Monday, August 25, 2014

Bike Tour of DC's Bridges


I can't think of another 17 miles that demonstrates the diverse beauty and challenges of our city.  

I've tried a continuous route of DC's bridges before but usually got stuck or had to double back due to an incomplete trail, lack of nerves over a too busy road, or even the Navy Yard closing off their section of the Anacostia River-walk trail. Last week, I made the tour successfully: A West-to-East, criss-crossing tour (no backtracking).

This ride is really special; it brings together so many diverse views and experiences of D.C. The majesty of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, industrial remnants near Buzzard Point, the raw flow and speed of 395 traffic, booming commerce around Nats Park, RFK Stadium's fading glory, D.C. General Hospital homeless shelter (looming over Congressional Cemetery no less), and some pretty darn serene nature scenes along the Anacostia and Kingman Island. Of course, starting in Georgetown and ending on Benning Rd produces its own socioeconomic contrast.


The route's a little grueling with the traffic and way-finding but I can't wait to get out there an do it again; maybe starting at Chain Bridge? There's also the Ohio Dr bridge that crosses the Reflecting Pond. I also included the bridge at Yards Park for fun, and the semi-secret bridge going from Ohio Park to L'Enfant. That one's fun because it gives a great view above the Maine Ave Fish Market. Trickiest one is probably East Capitol St, it takes a little doubling back on the East side. 

Methodology: Tracked the route on Map My Ride app and exported the kml file from Map My Ride. Just did a but of annotation in QGIS (will someone buy my ArcMap already), scalebar, satellite image basemap.

Turn list after the jump (honestly some of the turns are pretty complicated):