Riding my bike from Alexandria this morning, I furrowed my brow when I saw soldiers and National Park Service rangers blocking off the Memorial Bridge. “No way,” I thought. “No effing way.” (I’m one of those nondrivers who didn’t pay attention to the road-closure announcements last week.) But I asked a cheery guy in a truck—-I think he was Park Service, but I didn’t make a note of it—-how to get downtown, and he helpfully redirected me around the circle to the bridge’s westbound lane. I fell in line with a small group of pedestrians and other cyclists, and for a blissful couple of minutes, rode my bike on the Memorial Bridge—-against traffic—-without a single vehicle in sight.

When I crossed the bridge, I actually yelped with glee when I saw that a stretch of the Rock Creek Parkway was traffic-free, too. For the first time in five years of bicycle commuting, I rode solo on a car-free parkway all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to the most expensive gas station in D.C. It ruled.

Photo by Ally Schweitzer