*** It’s a beautiful 60 degree day for an e-wheel tour. See you there! ***
UPDATE #4: The message 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. Please see the “eWheel Rental” section of the event posting for full details.
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, Aiden, Alphonso, Anibal, Arturo, Ben, Benicio, Bob, Brandon, Brooke, Chad, Chris, Connor, Dave, Declan, Denis, Don, Ecca, Edwin, Eli, Erwin, Gary, Gav, Geoff, Greg, Francis, Haitao, Heather, James, Jan, Janovah, Jason, Jeff, Jennifer, Jeremy, Jessica, Joe, John, Johnny, Jonathan, Kevin, Kris, Lam, Laura, Lauren, LeRoy, Loren, Lori, Lutalo, Mark, Megan, Melissa, Michael, Mikel, Nathalie, Nick, Olga, Phil, Rakesh, Rahul, Raul, Raymond, Richard, Riley, Rob, Robert, Rodney, Saphal, Sasha, Sergey, Shelly, Steven, Tim, and Zoltan), come join us again!
Don’t own an e-wheel? You can rent one (e-scooter, e-bike) using a micromobility app (e.g. Lime, Bird, Spin, Helbiz, Capital Bikeshare). Capital Bikeshare offers a Day Pass option for $8 that includes a discounted rate of $0.10 per minute for e-bikes (for an estimated total cost of $25 – $30 for our tour length); Lime and Helbiz also offer Day Pass options (as of the date of this event announcement). Since the tours are free, the cost is significantly less than a comparable Segway tour (that uses older technology). Join us for some or all of the tour! See the “eWheel Rental” section of the event posting for full details.
We’ll tour the Dupont, Downtown, Mt. Vernon Square, NoMa, Eckington, Bloomington, Truxton Circle, Shaw, U Street Corridor & 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 80% 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 7.3 mile trip that’s sure to be enjoyable!
We’ll meet up in the center of Dupont Circle at 2pm. Then we’ll ride southeast on Connecticut Avenue NW 0.2 miles, at 2:30pm. At N Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn right and travel west for 1 block. We’ll then make a left onto 19th Street NW and ride south for 0.2 miles. When we arrive at L Street NW (2 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel east for 0.9 miles.
When we arrive at 11th Street NW (10 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride south for 1 block. At K Street NW, we’ll turn left and travel east for 1.2 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across Carnegie Library (9th Street NW, 2 blocks, straight ahead). The Carnegie Library, now known as the Apple Carnegie Library, is situated in Mount Vernon Square. Donated by entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie, it was dedicated in 1903. It was the first Carnegie library in DC and DC’s first desegregated public building. It was used as the central public library for almost 70 years before it became overcrowded. It was then moved to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. After being shut down for ten years, it was renovated. In 1999, it became the headquarters for the Historical Society of DC. The City Museum of Washington opened in the library in 2003, but closed less than two years later. In 2016, Apple Inc. proposed renovating the library into DC’s second Apple store location. The building was renamed the Apple Carnegie Library, and the Apple Store within opened in 2019. The building also now houses the DC History Center on the second floor, and the Carnegie Gallery (featuring historic photographs and documents about the origins and history of the building) in the basement.
When we arrive at 1st Street NE (8 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel north for 1 block. At L Street NE (1 block), we’ll turn right and ride east for 1 block. When we arrive at 2nd Street NE (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel north for another block. At M Street NE (1 block), we’ll turn left and ride west for 1/2 block. Here, we’ll turn left onto the Metropolitan Branch Trail and travel north for 0.6 miles.
We are now at the Metropolitan Branch Trail (Metropolitan Branch Trail, 0 blocks, straight ahead). The Metropolitan Branch Trail (also known as the MBT) — a former piece of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) — is a busy, urban rail-with-trail that is ad-jacent to Metro’s Red Line, MARC commuter service, CSX freight trains, and Amtrak. Currently, the trail stretches for about 4 miles between Union Station and Fort Totten. The MBT is a major commuter route for residents and regularly sees more than 1,500 users per day. DDOT is currently working to finalize design plans for the next section of the trail between Fort Totten to Takoma, with plans to begin construction in 2023. It will eventually comprise 8 miles of trail or separated walking and bicycling facilities, from Union Station to Silver Spring, Maryland. While most of the trails in D.C. are flanked by foliage and water, the MBT features vibrant artwork and a series of revolving murals and pro-vides safe off-road access to community destinations, business areas, and residential areas for thousands of residents and visitors.
Along the way, we’ll arrive at Alethia Tanner Park (New York Ave NE, 2 blocks, left-hand side). Opened in 2020 and located in the Eckington neighborhood, Alethia Tanner Park features a large lawn, children’s playground, dog park, gardens and a meadow, plaza areas, flexible seating areas, a cafe kiosk, and a stage area. Named after Alethia Tanner, who was born a slave in Maryland in the 1780s, she purchased her freedom in 1810, as well as the freedom of many family members. She was a strong proponent of educational initiatives for blacks in the District. In addition to supporting several schools for free black children through her entrepreneurial ventures, including a produce stand in Lafayette Park, she funded the education of family members who would later be leaders in the city’s education scene.
