Last night I did quite possibly the coolest thing ever (for a whopping $7!):
I rode a bicycle from capital hill to the monuments at back, at 10pm.
Thanks to the wonderful people at Capital Bike Share, I can walk up to one of these nifty stations, put in my credit card and take out a bike! The pricing goes something like $7 for 24 hours of usage plus $2 for every hour over 30 minutes.. but here is the trick:
There are so many stations at the exact location you want to be that there is almost no way you ever need to pay more than $7 if you’re using it as a bit of a tourism adventure!
Here is what we did:
Around 8:30 last night, Casey and I left from the Lincoln Park station on Capital Hill and headed straight for the Lincoln Memorial. Can you believe it? 4 months and multiple visits and I’ve never seen honest abe in person! While its a rush to be crusing through traffic and stopping next to cars at intersections, seeing as this was at night on a Sunday it was relatively quiet and safe. The ride to the monument is almost entirely down hill and only takes about 30 minutes (that is with us stopping and taking pictures.. which I dont yet have. New blogger fail). Tada, you’re at the memorial and you’ve not had to pay an extra $2/ per bike!
Now I know that the monument and memorials are beautiful during the day, but also PACKED with tourists from around the country and the world. At night, you have the place relatively to yourself and your view is amazing:
From there, we re-checked out bikes and headed along the path to the Jefferson Memorial. TJ is one of my favorites, and we led a few other tourists all together on the nerdy flashing bikes.
Along the way we went past the Korean War Memorial, which maybe because by then it was around 9:30 pm and pitch black outside, or because its October and close to Halloween, but initially scared me as I thought they were ghosts. I suppose that’s kind of the point..
Next on the route was the FDR Memorial which I wish we spent time at, but as people were using us as leaders decided to come to another time:
The other half is 2 statues of FDR, statues depicting the great depression and his dog, Fala (a Scottish terrier, I approve).
Finally, we made it in about 15 minutes to our final monument destination and parked our bikes again!
What we learned here is that apparently tours are hosted quite frequently, even at night! We missed the beginning but joined in to a private one (and by that I mean kind of stood near the ranger who was speaking). Had we not had to work the next day or been slightly earlier I would have stayed to hear the whole thing!
Finally, it was time to head back, UP the hill this time. My only complaint about the bikes is that they only have 3 gears and are quite heavy. Luckily my 3rd grade bikers self kicked in.
A quick stop at the Capital:
and we were home by 11!
I highly suggest doing this if you don’t have a bike of your own, or you’re just visiting for the weekend. A lovely, outdoor, exercise, educational and endorphin inducing trip, if that doesn’t have you sold I don’t know what will!
Also here is a map of where you can find all the different bike stations, so if you’re anywhere in D.C. they’re close by!