the 25+ years I have lived here - the previous yellow lines had faded into oblivion but apparently someone decided to spend a few dollars to freshen that aspect up.

I have no problem with spending money on the trail - far from it. However as money to spend on this trail, and most others I see, applying yellow lines seems far less useful than doing some maintenance. As you can see in the photo, there are cracks in the asphalt. It is possible to apply some glop (sealant) on those that keeps water from building up below, then freezing and expanding and creating bigger raised cracks, which are prevalent elsewhere along this trail. If such raised cracks appear, they can be ground down and then sealed. (This was done about five or so years ago on the Mount Vernon Trail at some point when the National Park Service must have been better funded - it greatly improved the trail.)

I don't see the need for the yellow stripes on a trail like this, really. This is not a little roadway. The most important thing for all trail users is to apply common sense in their use of the trail.

Yield to...?
Who yields to whom? An Arlington County sign with different users

As it happens, this particular Arlington County sign is not from near my house but elsewhere on the trail network. Arguably these are becoming less common because horses on County trails are almost nonexistent (at least around this southern part of the County). While intuitively it makes sense that people on wheels (cyclists and also skaters) yield to foot traffic (here for some reason hikers, not simply people walking) I suspect all that is meant by that is that cyclists aren't to force walkers off the trail from behind. I am a bit suspect of the Virginia use of the word "yield" in such laws since all that motorists have to do for pedestrians (or cyclists, by the way) in a crosswalk is "yield" while in DC the motorist must stop. Hmm.

Small pile of asphalt
Effectively part of the Four Mile Run trail with a dollop of asphalt for fun

Meanwhile elsewhere on the local trail system a company doing some road resurfacing left a six inch tall pile of asphalt on the small sidewalk that in this particular location connects to wider segments of the local multi-use trail network (and is reasonably heavily used, in fact).. Thank God no one has had the idea to put a yellow link down the middle of this. This is a location where most people thankfully do apply common sense; for example, I usually stop my bike if another bike is coming - it is too narrow for two oncoming bikes to get by one another without some avoidable risk. Or sometimes the oncoming cyclists will stop first. The asphalt, already here for about five days, just adds to the fun.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Four Mile Run Renewal

Four Mile Run new asphalt
This "intersection" has been widened

This can be a complicated spot for cyclists and pedestrians to negotiate when several come together at once going in several directions. As part of a project to improve the area along the nearby stream, the asphalt was completely redone here.

I was glad to see that a segment of fence was moved so that it was no longer aligned with the concrete walkway. Previously when riding towards the concrete walkway from the asphalt while turning to the right the end of the steel fence could be something a rider could end up crashing into if anything went wrong. That risk is now reduced - good!

Four Mile Run new asphalt
Fence has been moved away from concrete walkway

Oddly though gentle curve of the asphalt edge along the right is straightened out for about the last two feet. A reasonable principle of road design is that the curve of the roadway should be consistent and predictable - it seems neither of those that it straightens out. Now of course this is in plain sight, but when riding and paying attention an oncoming bicycle and possibly walkers or runners, it is better if the edge of the path is laid out predictably, not oddly.

It almost certainly looks like a small thing, but over almost twenty years of commuting and other riding, it is just this kind of thing that I have negotiated poorly, leading to dumb falling accidents. Now the asphalt part of the intersection is much wider, but when turning to the right the concrete walkway is just the same relatively narrow width as it was before and a rider will naturally gravitate as far as possible to the right while making the turn when there is an oncoming bicycle.

FourMileRunDetail
Asphalt curves to right but straightens last two feet or so for no obvious (good) reason

It's great that there is more asphalt to help reduce some of the difficulty navigating this intersection and that the fence was moved, but the one detail could have been better. Well, in my view anyway.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

What One Sees While Commuting

Crew training on Four Mile Run
Unusually warm February day brings crew team to Four Mile Run for training

Not much room for crew on this stream, really
I guess they came up from the Potomac

Untitled
There were in fact two racing shell and a motorboat

Normally my commute is on the other side of Four Mile Run, where the Arlington water treatment plant is, but at the moment cyclists are supposed to use a detour while some work is done along the north bank.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

To the Women's March on Washington by Bike

Bike Valet at Women's March on Washington
Bike valet parking at L'Enfant Plaza SW & Independence Avenue

It is about nine miles from my house to where the bike valet parking was set up for the Women's March on Washington - I decided to take my ancient 1973 three-speed Raleigh Sports bike that is indestructible and also not a bike that would be a loss if something bad did happen to it (like it disappeared).