When we arrive at R Street NE (1 block), we’ll turn left and travel west for 0.5 miles. At 1st Street NW (6 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride north for 3 blocks. At Seaton Place NW (3 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride east for 0.1 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Neptune mural (1/2 block, 1st alleyway, left-hand side). Titled Neptune, this bright, mythological piece right in the heart of DC’s Bloomingdale was created by artists Jeff Huntington and Juan Pineda during the 2019 Art All Night DC event. The artwork shows the aged, Roman god of the sea looking down at pedestrians against an eye-popping backdrop of colorful blocks.
From here, we’ll travel west 1/2 block on Seaton Place NW. At 1st Street NW (1/2 block), we’ll turn left and ride south for 3 blocks. When we arrive at R Street (3 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel west for 0.8 miles.
When we arrive at 11th Street NW (11 blocks), we’ll turn right and ride north for 3 blocks. At U Street NW (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel west for 1.5 blocks.
Along the way, we’ll come across Ben’s Chili Bowl (1.5 blocks, 12th Street NW, right-hand side). A DC staple since it opened in 1958, Ben’s Chili Bowl remains a must-visit for tourists, locals and celebrities. Known for its half-smoke – a DC delicacy that is half-pork, half-beef and served with heaping helpings of herbs, onion and chili sauce – Ben’s is also famous for its iconic building. The restaurant’s U Street location features a gigantic mural of iconic African American figures, updated in 2017 by Aniekan Udofia, to include DC-native Dave Chappelle, abolitionist Harriet Tubman and Barack and Michelle Obama. Step back for a wide-angled shot of the whole mural or get up close and personal for a selfie with one of the wall’s icons.
From here, we’ll travel west for 1 block. At 13th Street NW (1 block), we’ll turn left and ride south for 3 blocks. At R Street NW (3 blocks), we’ll turn right and travel 0.5 miles.
Along the way, we’ll come across the Magic Tree Box (14th Street NW, 1.5 blocks, right-hand side). The Magic Tree Box 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. It is home to a family of fairies, hobbits, elves, and other little folk living in harmony with local residents of the Logan Circle and Dupont Circle neighborhoods located in the historic U Street Corridor. The whimsical installation is located outside of a building owned by Nuveen Real Estate and managed by Hines where two big law firms have offices. The building has had a pretty good run in past annual Golden Triangle contests. It won first place for a tropical gardens theme that featured a real pineapple plant and second place for an Arabian-themed garden for a “gardens around the world” theme.
When we arrive at 17th Street NW (3 blocks), we’ll turn left and travel south for 1.5 blocks.
We’ll arrive at the Amanda Gorman mural (Corcoran Street NW, 1.5 blocks, right-hand side). The Amanda Gorman mural depicts the 23-year-old reciting her poem “The Hill We Climb” at President Biden’s inauguration. Gorman, the country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate, went viral after presenting her powerful and uplifting poem. She wrote three books that came out in 2021, landing on bestseller lists. The mural was painted by local artist Kaliq Crosby, a frequent and acclaimed contributor to DC’s street art scene. In addition to Gorman’s larger-than-life portrait, the installation features symbols from the DC flag and a notable line from her famed poem: “There is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
We’ll travel north on 17th Street NW for 1.5 blocks. When we arrive at R Street NW (1.5 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride west for 0.4 miles.
When we reach Connecticut Avenue NW (4 blocks), we’ll turn left and ride southeast for 0.2 miles back to Dupont Circle.
Come join us as we spend an afternoon together exploring the sites, memorials, and landmarks Dupont, Downtown, Mt. Vernon Square, NoMa, Eckington, Bloomington, Truxton Circle, Shaw, U Street Corridor & Logan Circle have to offer. Also, please help spread the word of our group and the tour.
I look forward to seeing you there!
METRO & PARKING
We’ll meet at Dupont Circle. The closest Metro stops are Dupont (Red line), Farragut North (Red line), and Farragut West (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.
Don’t own an e-wheel? You can rent one (e-scooter, e-bike) using a micromobility app (e.g. Lime, Bird, Spin, Helbiz, Capital Bikeshare). Capital Bikeshare offers a Day Pass option for $8 that includes a discounted rate of $0.10 per minute for e-bikes (for an estimated total cost of $25 – $30 for our tour length); Lime and Helbiz also off Day Pass options (as of the date of this event announcement). Since the tours are free, the cost is significantly less than a comparable Segway tour (that uses older technology). Join us for some or all of the tour! See the “eWheel Rental” section of the event posting for full details. If you plan to rent an e-wheel, some members have run out of charge in the past. Please try to find one with as full of a charge as possible.
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: (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 generally 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: “‘Bicycle’ means […] an electric low speed scooter […]” and “has the rights and is subject to the restrictions applicable to pedestrians […]: (i) on a sidewalk or sidewalk area; or (ii) in or through a crosswalk[…]. At an intersection, a person […] is subject to all traffic control signals […].” 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.