*** It’s a beautiful 80-degree day for an e-wheel tour. See you there! ***
UPDATE #4: The email with my cell no. has been sent to the yes RSVPs (to the email address associated with your Meetup account). TEXT me if you need to. If you do not see my email, check your email’s spam folder, and also make sure your email and Meetup settings allow for you to always receive messages from the organizer. If you can’t find it, send me a message through my Meetup profile with YOUR CELL NO. so I can text you back. See you there!
UPDATE #3: Don’t forget to account for Metro, traffic, and parking delays (see the Metro & Parking section of the event posting for full details).
UPDATE #2: If you plan to rent an e-wheel, some members have run out of charge in the past. I recommend trying to find one with as full of a charge as possible.
UPDATE #1: Just a reminder to RSVP if you plan to join us, as I typically send out an email to the yes RSVPs with my cell phone no. a few hours before the event start time in case you need to reach me on the day of the event. Make sure your email and Meetup settings allow for you TO ALWAYS RECEIVE messages from the organizer.
Let’s get together for our first tour of the year!
I’ll hand out swag items to everyone that attends and RSVPs for the tour (a different item on each tour)! 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, Adrian, Aian Neil, Alphonso, Anibal, Arturo, Ben, Benicio, Bob, Brandon, Brooke, Chris, Connor, Dave, Declan, Denis, Don, Edwin, Eli, Erwin, Gary, Geoff, Greg, Francis, Haitao, Heather, James, Jan, Janovah, Jason, Jeff, Jeremy, Jessica, Joe, John, Johnny, Jonathan, Kevin, Kris, Lam, Laura, LeRoy, Loren, Lori, Lutalo, Mark, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Nick, Olga, Phil, Rakesh, Raul, Raymond, Richard, Riley, Rob, Robert, Rodney, Saphal, Sasha, Sergey, 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 Capitol Hill, H Street Corridor, Judiciary Square, Penn Quarter, and National Mall 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. In total, it’s 7.3 mile trip that’s sure to be enjoyable!
We’ll meet up at Capitol South Metro Station at 2pm. Then we’ll ride south along 1st Street SE for a 1/2 block, at 2:30pm. Once we come across D Street SE, we’ll make a right and ride west for 1 block. When we arrive at New Jersey Avenue SE, we’ll turn left and travel southeast for 0.4 miles.
When we arrive at I (eye) Street SE (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel east for 0.3 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across Washington Canal Park (2nd Street SE, 1 block, right hand side). Washington Canal Park is a model of sustainability, a social gathering place, an economic trigger and one of the first parks certified under the Sustainable Sites Initiative. This three-block-long park is sited along the historic former Washington Canal system, on a three-acre site which had previously served as a parking lot for school buses. Inspired by the site’s waterfront heritage, OLIN’s design evokes the history of the space with a linear rain garden and three pavilions reminiscent of floating barges that were once common in the canal. Canal Park’s linear rain garden functions as an integrated stormwater system. Water is captured, treated and reused, satisfying up to 95 percent of the park’s water needs. This equates to a savings of 1.5 million gallons of potable water annually. 28 geothermal wells provide a highly efficient energy supply for utilities, reducing Canal Park’s overall energy use by 37 percent.
When we arrive at Virginia Avenue SE (5 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel east for 1 block. We’ll then turn left on 6th Street SE and travel north for 4 blocks. When we arrive at G Street SE, we’ll turn right and travel west for 0.4 miles.
Next, we’ll come across the Home of the Commandments (8th Street SE, 2 blocks, right hand side). In 1801, President Thomas Jefferson made a horseback tour through the new city of Washington, D.C., looking for a proper site for the Marine Barracks and a home for the commandant. Square 927, a short walk from the Washington Navy Yard and in easy marching distance of the Capitol, was their choice. Completed in 1806 and still used for its original purpose, the Home of the Commandants has been home to all but the first two commandants, and is said to be the oldest, continuously occupied public building in Washington, D.C. Renovations and additions, which began in 1836, have expanded the house to 15,000 square feet, including 30 rooms not counting closets or baths. The Home of the Commandants was one of the few buildings not burned by the British when they sacked the Capitol in 1814. One legend version is that Adm. Cockburn and Gen. Ross, commanding the British troops, spared it to use as their headquarters, then neglected to apply the torch upon their withdrawal.
