It's funny how I thought that moving so close to work would mean an end to bike commuting and would necessitate many more planned long rides. I was so wrong. I have opted for bike transportation at least half the weekend days that I've lived in this new apartment. Nearly everywhere I go, I consider biking first. I even planned on biking to stadium armory at 6am on a Saturday for the half marathon. I have since decided against this, as everyone I've told tells me how crazy I am and reminds me that the very last thing I'll want to do after running thirteen miles is get on a bike and ride another eight. Those people are right. But all other times, biking is the first thing I want to do. I've said it before but riding these city streets is just the best feeling. It is rejuvenating, it is efficient, it is healthy, and it gives me a powerful feeling of independence and control. It also makes the city feel so small. Like yesterday, biking to the Newseum, I rode right by Ingrid and her friend going for a run. And today, biking .7 miles south to rock creek park to meet so many friends who could walk and bike there themselves for our weekly frisbee game (which I had to watch from the sidelines in my crippled state).
When I lived in Paris for a summer, I walked nearly everywhere, no matter how far, in spite of the fact that I had a free unlimited metro pass. I just hated the feeling of going underground and popping up somewhere completely different with no sense of the direction I'd taken to get there. I walked to learn the city and to feel at home in it. Now, I don't need to get to know dc in the way that I did Paris but I bike around for the same reason. Because I don't want to disappear underground. I want to see things (like my best friend running) above ground and I want to feel healthy, efficient and empowered. And I really do feel at home here.
Side note: Josh and I walked to Adams Morgan last night for the first time and it took only 20 minutes! Just another pro for city living and support of the fact that this place can feel small and homey.