Monday, August 27, 2012

DC: Tandem Biking the Monuments

The one thing Sak really wanted to do on our DC trip was a tandem bike ride.  Bike and Roll only had a few tandem bikes, so in order to secure one we headed to their downtown DC location bright and early.  The tandem bikes were also one size fits all.  So that meant I - who is 2 inches taller - had to sit in the front and steer.  And even then I could barely reach the pedals!
Sak's tandem bike.
It took a while to get the hang of it - both have to pedal at the same time - and I'm sure we looked like idiots most of the time.  But it was fun!

From downtown, we biked past the Washington Monument (pictures from when we walked there earlier).

Since everyone else was doing it...>.>"

The capitol in the distance!
You still can't go inside the monument though since the earthquake last year left a crack!

Next we biked past the (newish) WWII Memorial.

And then we rode around the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Monument!
Jefferson on the water

A look back at the Tidal Basin
After our loop, we continued on to the Lincoln Memorial, which was pretty packed!

Detail of the top of the monument!
Sweaty! Abe was a little smaller than I imagined him, but still pretty cool!
A look back. The reflection pool was drained for maintenance(?). Boo!
It was hot all day - but it was around Lincoln that we really started feeling it.  Ominous signs ahead.

We crossed the bridge into Viriginia and stopped at Arlington National Cemetery.  We debated paying for the tour ride but ultimately decided to hoof it.  However, we didn't get very far as there was an active funeral going on! I felt it was odd/disrespectful to clamber around during the service, so we stood back and watched a while before heading back.  They had the full white guard, gun salute, buglers and even a horse carriage!

From the cemetery we started on the bike path to Alexandria.

Though not far on the map, and not too hilly either, it was a very hot day and we are not conditioned bicyclists.  We also ran out of water. Around Reagan airport we were both dry heaving and taking breaks every few minutes.  We exclaimed that if we did not die - than surely this was a bad idea!
Watching planes land at the end of the runway.
Once we got to Alexandria, we were so spent that we were walking the big bike down the streets.  An angel - seriously - saw us from her window and offered us a water bottle and a kind-hearted scolding to not exercise on hot days.  I have never been more thankful, and if there had been any water left in me, I would have cried.  Nicest person ever!

With her water bottle to revive us, we finally got the bike back to the return location in Alexandria.  We paid for our four hours of rental, and caught the free shuttle back to the metro. In total, we rode about 10 miles.  I passed out during the shuttle ride, which Sak says was very nice as the PA talked about the historic downtown area.

After more water, a big smoothie and a very light lunch, we headed to a museum to cool off and relax! Though I don't think the bike ride was a bad idea (it was fun at first!), I would definitely be more prepared next time.  More water, good breakfast, and not in ridiculously hot weather!

But what DC monument/historic building post would complete without the White House? Here she is!
Back and front.
Really though, you have to stand very far back and behind big bars!

Really, I was totally reliving Eden of the East, waiting for my nakie Akira to show up :P
(Eden of the East)
But yeah - if you haven't already, try out a tandem bike! It's a lot of fun, and kinda romantic if you aren't dying in sweltering summer heat, haha!


  1. The reflecting pool was drained for maintenance? What? The Jefferson Monument was closed when I went to DC, and the front of the White House has some sort of boards/scaffolding in front of it.

    The last time I went was in 5th grade, but my husband and I are considering going next summer. I'm thinking it would be a fairly baby friendly vacation, or at least as much as any vacation could be.

  2. I love the DC Monuments, and tandem biking sounds like a great idea. My husband is 15 inches taller than me, and bikes to work everyday, though, so I may have to do it with a girlfriend instead. Ha! Great photos :)

  3. You guys had my idea of the perfect date. I've always wanted to ride a tandem bike but we've never been presented with the opportunity.

  4. That's awesome!! And yay for angels handing out water bottles!! Glad you guys survived. =)

  5. Sounds like a fun experience (minus the heat and all)! That was very nice of the lady that offered your a water bottle.


Your thoughts - go!