When we reach 12th Street SE (4 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel north 1 block. When we reach E Street SE, we’ll turn right and ride east 0.4 miles.
When we reach 15 Street SE (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel north for 1.1 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across The Car Barn (East Capitol Street NE, 7 blocks, left hand side). The Car Barn condominiums are in an historic building, formerly known as The East Capitol Street Car Barn, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. The building’s architecture reflects a Romanesque Revival-style designed in 1896. It was built to store Washington’s streetcars for the Metropolitan Railroad Company. Its history spans the stages in the rapid transit system, including (1) the electrification of DC streetcars in the form of electrical-powered vehicles, and the end to horse-drawn carriages in the 1890’s; (2) the centralization of streetcar lines into a network in the early 20th century; (3) and the replacement of the streetcar by the bus in the 20th century due to their flexibility. In 1962, the final streetcar was operated in DC and the East Capitol Street Car Barn was later used to store buses. The Car Barn was finally taken out of service. For almost 40 years, the brick building stood empty before being converted into condos in 2005. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
When we reach G Street NE (6 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel west for 0.2 miles. When we reach 13th Street NE (2 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride north for 0.2 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the H Street Corridor (H Street NE, 1 block, left and right hand sides). Centered on its namesake street, H Street NE is a dynamic one-and-a-half mile tight-knit neighborhood with an artsy vibe, quirky bars, hip eateries and independent designer shops. The Atlas Performing Arts Center presents films, concerts and plays in a 1930s movie theater. It bills itself as “where the arts, culture and connection happen on H Street.” The weekly farmers’ market sells seasonal produce including handmade cow milk cheeses, fruits, vegetables, pastries, flowers and handmade goods. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a live chef demo and score some free samples. In the fall, the annual H Street Festival spans 10 blocks and attracts roughly thousands of patrons. Highlights include musical performances and multi-cultural entertainment, in addition to art exhibits, for-sale crafts and an array of offerings from local food trucks and restaurants.
When we reach I Street NE (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel west for 0.8 miles.
When we reach 2nd Street NE, we’ll turn left and travel south for 0.3 miles.
When we reach F Street NE (3 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride west for 0.2 miles. F Street NE will turn into Columbus Circle NE. When we reach E Street NE, we’ll turn left and travel west for 0.9 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across Columbus Circle (1 block). The centerpiece of the circle is the Columbus Fountain, flanked by three 110 ft flagpoles. It was unveiled in 1912 in a three-day celebration involving tens of thousands of people (including the US Army, Navy and Marines) and several dignitaries including President William H. Taft. It was not part of the original design of the Circle or of Union Station. Two small fountains on each side of the Columbus Fountain frame the circle along with several stone balustrades. These fountains are accessible by the two staircases located on both sides of the central fountain. The circle is ringed by flags of each of the 50 U.S. states in order of admission to the Union plus the flags of the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. The flag poles are located on the southern side of the road.
Also along the way, we’ll come across the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (4th Street NW, 5 blocks, right hand side). The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honors 21,183 U.S. law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty throughout American history. Designed by architect Davis Buckley, the memorial features a reflecting pool which is surrounded by walkways on a 3-acre park. Along the walkways are walls that are inscribed with names of all U.S. law enforcement officers—federal, state, and local—who have died in the line of duty. The memorial features four bronze lions—two male and two female—each watching over a pair of lion cubs. Below each lion is carved a different quotation: “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.” —Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor, “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are as bold as a lion.” —Proverbs 28:1, “Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream.” —President George H. W. Bush
When we reach 9th Street NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel south for 0.1 miles. When we arrive at Pennsylvania Avenue NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride 0.4 miles southeast.
