Living in Shaw with no car: Biking

Part 2 of the Living in Shaw with no car series. See Part 1, walking for the begining.
One step up from walking is biking. Still requires human power to get around, but a whole lot faster. With a bike, I can get to more places, and places further away that I wouldn’t go to if I had to walk.
I bike to Dupont, U Street, Chinatown and recently Foggy Bottom. This is all on the crappy 3 speed. I have a mountain bike but I want to trade it in for a decent hybrid or road bike for part of my commute this summer.
Most of the time I run errands on the bike. A trip to Giant here, pick up a weeks worth of groceries. A trip to Rice or other spots along 14th like the Garden District, pick up more stuff. Trip downtown for research. And unlike a car, I can find someplace to park it in neighborhoods like Dupont or Adams Morgan, where finding a parking spot is difficult.
Not that finding a bike parking spot is a breeze. I don’t lock the bike to sign posts as they are not always in the sidewalk properly. I lock the bike to parking meters and lately, more parking meters have been popping up in Shaw. I’ve noticed parking meters near the Shaw metro station, when a few years back there were very few. Places where there are no parking meters one has to think creatively as to what public structure can be used as bike parking.
There is one place that I think makes having a bike easier in Shaw and that is the non-profit Chain Reaction bike shop. I bought the ugly bike (it was not pretty when I bought it and I’ve just made it uglier) from them for less than $50. They have been there when I needed new tires, when some jerk bent my rear wheel, flats, new brakes, everything. Yes, it is not a big shop, and it is very cramped but it is close enough from the house that I can drag my busted bike to them and get it fixed so I’m back on the road again.
Other cool things I’ve noticed pop up in the greater Shaw region are bike lanes. There is a bike lane on R St starting at 7th going until 14th? I’d love to see some on Q Street, and 7th & 9th Sts. There is enough space between the parked cars and the car traffic to ride between the two on those streets, but I really like the clearly marked bike lanes.
Next time, Living in Shaw with no car:Metro
Washington Area Bicyclists Association
Kryponite Locks– They are recalling some of their locks

Cops being around when you need them

This morning I want to tip my hat to the alert police officer who stopped a car. I was heading west on R Street crossing 6th when R Street had the light. A car from a 1/2 block up was barreling off of Rhode Island. I travel up and down R St. enough to know the traffic patterns and if the light is green on R, there is no left turn on Rhode Island. So I was afraid of getting hit as I was crossing 6th and this car is coming fast in my direction and I know it didn’t have the light. Well the police spotted the violation and stopped the guy. Yea!