Saturday, April 30
No rain forecast for today and warmer temps (though no sun – no need for sunscreen since Tuesday), so I went with my original plan to spend the day on a bicycle. Cousin offered her son's bike. Alas, its tires were quite flat and I couldn't get the air pump to attach right (later Cousin said the lever worked opposite of what one expects, but I don't think that would have worked either).
I did an online search for bike rental places in DC. One with good prices was at L'Enfant Plaza. I took the Metro there. I had lunch at the food court (selections limited due to the weekend), and was on the bike before 2:00. It was cold enough I kept my jacket on (warmer than yesterday? I don't think so!).
I crossed the Washington Channel and did the loop around East Potomac Park (though I didn't realize what I was doing until I got to the end of it). I crossed another bridge near the south end of the Tidal Basin to the trail along the George Washington Parkway and the west side of the Potomac. I headed northwest.
I saw a good view of the Washington Memorial and pulled off the paved path. Between very little space beside the path before a downward slope and a likely depression in the ground my bike tipped over. With no place for my foot so did I. The grass was soft, so no injury though I felt the jolt. Four bikers who saw my tumble stopped to make sure I was OK. I could give them my name and I knew where I was. They offered to ride with me. But I still wanted to take that photo and I'm sure they wanted to go much faster than I could. Only then did one of them mention he wished he had a camera because the whole tumble seemed to happen in slow motion. I thanked them and they went on. I don't feel any effects, though a few joints might be sore in the morning. Here's the shot. Was it worth it?
I continued northwest to near Roosevelt Island, then turned around. I went beyond the bridge where I had crossed until I was beside Reagan National Airport. Then back to the bridge and across.
I walked the bike through the FDR Memorial (which I had seen before in the dark). This is a sprawling memorial with a "room" for each of his terms as president. This particular scene is (I think) from his second term. It shows a man listening intently to one of Roosevelt's Fireside Chats.
By this time I had been on the bike for nearly 3 hours and decided that was enough. I had a snack at L'Enfant Plaza before catching the Metro back to Cousin's place.
For supper we went to a nice Greek restaurant. Cousin invited a friend to join us. The place got a bit loud at times because the Washington hockey team is in the finals, which was, of course, on the screens in the restaurant and the bar next door.
After I posted the previous story about the Discover space shuttle and the flag I thought was backward, I got a note from a friend. He said I should think of a flag on a pole on a sea ship. The star field is closest to the pole, so is always upwind.