Capital BikeShare Ride: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

image found athttp://www.apartmenttherapy.com/dc/white-house-decor/hot-or-not-making-the-white-house-green-071166

A beautiful spring morning, cool and sunny. The rack of red CaBi bikes called to me, “You’d rather ride one of us than take Metro, wouldn’t you?” Three other cyclists, all male, were picking up bikes. It was the first time I’ve had company while picking up a bike. Of course this was DC and none of the cyclists spoke to each other. The 3+ mile ride to work had it’s moments, good, bad, and ugly. The bad was manageable. Some of it was my own doing. The ugly was more disconcerting but I think I can work around it next time I ride CaBi.

The Good: Yay! Riding a bike is (almost) always good, and especially so on such a beautiful day. I varied my route a bit, staying on Pennsylvania through the barricaded White House stretch. that’s such a great spot for cyclists. Early-bird tourists were snapping pictures of each other posed in front of the Obamas’ home, just like in the movies. I stayed on Pennsylvania to 20th, turning left at M to reach CaBi station at 21st. Great route, I will do it again.

The Bad: Yikes! Skirt-wearing CaBi cyclists, take note! Otherwise you risk a wardrobe malfunction.  I was wearing a mid-calf, full skirt. Several times I caught the hem between foot and pedal. Of course this skirt might cause me a problem on any bike. Wardrobe glitch aside, the bike seemed to need maintenance. The brakes were sluggish, the gears felt funny and the chain was making the “not meshing with the gears” ticking sound. When I finally parked (see below), I pressed the red “report a problem” button. Hopefully maintenance staff found the bike and fixed the issue.

The Ugly: Drat! No open docks at the 21st and M St NW station. Yet according to Spotcycle there were 3 open docks there. Another woman pulled up beside me. Checking the station map and Spotcycle, we figured 25th and Pennsylvania would be the best choice. I set off for that station, a bit out of sorts, as this was hardly convenient, and was making me late. Then again, I figured, it’s a great day, and why complain about some extra outdoors time? I took M to 25th, turned left, and behold! A bike rack with open docks across the street from Trader Joe’s! It had not shown up on the map or the app. Seems CaBi is having some growing pains.

Even with the bad and the ugly, this ride was way better than dark, dreary, crowded Metro. Riding a bike gets your muscles working, heart pumping and gives you sunshiney outdoors time before starting the work day. Great way to start the day.

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