Let’s get together for our summer tour!
I’ll hand out swag items to everyone that attends and RSVPs for the tour (a different item each time)! A raffle item will be raffled off to those that make it to the end of our ride. New riders, come join us for the first time! Riders from previous Meetups (Adolphus, Aian Neil, Alphonso, Anibal, Ben, Benicio, Bob, Brandon, Brooke, Chris, Connor, Dave, Declan, Denis, Edwin, Eli, Erwin, Gary, Geoff, Greg, Haitao, Heather, James, Jason, Jeff, Jeremy, Jessica, Joe, John, Jonathan, Kevin, Kris, Lam, LeRoy, Loren, Lori, Lutalo, Mark, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Nick, Phil, Rakesh, Raul, Raymond, Richard, Riley, Rob, Robert, Rodney, Sasha, Shelly, Steven, and Zoltan), come join us again!
Don’t own an e-wheel? You can rent one (e-scooter, e-bike) using your Uber or Lyft app (other apps include Skip, Lime, Bird, and Spin). Rental cost may add up, but since the tours are free, the cost is less than a comparable Segway tour (that uses older technology). Join us for some or all of the tour!
We’ll tour the Downtown, Penn Quarter, Judiciary Square, Eckington, Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle, Shaw, Logan Circle, and Dupont neighborhoods and stop numerous times along the way for photo ops and to enjoy the sites, memorials, neighborhoods, landmarks, and to also let some of the slower riders catch up (if some of us decide to go at a quicker speed). Note that this route contains 90% bike lanes. I’ll read aloud the description of each site, memorial, neighborhood, and landmark along the way so that we all know what we’re looking at, and so that we can also learn more about the awesome treasures that exist in our own backyard! Ideally, we’ll all ride together and at the same speed, but that may or may not be possible with other pedestrians, bicyclists, cars, etc. sharing the same paths, but let’s do our best please. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic (see the “COVID-19” section for full details), everyone who is NOT fully vaccinated will be required to wear a face mask and to stay 6 feet apart. While I am fully vaccinated, I still plan to wear my mask as a courtesy to others. In total, it’s a ~7.6 mile trip that’s sure to be enjoyable!
We’ll meet up in the center of Washington Circle at 2pm. Then we’ll ride northeast along New Hampshire Ave NW for 1 block, at 2:30pm. Once we come across L Street NW, we’ll make a right and travel for ~1.2 miles.
Once we reach the end of L Street NW (13 blocks), we’ll turn right on Massachusetts Ave NW and travel southeast. After another block, we’ll turn right on 10th Street NW and travel south for 0.5 miles.
At the above intersection, we’ll come across Samuel Gompers Memorial Park. The memorial to labor leader Samuel A. Gompers, founder and first president of the American Federation of Labor, was dedicated in 1933. The bronze seated portrait of Gompers is placed on a pedestal in front of a large granite plinth supporting six allegorical male and female figures representing aspects of the American labor movement: Justice, Unity and Cooperation of the Labor Movement, the Protection of the Home, and the Overthrow of Industrial Exploitation by Education.
Once back on and traveling down 10th Street NW, we’ll come across Petersen House (F Street NW, 5 blocks, right-hand side). The Petersen House is a 19th-century federal style row house. On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died there after being shot the previous evening at Ford’s Theatre, located across the street. The house was built in 1849 by William A. Petersen, a German tailor. Future Vice-President John C. Breckinridge, a friend of the Lincoln family, once rented this house in 1852. In 1865, it served as a boarding house. It has served as a museum since the 1930s, administered by the National Park Service.
After another 1 block, we’ll turn left on E Street NW and travel ~1 mile.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Abraham Lincoln Statue (5th Street NW, 5 blocks, right-hand side around back). Abraham Lincoln is a marble sculpture located in front of the old District of Columbia City Hall and dedicated on the third anniversary of Lincoln’s death in 1868. The statue is our country’s oldest existing memorial to the president and was installed several blocks from Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated. The artist, Lot Flannery, was present at the theater on the night of Lincoln’s assassination. It is one of six statues in public places in DC that honors Lincoln. The statue portrays Abraham Lincoln standing, wearing a long coat with a bow tie and waistcoat. His left hand rests on a fasces while his right arm is by his side. Lincoln’s partially open right hand points to the ground as he looks to his left.