According to the Women's March on Washington web site, there were 1,500 parking spots at this bike valet service for bicycles, which they seemed to suggest would not be enough, but alas the bike valet service was not much used. The above photo was taken at around 9:30, about 30 minutes before the rally started, and there were maybe a few dozen bikes parked total. Hmm. When I left the area around 2:15, heavy crowds extended down Independence Avenue further than this - far too crowded to try to walk a bicycle in that direction - I was able to leave the area by going south, away from Independence, crossing over the railroad tracks and SW freeway on L'Enfant Plaza, then down to Maine Ave and the usual bike route from the Jefferson Memorial area onward across the 14th St Bridge and into Arlington. So for me at least the bike valet parking was well situated.

Given the huge number of people who attended and the stories of how Metro was overwhelmed, it appears bicycle was a good solution, but apparently not an obvious one, although I understand many people came in groups and a group bike ride to something like this probably isn't the first idea one has. Still, the bike valet must have been one of the more over-provided (or under-utilized) resources connected with this event.

Both on the way to the March and on the ride home, I saw more attendees riding Capital Bikeshare bikes than their own bikes.

Women's March on Washington
Listening to speakers at the March

It was an uplifting experience in many ways, even if the historical fact that drove the organizers to create it isn't a positive one in my view. I was glad to be there. Who knows how many people were really there, but Lord that was a lot of people.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Moscow Extreme Weekend Cycling Event

It was a bit chilly for Washington today, but I wanted to test out some different cold weather gear and went for about a 7-8 mile ride in the middle of the day. It was around 18 F or about -8 C - my winter stuff worked OK to keep me warm, but riding back I was a little slowed by a steady cold wind. Ugh.

But this weekend in Moscow there was a winter "Velo-Parade" that was held despite unusually cold conditions there (even for Moscow) with a ride-time temperature of -27 C, or about -17 F. Yikes! I guess I have nothing to complain about.

SecondMoscowVeloParade
Poster available to print and post from one of the event organizers, http://i-bike-msk.ru/

There is this story in Russian, from the Russian News Agency TASS. There is a shorter version in English. It says in English, in an example of less than great translation, that the participants were "recommended to be accurate" which in Russian was really something like they were told be careful. Perhaps a machine translation. There were about 500 participants. The "Ministry of Extreme Situations" (which is a Russia national agency for emergency response; basically some EMTs) was at the start and finish, but apparently no one needed assistance. This was the second such "winter bicycle parade;" the first one in 2016 had about 3,000 riders but the weather was more seasonal (again, for Moscow) although of course still below freezing. More seasonally appropriate "bicycle parades" have been organized in May in Moscow for several years, as well as in a few other cities. These events are in support of (Russian) public awareness of cycling and advocacy for more cycling infrastructure. The events are not races but more of a fun ride, although in this case, in rather extreme (for most) conditions. This winter ride seems to have been about 6 kilometers each way, along the embankment of the Moscow river, or (coincidentally) about 7.5 miles, just about what I rode today in (by comparison) almost tropical conditions.


News video from MetroNews.ru (in Russian) of this winter event


Московский Велопарад 2016 from Let's bike it! on Vimeo.

Organizer produced video of the 2016 spring Velo-Parade in Moscow, in late May

The spring ride in 2016 claimed more than 30,000 participants.


Winter Riding

Lucky Run Trail Arlington VA
Lucky Run Trail in Arlington VA that was given advance treatment to slow development of ice

This is the bike trail near my house, which is treated to slow development of ice, largely for cyclists I suppose but also helpful for people on foot. (Alas, as a dog owner I am less enthusiastic about this.)

I took this while riding a bike with studded tires, however, so while it is nice, I prefer that extra insurance against falling down. Today is Sunday and I'm not riding, but I am thinking about whether to ride the bike with studded tires or my regular commuter bike tomorrow. The Mt Vernon Trail will almost certainly have some icy spots.

I don't much like falling down. I guess I said that.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Four Mile Run Trail Detour

Four Mile Run Detour
Sign posted along trail

There is (lots) more information on the Arlington County web site.
Construction at Four Mile Run will begin on Sept. 20, lasting through the Fall season. There is a detour associated with the project.
The signs may have appeared last Friday I guess but there were no signs Thursday last week; supposedly construction starts tomorrow? But maybe not the detour.
Here is a PDF of the map I have a photo of, above.

