Let’s get together for our final tour of the year!
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, Adrian, Aian Neil, Alphonso, Anibal, Arturo, Ben, Benicio, Bob, Brandon, Brooke, Chris, Connor, Dave, Declan, Denis, Don, Edwin, Eli, Erwin, Gary, Geoff, Greg, Haitao, Heather, James, Jason, Janovah, 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, Saphal, 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, National Mall, Southwest, Navy Yard, Capitol Hill, Penn Quarter, Shaw, and Logan Circle 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 a 7.4 mile trip that’s sure to be enjoyable!
We’ll meet up at the Hahnemann Memorial next to Scott Circle at 2pm. Then we’ll ride south on Corregidor Street NW for 1 block, at 2:30pm. Once we come across Massachusetts Avenue NW, we’ll make a left and ride southeast for 1 more block. Then we’ll turn right on 15th Street NW and ride south for 0.5 miles.
When we arrive at I Street NW (5 blocks), we’ll make a left and travel for 1 block. When we arrive at 15th Street NW, we’ll turn right and ride south for 1.6 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Constitution Avenue NW, 7 blocks, left hand side). The National Museum of African American History and Culture was opened in 2016 with a ceremony led by President Barack Obama. The modern push for a federally owned museum featuring African-American history began in the 1970s. After years of little success, a much more serious legislative push began in 1988 that led to authorization of the museum in 2003. A site was selected in 2006, and a design was chosen in 2009. Construction began in 2012 and the museum completed in 2016. It is the world’s largest museum dedicated to African-American history and culture. It ranked as the fourth most-visited Smithsonian museum in its first full year of operation. The museum has more than 40,000 objects in its collection, although only about 3,500 items are on display. The 350,000-square-foot, 10 story building (five above and five below ground) and its exhibits have won critical praise.
Shortly after (1 block), when we arrive at Jefferson Drive SW, 15th Street NW will turn into Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, which will then (2 blocks) turn into Maine Avenue SW. We’ll ride on Maine Ave for 0.7 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Municipal Fish Market (unnamed street, 2 blocks, right hand side). The Municipal Fish Market is an open-air seafood market located in southwest DC. It is one of the few surviving open air seafood markets on the east coast of the United States. A local landmark opened in 1805, it is the oldest continuously operating fish market in the United States, seventeen years older than New York City’s Fulton Fish Market. Through the centuries, the Fish Market has been home to an ever-changing array of vendors and eateries, including produce vendors, oyster boats, bait and tackle shops, and lumber distributors. It stands as a cultural relic popular with locals but unknown to many of the tourists who flock to the monuments and museums just 5 blocks north. The Fish Market is open each day of the week, but the largest selection of fish is on display Friday evening through Sunday.
Next, we’ll stop by The Wharf (unnamed street, 6 blocks, right hand side). The Wharf is a multi-billion dollar mixed-use development on the Southwest Waterfront. It contains the city’s historic Fish Market, hotels, residential buildings, restaurants, shops, parks, piers, docks and marinas, and live music venues. It’s District Pier extends 425 feet into the Washington Channel, making it the longest pier in the city. District Pier houses the Dockmaster Building, a 2,000 square foot building with 270-degree views of the channel and waterfront. The first phase of The Wharf opened in October 2017 and the second and final phase is currently under construction, scheduled to be open in 2022. When complete, the neighborhood will encompass 24 acres of land, 50 acres of water, and contain 3.2 million square feet of retail, residential, and entertainment space along 1 mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Developers settled on The Wharf as the project name at the suggestion of D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, who recalled that this section of the Southwest Waterfront was known as The Wharf during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
When we arrive at 7th Street SW (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel northeast, when we arrive at I (eye) Street SW (1 block), we’ll turn right and travel east for 0.9 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Southwest Duck Pond (6th Street SW, 1 block, right hand side. The Southwest Duck Pond opened in 1972. Originally known as a part of the “Town Center Parks,” at some point, it acquired the unofficial moniker “Southwest Duck Pond” among locals, and the name has stuck. The center point of the quiet park is a water feature that somewhat resembles the “command” button on a Mac keyboard from a bird’s eye view perspective. Three gazebo-seized peninsulas jut out into the water, each providing space for intimate clusters of two or three lounge chairs. The park is essentially a dense collection of private bubbles, with a dozen or so seating clusters located far enough away from each other for privacy, but close enough for a pleasant people-watching experience. The Duck Pond is a small square with just 480 feet to each side, but the canopy of shade trees makes it feel like a vast green living room. The Southwest Duck Pond is beloved by locals, many of whom have spent the last decade volunteering to repair the fountain plumbing and vegetation. If this is your first time visiting, it will likely feel as though you’ve stumbled upon a secret garden.
Next, we’ll stop by Lansburgh Park (Delaware Ave SW, 4 blocks, right hand side). Constructed in 1964 as part of the urban renewal of Southwest DC, Lansburgh Park was built as the primary park on the eastern, more industrial side of the neighborhood, near public housing. Because buildings remained at the park’s southern and northwest corners, the park is configured as a three-block-long, slender pedestrian space, running north-south with a wider and more open section at its middle. The narrow portions are concrete sidewalks lined with lawn and deciduous trees, while the park’s wide center is occupied by a cluster of interconnected, metal domed pavilions and a stage framed by trees. Adjacent to the pavilions is a sunken area defined by low wooden retaining walls, edged by sidewalk and lined with benches and shade trees. Play equipment designed by Skillman has been removed, but the pavilions and seating area remain as they were originally designed.
