Coffeeneuring #2: Sunday Washington Ramble

Breezer foldy bike
Fast and foldy, it’s the Breezer Zig7.

Coffeeneuring 2: Compass Coffee
Date: October 12, 2014
Distance: Ten miles?

I am not one to count miles. I don’t Strava. Winning the #1 spot and a crown made of pixels doesn’t interest me.

What I like about biking is the ability to just pick up and go. It’s simple. And in DC, it’s the easiest and quickest way to get around.

My plan for Sunday was to hop on my recently-repaired Specialized Sirrus and ride to Alexandria, less than an hour way.  But I didn’t want to put on padded shorts and put my feet in toe clips. I just wanted to go.

So, for my second coffeeneuring adventure, I hopped on my Breezer, a foldy I bought off Craigslist seven years ago. With its small wheels, this little bike takes 90-degree turns with aplomb. Low to the ground, it’s also easy to get on and off – ideal for the stop and start nature of city cycling. Fenders, kickstand and a sturdy chain guard round out this practical urban cycle.

Leaving my Logan Circle apartment, I cruised down the 15th Street Cycletrack past the White House and down to the Mall, where the Army Ten-Miler was wrapping up. It’s inspiring to see so many people running and races make DC a delight, as blocked-off streets mean car-free riding.

I biked over the 14th Street Bridge because I wanted to try out my new monopod. It enables you to hold the iPhone over your head so you can get pictures like this one.

Army Ten-Miler on 14th St Bridge
Army Ten-Milers cross the 14th St Bridge.

Returning via the Mount Vernon Trail, the foldy with its 20″ wheels and seven speeds was more than quick enough for the conditions, keeping pace with everyone but speedy MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra – a great acronym).

After going over the Memorial Bridge (my favorite), I biked down the Mall toward the Capitol. The leaves have just begun to change in DC.

Starting to look like fall #igdc #dc
A few trees have begun to change colors near the WWII Memorial.

I stopped to experiment with the monopod. No one likes photos shot from below – it’s an unflattering angle. The monopod allows you to lift the iPhone above your head.

Monorail! I mean - monopod! Makes a good combo with camera timer now built in iOS 8
I’m holding the monopod up and away from me, with the Natural History Museum in the background.

After a stop at Taylor Gourmet for lunch, I turned north on Seventh Street, making way through Wizards fans heading for the Verizon Center.

Destination: Compass Coffee. This former laundromat in Shaw is now a lovely coffee place where they roast their own beans – you can see the roasters in the back. I sat in the window and had coffee and a cookie. The crowd was millennials working on laptops.

Compass Coffee
It was good.
Compass Coffee
Laptop people at Compass Coffee. Man on right may be dead.

They need some bike racks – there were bikes locked up all over the place.

Bike parking at Compass Coffee #bikedc
This fence makes for convenient bike locking.

Located at 7th and Q, Compass is on a really interesting corner. Next door you’ll find the only Chicago-themed bar in the city – Ivy and Coney. Get the hot dog but don’t ask for ketchup (which they refer to as “shame sauce”.)

Across the street is Dacha Beer Garden, where Liz Taylor oversees a rowdy crowd of beer drinkers. It’s the best mural in the city.

Lovely fall day to bike through Shaw #igdc #latergram
Liz Taylor mural at Dacha Beer Garden.

You wouldn’t notice all this in a car. And you probably couldn’t find a place to park. So, get a bike. Slow down. And go where you please.

Author: Joe Flood

Joe Flood is the author of The Swamp, a funny new novel that mocks the city America has come to hate.

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