From the live discussion with John Kelly...
What's in the water over by National? I pass there morning and afternoon on the bike path and lately there is a distinct, nauseating rotting-onions smell emanating from the canal wedged between the runway and GW Pkwy.
Have you ever biked around what you would call Washington D.C.? A perimeter tour, if you will.
JK: There isn't a single trail that leads all around the perimeter of the city, thought that would be an interesting path to chart out. Washington isn't the most bike-friendly city, but nor is it the least. There are bike/jogging paths through Rock Creek Park that are nice, as is the C&O Canal and (outside the city) Capital Crescent and W&OD trails. I think I'd pack a lunch. Didn't someone say Bike to Work Day is May 18? I'm game.
Here's my attempt. Note: I have not attempted all of this yet, but I plan to. If you know a better way to get the perimeter of DC all in let me know. Also if you know I've chosen a road on which I will die, that would be good info too. I would have gone through Bolling Air Force base, but it appears that's no longer an option:
Although previous base commanders have allowed cyclists through, the new commander has rejected the practice, citing Air Force "security requirements."
And that was pre-9/11 (anyone know if this is still the case?) I rode through Fort Myer for the first time the other day (all I needed was an ID). It was pretty cool - like a weird small town. I actually saw a site I haven't seen since I was a kid. An unattended, unlocked bike lying in the front yard. And I'm sure there was no threat of it being stolen.