Next, we’ll stop by Randall Recreation Center (Half Street SW, 1 block, left-hand side). The Randall Recreation Center is a vibrant community sports center located in the Ward 6 corridor. The center is equipped with an amazing pool, basketball court, soccer field, baseball field, as well as a large multi-purpose room indoors. Besides the pumped up sports offerings, Randall’s grounds include a playground with sea animal theme equipment and soft surface, a plaza with tables and benches, including two tables for checkers, and some cool murals. Programs are facilitated by site staff and committee community volunteers.
When we reach New Jersey Avenue SE, we’ll turn left and travel northwest for 0.6 miles.
We’ll come across the Spirit of Justice Park (D Street SE, 5 blocks, left-hand side). Spirit of Justice Park is a park located south of the United States Capitol and is separated into two sections by South Capitol Street Southwest, taking up 2 city blocks. It is a green roof on a semi-underground congressional parking garage built in 1968. The site slopes southwesterly so the parking garage is not completely below ground, thus elevating the park beyond normal eye level. Once inside, the park is quite nice, child- and dog-friendly. It’s extremely quiet and peaceful, especially on the weekends or when Congress is not in session. There are lots of flowers and flowering trees. There are also two fountains, one in each section.
Once we arrive at Independence Ave SE (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel for 0.5 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Native American Veterans Memorial (3rd Street SW, 4 blocks, right-hand side). The Native American Veterans Memorial depicts an elevated stainless-steel circle balanced on an intricately carved stone drum. The design incorporates water for sacred ceremonies, benches for gathering and reflection, and four lances where cloths can be tied for prayers and healing. The design concept Warriors’ Circle of Honor by U.S. Marine veteran Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma) was unanimously selected from among more than 120 submissions. The circles that make up the design are directly influenced by the widely held regard for the circle as a sacred ceremonial shape. Features include the natural elements of water, fire, earth, and air; cardinal points; and lances, eagle feathers, and sacred colors and directions. The memorial also incorporates military elements to acknowledge the special reverence accorded to veterans in tribal communities. The memorial will be formally dedicated in November 2022, though since it’s sited outdoors, it has been open to the public since last November 2021.
When we arrive at 4th Street SW (1 block), we’ll turn right and travel north for 0.3 miles.
When we reach Pennsylvania (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel northwest for 0.5 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Fountain (Constitution Avenue NW, 1 block, left-hand side). Dedicated in 1952, the Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Fountain is a bronze fountain sculpture made up of 3 small-to-large nested bronze basins, which sit in a granite outer basin. The outer, and largest, bronze basin is decorated in zodiac signs which sit in their “correct astrological position for the sun’s rays.” The Aries zodiac faces directly east with the Libra symbol facing west and the Virgo symbol arranged along Pennsylvania Avenue, leading to some believing that Masonic influences were essential in the architecture. On the vernal equinox the sun directly hits Aries, which then faces the rising sun a month later. While excavating for the fountain, a 7 ft. x 8 ft. tunnel was discovered. The tunnel had to be backfilled with concrete to make a proper bearing capacity for the fountain. Two concentric rings of 30-ton concrete piles had to be driven down 30–40 ft. into the ground to ensure that the ground was level. The largest bronze basin was the largest of its kind ever cast at the time and required “casting in four sections” which had to be fitted together “with great precision.” The fountain serves as a tribute to Andrew Mellon who served as Secretary of the Treasury from 1921 to 1932 and ambassador to Great Britain from 1932 to 1933. The fountain sits close by to the National Gallery of Art where Mellon donated his art collection. This memorial fountain cost $300,000 ($3.1 million in 2021 dollars), which was donated by Mellon’s friends through the Andrew W. Mellon Memorial Committee.
When we arrive at 11th Street NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel 1.2 miles north.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Shaw Skate Park (Q Street NW, 13 blocks, right-hand side). The Shaw Skate Park underwent renovation work starting in spring 2021, which the city consulted local skaters about, and was initially scheduled for completion in August 2021. The new park will be accessible for all skill levels, with attractions such as new lighting, seating areas, and a flipped ledge feature. This concrete park was last renovated in 2011 and opened year-round daily from dusk to dawn. It’s famous for its precast concrete ramps, stairs, grind boxes and half-pipes. The vibe is chill and the people are friendly, according to a Palace 5ive skate shop employee. It is free to skateboard, but since it is an unsupervised site users are warned to skate at their own risk. The city recommends that all skaters use safety equipment. The Shaw Dog Park and basketball court are also on the same block.
When we reach R Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel west for 0.4 miles.
When we arrive at 15th Street NW (6 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel south for 0.3 miles.
When we arrive at Rhode Island Avenue NW (5 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel southwest 1 block, then turn left on Corregidor Street NW and travel 1/2 block south to return back to Hahnemann Memorial next to Scott Circle (right-hand side).
Come join us as we spend an afternoon together exploring the sites, memorials, and landmarks Downtown, National Mall, Southwest, Navy Yard, Capitol Hill, Penn Quarter, Shaw, and Logan Circle 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 Hahnemann Memorial next to Scott Circle. The closest Metro is Farragut North (Red line) and McPherson Square (Blue, Orange, 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.