Pennsylvania Avenue NW (0 blocks, left hand side) is certainly among the world’s most famous streets. While the Avenue serves work-a-day Washington as a major east-west transit route, it is known the world over as the heart of the Nation’s Capital. America’s history has marched, paraded, promenaded, and protested its way up and down the Avenue. The nation celebrates the election of a president every four years with a parade on the Avenue, while other national heroes and foreign leaders have been honored with parades and motorcades there as well. It is no wonder that Pennsylvania Avenue is called the “Avenue of the Presidents” and “America’s Main Street.” The Avenue is truly more than just another city street, it is, rather, America’s Ceremonial Way, the place where the nation comes to commemorate its tragedies and triumphs.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Man Controlling Trade statue (7th Street NW, 1 block, right hand side). Man Controlling Trade is the name given to 2 monumental equestrian statues for the Federal Trade Commission building. The works were dedicated in 1942. These are the only equestrian statues in DC to feature uncooperative steeds. A design competition in 1938 awarded 29-year-old sculptor Michael Lantz $45,600 to complete the project, a life changing sum for the struggling artist who previously earned a $94 a month at his government relief job. Lantz spent 4 years on the sculptures and unveiled his finished creations to critical acclaim. FTC biographer Marc McClure wrote that “the horse, representing big business, with its dynamic energy suggests that it could easily go on a rampage and leave a path of destruction behind it, oblivious to its own actions. The muscular man stripped to the waist standing beside the horse and gripping its reins symbolizes the federal government, which through intelligence and restraint forces the horse to submit its power to a useful purpose.” The allegorical depiction of a wonky federal regulator as a chiseled shirtless hunk is a bit of a stretch today, but it stands as a memorial to the New Deal aspirations for an assertive and protective federal government.
When we reach 4th Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn right and travel 0.3 miles south. When we arrive at Independence Avenue SW (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel east for 0.4 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery of Art, located on the National Mall, was privately established in 1937 for the American people by a joint resolution of the United States Congress. The Gallery’s collection of paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, medals, and decorative arts traces the development of Western Art from the Middle Ages to the present, including the only painting by Leonardo da Vinci in the Americas and the largest mobile created by Alexander Calder. The Gallery’s campus includes the original neoclassical West Building designed by John Russell Pope, which is linked underground to the modern East Building, designed by I. M. Pei, and the 6.1-acre Sculpture Garden. For the breadth, scope, and magnitude of its collections, the National Gallery it is one of the largest museums in North America and is widely considered to be one of the greatest museums in the U.S. Of the top three art museums in the U.S. by annual visitors, it is the only one that has no admission fee. in 2021 it attracted 1,704,606 visitors, and ranked fifth on the list of most visited art museums in the world.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial (4th Street NW, 0 blocks, right hand side). The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial is a memorial honoring the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and the 34th President of the United States. In honor of his military accomplishments, General Eisenhower appears with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division before the Battle of Normandy. Behind the sculptures is a bas relief featuring Eisenhower that depicts the Normandy landings on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His time as president is memorialized through sculptures that symbolize the balance of security and liberty that Eisenhower worked to achieve. One features Dwight in the Oval Office surrounded by military and civilian advisors. A map of the world in bas relief stands behind, reflecting Eisenhower’s internationalism and role as a world leader. A life-size sculpture of young Eisenhower takes you to the beginning of his journey. The piece is accompanied by an inscription of an excerpt from Eisenhower’s Abilene Homecoming Speech in Kansas on June 22, 1945, where he declared “the proudest thing I can claim is that I am from Abilene.” The dedication ceremony was initially scheduled for May 8, 2020, the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, but was postponed to September 17, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When we reach New Jersey Avenue SE, we’ll turn right and travel southeast for 0.1 miles. When we reach C Street SE (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel 0.1 miles. When we arrive at 1st Street SE (1 block), we’ll turn right and ride south for 1/2 block back to Capitol South Metro.
Come join us as we spend an afternoon together exploring the sites, memorials, and landmarks the Capitol Hill, H Street Corridor, Judiciary Square, Penn Quarter, and National Mall neighborhoods have to offer. Please also help spread the word of our group and the ride.
I look forward to seeing you there!
METRO & PARKING
We’ll meet at Capitol South Metro (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.