taking photos and biking. not nearly as easy as chewing gum and walking
There should be WAY more 3-day weekends in the year. In fact, every single one of them should have that extra day to relax… methinks there would be a lot less insanity in the world if this were the case. We took advantage of it by biking around the US National Arboretum. THIS on a Monday morning is a MUCH better start to the week than checking your inbox. Especially if you’re riding your brand new bike!!! EEEEEeeeee!!! Isn’t it pretty?! Matt spent a pretty good deal of time working with BicycleSPACE to custom build my new ride. We’re still waiting on a few finishing touches like a rack, lights, and kickstand, but it was ready enough for an inaugural ride. !!!!! We spent two+ hours on Sunday sewing the elk-hide grips onto the handle bars. By the way, I am SO adding double cross-stitch to my resume under the “Skills” section after that effort. It looks so super sweet now though. Well worth the time.
We decided to start with a short ride, so Matt found a really quick and easy route for us to get to the Arboretum. It’s sad that we don’t go there more frequently for how close it is. We decided that biking is DEFINITELY the way to go for exploring the expansive grounds there. Every other time we’ve gone on foot and apparently missed about 90% of the place. It was a humid, cloudy, overcast day, but we missed any raindrops and had a good first ride.
columns from afar
cattail and columns. i never noticed how much cattails look like corn-dogs.
Whoa! Where is August going? We haven’t posted anything in weeks because we’ve been busy as bumblebees. Bumblebees!! I promise there will be a huge dump of amazing photos any time now. I just need to get my iPhoto import going on soon. We’ve got updates from — a week in Vermont with the fam! my green screen video shoot for thesis! an art project for Val and Ty! a moonlight bike ride! Nats game! Wow, I am wayyyy behind. Got to love the hazy days of summer… Coming soon I promise.
Also, today’s bike-related photo = not totally random. Guess what? We’ve got a new rando bike baby on the way!! It’s a boy! (I think anyways, it’s blue…) It should be here by the weekend. eeee! I’m not sure if I am more excited for my bike, or if Matt is more excited for my bike. We need to plan our first long-ish ride before the weather gets cold and fall classes get in the way. woohoo!
The family visits continued!! This past weekend Jami and Kari flew out from Iowa (and mom and dad drove down from DE) to spend a long weekend with us in DC. On Thursday evening we enjoyed a Moroccan meal at Souk – somehow they managed to squeeze all 11 (Maine + Iowa) of us at one big table. The best part about dining on small plates with that many people is you can get a taste of nearly everything on the menu. Pepper hummus, baba ganoush, baklava… MMMMmmmm!
On Saturday afternoon, we spent some time being lazy and playing bocce ball in Lincoln Park. Bowser was the only one of us working really hard at moving all the balls around after they stopped rolling, but those are the rules – even though he was pretty lopsided towards chasing all the red balls, no arguing over whatever the dog does! He was like a team of his own. When we weren’t playing bocce, we took turns lounging in the grass (and lining up the ridiculous amounts of phones/cameras/technology we had with us for a simple trip to the park).
That night, we took our 6-person bike gang down to the Capitol and then across the National Mall to see some monuments at night. Jami and Kari took their very first CaBi rides and it was pretty sweet to see everything by moonlight. We stopped at the Capitol briefly, then rode past all the Folklife Festival tents on the Mall, then around the circle of the Washington Monument, passed by the WW2 memorial, rode along the under-construction reflecting pool, stopped to see Mr. Lincoln, where we were somehow more fascinated with the light coming from the kiosk at the base, and then finally walked along the Vietnam Memorial wall. The return trip was nice too – cruising along Pennsylvania Ave in the center bike lanes around 11pm — when the temperature in July in DC is finally tolerable — it’s always a pretty exhilarating feeling. No matter how long we live in DC, I will never get tired of seeing the city at night. It’s pretty amazing.
Sunday was pretty much the perfect day. Shopping at Eastern Market in the morning, pedicures in the afternoon, and sushi boat for late lunch/early dinner. Does it get any better than spending time with family doing those things?! I think Kari definitely enjoyed her first sushi experience and was pretty much a chopstick master by the time we finished. We came home and watched the DVR-ed women’s World Cup Soccer game — still can’t believe that header that tied us up with Brazil!!! Dinner was grilled corn with Old Bay and BBQ chicken followed by a vicious game of Asshole in which Jami was president the entire time . not fair!
It was sad to see them leave this morning. These visits always fly by so fast. Can’t wait until the next one…
On Saturday, DC’s first Kidical Mass ride took place, and Matt was there to take photos and ride with the group, whose goal is: “Promoting safe, fun family biking in the Greater Washington area.” Here’s some more of the photos.
Well, we did Seersucker in the heat of summer, but yesterday’s beautiful fall day was all about the tweed. This years ride, put on by Dandies and Quaintrelles, started from Lincoln Park in Capitol Hill and ended at Stroga in Adams Morgan. Here’s one of me on my purple steed, pedaling away, taken by Flickr user M.V. Jantzen. Also check out Matt’s new DC bike tat,in a photo taken by Tony DeFilippo before the ride began. Best part of the ride= leaving each intersection as the light turned green, yelling “HIP HIP, HOORAY!” with 30 or so other fellow riders. HIP HIP, HOORAY!
Yesterday we took Petunia and Jan (purple bike and orange bike) out for their first ride together. It started out nice, then turned overcast and drizzly as we made our way from home, out to Rhode Island Ave metro station to check out that part of the new Met Branch trail, then on to Capitol Hill, a pit stop at Firehook Bakery for a refresher, and then down to the SW waterfront and Maine Ave Fish Market. We shared a fried shrimp platter there on the water, watching the ducks float around and do… nothing. I guess that’s what ducks do on Sundays. On our way out, we picked up two tilapia filets to go, packed them on some ice, and headed home to prepare some fish tacos for dinner. All in all, it was a nice 11 mile ride around the city. Best way to spend a Sunday.
Thinking that I was finally out of the woods with repairs on my new(ish) bike, we set out to name him last night. After reviewing of some suggestions that we got from an earlier post and incorporating our desire to give it a proper first and last name (like Petunia Chanel for instance) we decided on: Jan Oranje.
Jan Oranje is a Nice Phoenix brand roadster style bicycle. This is a good Dutch name on a not so good Chinese bike. To date, I’ve already had to overhall the brake system going from an old rod system up to a combo of coaster and caliper brake. Doing this, of course, required that I get new wheels since the 28″ steel 40-hole Westwood rims are not compatible with a darn thing. Unfortunately, in abandoning the 28″ wheels I also had to forgo using the very nice cream tires that I had purchased before understanding that the entire wheel would have to go. I should be able to swap them out for the tires that are currently on my Batavus Favorite so it isn’t all for naught. The 27″ wheels that replaced them are a decent fit in the fender and the white wall tires have a nice clean look to them so it’s all good.
New retro style battery operated LED lights replaced the dynamo that came with it, soft orange rubber grips replaced the hard plastic grips that didn’t fit my hands, and a sturdy orange cargo rack was been added to the front. Jimmy from Rollin Cycles set up the new brakes so that the original rod brake system could stay in place – just for looks.
…and after all this, the cotter cranks failed on me during my ride to work this morning. I was not more than a mile in when I pedaled and one pedal went the other stayed in place. Now they are both pointing straight down instead of be 180 degrees from each other as they are supposed to be. Luckily this only stranded me a few blocks from the metro and I was able to lock-it up and only be a few minutes late for work. This afternoon I’ll go pick him back up and walk back to Rollin Cycles to get him under the “knife” again.
This cheap Chinese bike is looking to be more of a Lemon than an Orange.