Next, we’ll veer through Columbus Circle around back (Columbus Monument Drive NE, 7 blocks, left-hand side). At F Street NE, we’ll turn right and travel east for ~0.3 miles.
At the above circle, we’ll come across Union Station. Union Station is a major train station, transportation hub, and leisure destination. Opened in 1907, it is Amtrak’s headquarters and the railroad’s second-busiest station with annual ridership of just under 5 million. The station is the southern terminus of the Northeast Corridor and the busiest passenger rail line in the nation. Union Station also serves MARC and VRE commuter rail services, the Metro, the DC Streetcar, intercity bus lines, and local Metrobus buses. At the height of its traffic, during World War II, as many as 200,000 passengers passed through the station in a single day. Today, Union Station is one of the busiest rail facilities and shopping destinations in the United States, and is visited by over 40 million people a year.
When we reach 6th Street NE (5 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel north for 0.6 miles.
When we reach Florida Ave NE (8 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel northwest for ~0.4 miles.
When we reach Eckington Place NE, we’ll turn right and travel northeast for ~0.2 miles.
At the above intersection, we’ll come across Dave Thomas Circle. Dave Thomas Circle is the unofficial nickname for a small triangular block in Northeast DC. The only property on the block is a Wendy’s fast food restaurant franchise, leading to the Dave Thomas Circle name, after the late Dave Thomas, who founded Wendy’s in 1969. The roundabout is ranked among D.C.’s top 10 most hazardous intersections. About 80 percent of the crashes there involve sideswipes or rear-end collisions, suggesting extreme driver confusion. In 2021, the District Department of Transportation acquired the Wendy’s restaurant and property through eminent domain to enable the city to demolish the building, rebuild the intersection and eliminate the circle. The city plans to start construction in early 2022.
When we reach R Street NE, we’ll turn left and travel west for ~2 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Gladstone and Hawarden apartment buildings (14th Street NW, 20 blocks, right-hand side). Built in 1900 and 1901, these historic buildings located in the Logan Circle neighborhood were the first twin apartment buildings constructed in the city and among the first apartment buildings in DC designed specifically for the middle class. Following World War II, the Hawarden, which had become an apartment building for working class whites, was converted into a co-op in 1949 for middle class black citizens. The residents paid $7,000 (or $78,000 in 2021 dollars) for rear apartments and $9,000 ($100,000 in 2021 dollars) for units facing the street. The Gladstone continued serving as apartments for several decades until its conversion into a condominium building.
Continuing on R Street NW right across the street, we’ll come across The Magic Tree Box (Johnson Ave NW, 1/2 block, right-hand side). The Magic Tree Box is home to a family of fairies and hobbits living in harmony with the residents of Logan Circle located in the historic U Street Corridor of DC. It is a street side tree box garden in the heart of the urban jungle that has been converted to a fairy garden and miniature Hobbiton.
Once we reach New Hampshire Ave NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel ~1 mile southwest back to Washington Circle, our starting point.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Patterson Mansion (Dupont Circle NW, 4 blocks, left-hand side). The Patterson Mansion was built by Robert Wilson Patterson, editor of the Chicago Tribune newspaper, and used by him and his family for entertaining when he was in the city. The lot was purchased Robert Patterson’s wife, Elinor Patterson, for $83,000 ($2.4 million in 2019 dollars). After a fire. during construction, its final cost was $200,000 ($5.7 million in 2019 dollars). Completed in 1903, it was deeded to the American Red Cross in 1948. The Red Cross sold it to the Washington Club in 1951. In 2014, the Washington Club sold the mansion for $20 million to developer SB-Urban. The mansion is one of two remaining mansions on Dupont Circle, the other being the Wadsworth House.
Come join us as we spend an afternoon together exploring the sites, memorials, and landmarks that Downtown, Penn Quarter, Judiciary Square, Eckington, Bloomingdale, Truxton Circle, Shaw, Logan Circle, and Dupont have to offer! Please also help spread the word of our group and the ride!
I look forward to seeing you there!
