Falling Down/Getting Up

“Man down, man down”
I was doing so well
A handful of brake is all it takes
To slide out
Crashing to the concrete floor
Jarred back to life
Bikes whizzing by
A dizzying blur
Wrap the chain back on the crank
Grease-stained fingers
Gotta keep going
Do not give up
Get back on and finish
10th  place
Not what I hoped

Disappointment sets in
Blood flows
Adrenaline wears off
Pain takes hold
No skin to protect me
Exposed to the hurt
Exposed to the world
Truly vulnerable

Lessons learned
When you fall
Get up
Keep going
Wounds are superficial
Comfort in healing,
In time
Scars are but a reminder
Of what we endured,
Of how strong we are.

Safety Concern of Pennsylvania Ave. Bridge

In mid April, I wrote the District of Columbia Transportation Department about concerns I had regarding a section of the Pennsylvania Avenue bridge that crosses the Rock Creek Parkway. I cross the bridge two times a day as part of my bike commute to and from work.  During the first few months of this year, I noticed that the height difference between the eastern-most section of the bridge where it meets the road was growing. Given the news of a bridge collapse in Washington state, I figured it would be timely to publish DDOT’s letter in full.

Dear Mr. Huisman,

We at the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) have received your message regarding the stability of the bridge along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The bridge is safe. The reason the bridge is appearing to sag is due to the support bearings having settled slightly. This condition will be addressed in a forthcoming rehabilitation project which will replace the aging bearings. In the interim a temporary asphalt transition will be placed to soften the bump by the end of June 2013, until permanent repairs are made.

Regarding the gap you mentioned. All bridges are built in this manner there is a rubber joint which separates one concrete slab from another on bridges. It’s an expansion Joint between the bridge deck and the hard street approach.

For further questions regarding this matter, please contact DDOT at 202-673-6813. Thank you for contacting DDOT.

d. Clearinghouse

stm