Not surprisingly I am not crazy about the detour. I get the need for the project I just don't like the route of the detour, and that there is no sensible alternative. This detour is two miles into a 9.5 mile commute, but there is no alternative route via trails. The trail network is great except it is not very dense as a network. Phooey.

It is amusing (or something) to see the tacit admission that the present trails are not very good when it says, "As part of the construction, the Arlington trail will be completely rebuilt to current standards, including a new sub-base and asphalt surface." Of course they are just referring to the less than half mile of trail to be upgraded with this project; the remainder of this trail (and others) will remain sub-standard.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Thanks National Park Service! New Water Fountain on Mt Vernon Trail

New drinking fountain on Mt Vernon Trail
New water fountain along the Mount Vernon Trail near National Airport

There has been some construction work ongoing since (it seems) the end of last summer to improve small parts of the Mount Vernon Trail where it was routed down right next to the parkway (roadway). These improvements took longer than one would have imagined - part of it took longer than six months - but are good improvements.

At the same time, this new water fountain was installed. For a long time it was surrounded by yellow construction tape, but it didn't matter much since it was cooler weather. Now that hot hot weather has really arrived, it is great for this to be there.

Thursday afternoon it was up around 95 degrees (Fahrenheit, or around 35 Celcius) during ~ten mile (16 km) commute home. I have my bottle of water filled before I leave work, but getting through the DC traffic out of the city was hot work it seemed so when I got to this water fountain, I was glad to be able to stop and get a little refreshed.

The photo was taken Friday morning on the way in, around 6:30 - Fridays are a day a lot of people telework so not too much traffic, bikes or cars.

The fountain post has a metal bowl at the bottom that can be filled with water for dogs. Nice touch.

Thanks National Park Service! Happy 100th birthday!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Predictable-Alert-Lawful on Your Trail, in Your Neighborhood

The "be a PAL" bike trailer of Arlington VA
The PAL campaign mobile unit-the bike trailer has a 20 inch wheel on each side

On my way home Thursday, it was surprisingly windy given that weather.com suggested a SSW wind of 10 mph. I was surprised to find the young woman above walking her bike that has a PAL - predictable, alert, lawful - billboard-trailer. Apparently despite the holes cut in the fabric to let the wind through, it doesn't do well in a crosswind. If the thing blows over, she would get pulled over too, so she was walking. I guess she does this as a volunteer? Or someone pays her to ride around Arlington trails with this thing? This isn't the first time I have seen her, just the first time I have seen her walking. One odd aspect is that when riding along and seeing her coming the other way, or passing her, there is no time as a cyclist to read her trailer-billboard. So I sort of don't understand it.

I don't know if other jurisdictions have this PAL slogan and campaign or not. Somehow to me it comes across as a little too focused on illegal cyclist behavior or that assumption that if only cyclists would clean up their act everything would be fine. They endorse the following PSAs.


Makes the point that cyclists are the ones who die so they should avoid breaking laws

The problem I have with this logic is that the parallel would be that since motorists have pretty good protective metal boxes around them, it's OK to be a little free and easy with the obeying the traffic code.


Illustrates the classic "right hook" threat to cyclists from motorists

It's interesting that even the demonstration of how it should be done, turning behind the cyclist, results in the car rushing up directly behind the cyclist in a way that would not be great to experience. Better than being cut in front of, yes, but not great.


Motorists in cars should look before opening the driver's side door

These PSAs make good points, but for me there is usually something off about them. In the last one about avoiding getting doored, the third scenario suggests that in the end you should ride in a bike lane well away from the parked cars, presumably because the motorists may well not check before opening a door. In other words, in the end it is all on you Mr. or Ms. Cyclist.

And for whatever reason I end up grinding my teeth a bit whenever I see reference to this PAL campaign (which fortunately isn't often - they seem to have taken the ads for it off the County transit buses). "Predictable" is fine as advice, although it is clearly more about cyclists than motorists. (In fact, most of the predictable motorist behaviors are the ones we don't want, like opening doors without looking or cutting off cyclists with right turns.) "Alert" seems to be because they needed a vowel. Because otherwise, duh. Alert. Yeah. But it is the "lawful" that annoys me most, but I suppose as much as anything because it makes no grammatical sense. What they mean is "law abiding" but I guess that is two words.