Due to the current state of the pandemic (as of the announcement of this event), everyone who is NOT fully vaccinated will be required to wear a face mask and to maintain 6 feet of distance between everyone else. This is the group’s requirement for attending the event and it also meets DC’s most recent Phase 2 Order https://bit.ly/2WeNTTQ . If you do not agree with these requirements, you will be disallowed from joining us. While I am fully vaccinated, I still plan to wear my mask as a courtesy to others.
METRO & PARKING
We’ll meet at Washington Circle. The closest Metro is Foggy Bottom (Orange, Blue, Silver lines). I suggest taking Metro / taxi / ride-share services if you can. I also recommend using wmata.com for travel planning. Don’t forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays. If you are driving, you will need to find street parking or a garage. For Sunday events, street parking is typically free in DC. I recommend using parkopedia.com for garage parking planning.
Please dress appropriately for the weather. For those with problems having their feet go numb or tired during long rides, I recommend wearing shoes with a stiff and flat sole.
RIDING ETIQUETTE / RULES
Since e-wheels are relatively new technology, please be as courteous as possible to other pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. Based on personal experience (I’ve been riding daily since 2015), I’ve noticed some general good practices and rules to follow. 1) ALWAYS give pedestrians the right of way. 2) When riding on a narrow sidewalk, and you’re coming up behind a pedestrian and you need to pass them, either a) wait until there’s an opening, or b) clear your throat and say “excuse me” or “on your left” in a *gentle* manner (I’ve noticed people tend to get startled / surprised when they see and hear a tall figure behind them on a wheel) before passing them. 3) SLOW DOWN to a pedestrian’s walking pace (until you are completely clear of them) whenever approaching or passing (whichever direction they are walking). Only after passing a pedestrian for a little distance is it a good idea to go faster than walking pace. Whatever you do, please do NOT wiz by them. 4) Thank the pedestrian as you are passing. 5) Slow down as you are going around a turn (whether there are other pedestrians in sight or not) with a lot of bushes or other obstacles next to the sidewalk, as they can be coming from the other end of the turn (and not be visible initially). 6) Ride single file whenever pedestrians are around (on the sidewalk), or cars are around (in the bike lane) 7) Dismount when in the official memorial areas, such as the FDR Memorial (it’s the law) 8) Please stay behind me since I know the route and may be turning left or right at any time
For the safety of others and ourselves, we will all be required to be able to perform all of the following: (1) comfortably balance on the wheel while riding straight and turning left or right (2) ride at a snail’s pace and (3) start and stop comfortably without the need to hold onto any wall, post, or similar structure.
People have asked me questions regarding the laws pertaining to riding our e-wheels in the DC metro area. I did a lot of research before purchasing my e-wheel to ensure I could make use of it. In short, they are considered Personal Mobility Devices or Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device. (1) Virginia: “An electric personal assistive mobility device or motorized skateboard or foot-scooter may be operated on any highway with a maximum speed limit of twenty-five miles per hour or less. An electric personal assistive mobility device shall only operate on any highway authorized by this section if a sidewalk is not provided along such highway…” See link here. (2) Washington DC: “Personal Mobility Device (“PMD”) means a motorized propulsion device designed to transport one person, OR a self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled device, designed to transport only one person with an electric propulsion system. Permitted on Sidewalk – Yes, except PMDs are generally not permitted on sidewalk space in the Central Business District. Permitted on Bike Lanes – Yes.” See link here. (3) Maryland: “‘Electric personal assistive mobility device’ or ‘EPAMD’ means a pedestrian device that: (1) has two nontandem wheels; (2) is self-balancing; (3) is powered by an electric propulsion system; (4) has a maximum speed capability of 15 miles per hour; and (5) is designed to transport one person” and “At an intersection, a person using an EPAMD is subject to all traffic control signals, as provided in §§ 21-202 and 21-203 of this title. However, at any other place, a person using an EPAMD has the rights and is subject to the restrictions applicable to pedestrians under this title.” De jure, the law applies to devices with 2 wheels, as the law was written when only Segways existed and electric unicycles, et al. did not. De facto, for practical purposes, and based on our members’ interaction with law enforcement officers thusfar, our devices have been treated as being covered under this statute (they are explicitly covered under DC and Virginia law). See link here and here. “Green” devices for the win!
If there’s a greater than a 35% chance of rain, we’ll cancel or reschedule. I’ll post an update to the top of the event posting by 11:30am on the day of the event, and also send an email out to the yes RSVPs.