Thursday, April 28, 2011

A little more on Savannah and D.C.

So just a little more comment on our trip! 

Savannah has many small park squares throughout the city. The squares are arranged pretty much every block which slows traffic dramatically. Cars often need to pass around the squares before moving along and everyone seemed pretty bike friendly. We had a great morning ride through the colonial houses and brick mansions. Thanks to Ash of One Less Minivan for her suggestion that we stop in and take a ride in Savannah. We had a great afternoon snack
at Papillote and coffee at Gallery Espresso in the morning. There were little shops galore to wander in though we were out too early in the morning to do any browsing! SCAD had a great gallery shop full of student and professor work with some terrific paintings on all of the walls.

In Washington we stayed a bit north of Dupont Circle near Connecticut Ave. at the top of a big hill (big to Chicago riders anyway). We watched the morning commuters sailing down bustling Connecticut Ave. in the morning but thought we might find a quieter street if we went a bit to the east after getting to the top of CT Ave. We rode a rough zig-zag down along T street to 17th. We found some quiet streets and crossed some busy ones. 17th Street took us along a nice bike lane and much slower traffic all the way to Lafayette Park and the White House. Some friendly people sent us off to Java just off 17th for coffee and treats which was good. They also mentioned a delicious Belgian spot called Locolate at about U and 18th that they thought would not be open yet. Too bad for us but maybe worth checking out if you go there.

The Dupont Circle area was full of beautiful old buildings and leafy streets, embassies and little restaurants. The traffic was pretty slow the whole way down Connecticut to the White House and it was a beautiful ride.

The cycle track along 15th Street takes you right down by the White House and Treasury to the Washington Monument and the Mall. We had a memorable twilight ride through the monuments and downtown under a big moon just as the lights were coming up. Just to top it off the cherry blossoms were just winding down. All in all we had a terrific time there thanks to the big fix done on the tandem by the great guys at District Hardware (recommended by Dutch Bike). We would like to get back to Washington and explore some more of the quiet streets and neighborhoods on a bike again soon.

As Ash mentions in the comments on the last post, Gabe Klein, the former chief of DC's DDOT, will be the new head of transportation here in Chicago. We read this on the Streetsblog on our little trip and hope as Ash mentions that the protected lanes in DC will show themselves here very soon. They seem very economical to install and we saw them getting plenty of use when we rode them. Here's hoping that Chicago is in for some exciting changes!

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