My wife and I visited Washington, DC over the fourth of July. We rode from Alexandria, VA on the Mt. Vernon bike path along the Potomac and took one of the bridges into D.C. We rode our new Fuji touring bikes. This is a great way to see D.C. Driving a car into DC is a miserable experience. There were lots of people walking from monument to monument, and it's a long way from the capital to the Lincoln Memorial. Going by bike, we cut the time from one monument to the next considerably. We put 35 miles on our bikes that day. This is definitely the best way to see the DC monuments. The new WWII memorial was great, and we visited the newly opened portrait museum (part of the Smithsonian). We spent three hours in the museum, and could have spent all day -- it was that interesting. We also went to the Marine barracks where we saw a great sunset parade featuring the Marine band and a crack drill team. You wouldn;t believe the drill team. Fifty Marines in dress blues lined up in a straight line, with M-1 rifles fitted with bayonettes. The commanding officer approached the first Marine, standing about 6 feet away. All of a sudden, the first Marine flipped his 10.5 pound rifle with the bayonette on it over his back. The rifle went cartwheeling over the head of the commanding officer. The officer grabbed the rifle in mid-air, brought it down, inspected it, and then flipped the rifle over his back. It cartwheeled over the head of the first Marine, who grabbed it and came to attention. This happened fifty times, and not one dropped the rifle. Truly amazing. Tickets are free, but hard to get. I got our tickets by calling my local congressman, who got them for us. You can get to the barracks via subway, which is the way to go around DC. The subway stopped within three blocks of the barracks. There are a lot of great restaurants and sidewalk cafes on the way to the barracks.
You can take your bike on the subway at no charge.
Along the Mt. Vernon bike trail, we were amazed at how many recumbents we saw. And most were really flying. In Alexandria, near the bike path, there are three bike shops who rent decent bikes. We also saw some rental Segues (sp?), the two wheel contraption that you ride standing up. We locked our bikes at each monument, taking our computers and headlights with us. No one bothered the bikes. I think there's one company who rents bikes in DC, and gives you a tape recorder so you can conduct your own tour and learn about each monument.