My travel schedule has been nutty of late, so even fewer posts than usual. But here’s one: about my trip last week to Columbus, Ohio, a city I visited for the first time.
I was impressed with Columbus. What I’d pictured as a rust belt city was in fact a thriving town that seems to be rapidly reinventing itself. The “Short North” neighborhood between downtown and Ohio State University campus is a rapidly-gentrifying area full of bars and restaurants, most of which look like they’ve just opened in the last five years (not unlike Market Street in Ballard, in that respect). There’s all sorts of construction along the river, with a newly built esplanade along the downtown bank. And to top it off, Columbus has some of my favorite transportation options: Uber, Car2Go, and a bike share system – “COGo,” which I used to see all that I could around town.
I’ve lauded bike share here before, and I try to use it whenever I come across a new system. Because of the vagaries of getting between Seattle and Columbus, I had more time than I usually do when traveling on business this time. Instead of using the bike share to make a single trip or two to meet people, I was able to use it for an afternoon to play tourist. And it’s the best way, hands-down, to see a town. It helps, too, that Columbus is very flat, and has wide, empty sidewalks (the streets are highly suboptimal for riding, I learned). It may be a different story when the weather gets oppressive, but on a 62 degree day it was darn near ideal.
The flatness also encourages a lot of single-speed and fixed gear riding; I saw these bikes everywhere.