That one night when a bike fell on my head

I have gotten so used to pounding the D.C. ground by foot that I have entirely overlooked the most exciting transportation of all: Bikes. Rental bikes.

D.C. has this great program called Capital BikeShare, which allows you to rent a bike in one location, pedal-pedal-pedal wherever you need to go (or ’til your heart’s content), and then drop off the bike again at any BikeShare location. This seems like something Seattle should have, given its emphasis on “green” transportation, but a quick Google search returns only passionate petitions for funding…anyway, because I usually have my car at school in Seattle, it has never occurred to me to even consider renting a bike as something fun to do. Well, guess what? IT IS.

After eating two of the largest s’mores of my life last night (yes, s’mores — with marshmallows roasted over an open flame in the middle of the city), I made some new friends and ventured out into downtown D.C. on a rented bike around 10 p.m. I have heard that the best time to see the monuments is at night and, I figured, what better way to get there than by bike?

While taking this picture, I actually thought, "I can't imagine trying to put the kids to bed with all the lights on like this." Then the lights went out.

First stop: The White House. This was my first time seeing the White House since arriving in D.C., and I am glad I got to see it at night — relatively peaceful, free of tourists, and lit up like a palace fit for…a president, I guess. (I would also like to point out that the picture you see above ^^ was taken on my 3.2 MP cell phone. Not too shabby for a little guy!)

One word: Majestic. Also, three more: What. A. Man.

From the White House we biked farther down the National Mall to the Lincoln Memorial. If you want to experience the “majesty” of Washington that I mentioned in this morning’s post, go here. At night. And then just be quiet. You will be overwhelmed; I was.

The same can be said of the World War II Memorial, which was created and dedicated only a few years ago. Large stone pillars and iron wreaths representing each of the states encircle a glowing fountain. You know how some moments just seem…sacred? I don’t mean it in the “holy” sense of the term, but I couldn’t even bring myself to take pictures. It was just something I had to absorb for myself personally. The monument and I had a moment, basically.

Our final stop was the Capitol Building, where we tried to take a picture of ourselves using the self-timer on someone’s camera. While you can’t really see all of us, the Capitol is, of course, nothing short of extraordinary. As you’d expect.

If you pretend to see the people, you'd see Chris, Kyle, Marissa and Jamie in the back. Jen and I are in the front.

Needless to say, my legs are a little bit sore today. After my 5-mile National Monument run in the morning and this bike ride, they were ready to call it quits. Waking up today, I hobbled out of bed and realized a run was out of the question…and let’s not even mention the effort it required to climb the four flights of stairs to my apartment after class!

But that’s not to say I wouldn’t be up for another bike ride tonight…

[And yes, if you’re wondering about the post title: I did drop a bike on my head. When I stopped to take off my sweatshirt, I accidentally pulled out my earring. As I leaned down, though, the bike tipped, conking me on the head. HARD. I have the massive bump and the embarrassing reputation to prove it.]


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