Hmmm.

ADDENDUM: BikeArlington read this and says: I also saw your latest post on the PAL trailer. While [the PAL trailer-bike and rider] does ride on the trails, her primary focus is to connect with motorists. She’s frequently camped out along the Mount Vernon trail to interface with traffic moving slowly on the GW Parkway.

The idea behind the PAL campaign is that it’s designed to be targeted towards all mode of travel. We recognize that pedestrians jaywalk, that people on bikes will run red lights, and that motorists will speed and text. We don’t assign blame to anyone in particular, but rather just point out that if everyone travels in a manner that is predictable, alert and lawful, that we would have much less conflict on the streets.


OK.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Arlington Makes the Trails Smoooooth

Untitled
Looking towards the south end of National Airport along Four Mile Run

Concrete trail areas and where such trails meet asphalt can have problems - a typical quick response is to fill in with asphalt. Often the results do not make the situation better and may make it worse. In this area where several bridges cross over the concrete trail along Four Mile Run, there were several such asphalt repairs that were not very well executed. There were also several places where concrete blocks did not meet evenly (but were not filled in with asphalt). Today Arlington County had these problem repaired by grinding down the concrete to create smooth concrete! Yay! Well done!

The example shown in the photograph above was dangerous for inexperienced riders - the raised concrete running in the direction a rider was heading could easily result in a crash if someone tried to go across the imperfection when passing someone, for example. This is a lot safer and better. There were about a dozen spots along here where such fixes were made today. Really nice.



Monday, March 7, 2016

"Bicycles Are Prohibited Off the Mount Vernon Trail"

Bicycles are prohibited off the Mount Vernon Trail
This sign, and another pointing the opposite direction, appeared Friday

In the past year or so, it has become popular for cyclocross type cyclists to ride along near the trail, but not on the trail, near Gravelly Point. (This sign is stuck in the ground right next to it.) The regular riders have created a kind of dedicated rut-trail that winds around under the railway bridge away from the asphalt trail. The people look like they are having fun. Apparently with the onset of better cycling weather, the National Park Service has decided to put a stop to it. I am not going to look up the Code of Federal Regulations 4.30, but really? It covers this situation? Hmmm.

What surprised me most today was that the two signs were still there! No one pulled them out of the ground and tossed them into the Potomac (or elsewhere).

I would be a little more sympathetic if the Park Service had done even a little trail maintenance in the last five years or so. Or did anything during snow.

BikeArlington read this and wrote me: . . . last fall, a group of cyclocross racers met with NPS who were concerned about the trail sections that came dangerously close to the GW Parkway (literally cornering at speed just a few feet from traffic). And while NPS is open to the idea of using that space, because it is federal parkland, an environmental study needs to be conducted before the NPS can officially condone such use. Unfortunately, that study . . . takes quite some time. . .

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pre-treating Trails in Arlington VA

Untitled
Trail along Four Mile Run near where I live

Tonight snowy weather of some sort is promised and Arlington has pre-treated the trails with some sort of fluid. That is what the parallel dark lines are. Pretty nice!

I confess I am not sure how much this pre-treatment helps. I live down the street from a high school in Arlington and they do it on our street assiduously before every storm, but once the snow starts to fall - hmm. Still, it is great to see the county government providing good service for trail users (including but not only cyclists), and they have done a good job with plowing trails too.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

1896 Bicycle Map for DC and Area

Roberts' [bicycle] road map of the District of Columbia and adjoining portions of Maryland and Virginia.

Cover title: Bicycle road map : Roberts' road map of the District of Columbia and adjoining portions of Maryland and Virginia : with tables of distances ... character of roads.
Created / Published - Washington : W.F. Roberts, c1896
Library of Congress, Geography & Map Division
http://lccn.loc.gov/88693356

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896
Click here for zoom view of this 1896 map

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - detail
Detail showing Washington DC and then-Alexandria (not Arlington) County

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - road quality
Indicators for quality of roads (for use by cyclists)

Roberts Bicycle Map Washington DC and area 1896 - Rides in VA
Runs (ie, rides) into Virginia from downtown Washington

Distances are from the U.S. Treasury Department building and not the U.S. Capitol.

I found a similar, but not the same, map from 1896 published in the Washington Times that I blogged about.