Four years ago, I froze my butt off as I attended the 2009 Inauguration. This year, I couldn't justify the frostbite. Still, I couldn't resist hopping on my bike and zipping down to the mall to check out the action.
The scene was pretty much as you'd expect it - lots of people waiting around and big rows of porta-potties. Security, like 2009, wasn't especially high or extensive. There was a military presence with lots of soldiers in camo, though I didn't see any guns. In fact, the mood was generally relaxed, with not a single police office or soldier barking orders, or yelling at me for taking my bike somewhere it shouldn't have been.
The highlight of my little visit was riding on all the closed streets. There's just something unreal about riding on Washington Blvd in front of the Pentagon that feels especially naughty.
I only spent about two hours in the city, and made it back as the inauguration proper was beginning. There's something to be said for watching an Obama speech (not known for his brevity) from within a warm house, sipping hot chocolate.
Some of the 250 or so photos I took.