I took myself to Our Nation’s Capital today to see J. and meet up with M., who low and behold, wants to get stamps in her National Parks Passport just as much as I do. Which is a lot. I thought about bringing my bike, figuring that the city’d be easiest to navigate by bike, like every other city I’ve visited. I left the Surly at home, though, and I’m glad I did, because D.C. has a bike share program! I parked my car by the U Street metro station, and after lunch, J. and I punched our codes into the machines, pulled out our bicycle, and went for a ride. Oh, and there were bike lanes, everywhere! We dropped the bikes at another station before walking over to a park to sit and catch up. And then I punched in another code and got another bike and rode down to the National Mall. It took me awhile to find the place to drop the bike, but a security guard in front of the IRS building pointed me to the end of the block, take a left, and there it was, a long, long row of red bicycles, and there was an open slot for my bicycle. You just roll it in until it clicks, and then you’re on to the next one. It’s fantastic, this bike share thing, though I can see that I would want to memorize all my stations, and I’d still want my own bike for longer rides. Oh, but it works. I spent the rest of the day walking, from the crowded new MLK memorial, through the FDR memorial, which is fantastic and oh so timely (can I get a Civilian Conservation Corps up in here, please?), and through the Jefferson memorial. Apparently, Jefferson “was unwilling to jeopardize his political effectiveness in general by pressing for emancipation. He left it to the next generation to eradicate what he referred to as an ‘abominable crime.'” I guess that also means he couldn’t emancipate more than 5 of his own 200 slaves, even upon his death. Let’s not sugar coat our heroes, please. That’s the danger of the Great Man of History model of memorial, and I’m going to need a lot, lot more time riding bikes around D.C., thinking about this stuff. Good thing it’s right down the road.