The throngs of tourists combined with the rising temps make mornings the best time to ride in the city these days.
This morning Felkerino and I were en route to coffee and passed by the Lincoln Memorial. It always surprises me how serene the Lincoln is in the early-ish morning. It’s a much different place than the populated tourist spot it becomes in the afternoon.
Recently, I sent a bike of mine off to the hospital to be parted out. Last week after our morning ride to coffee, we ran into saw a coffee buddy of ours who said he had an old mountain bike that he wanted to give away. Specifically, he wanted to give it to us because he said “You guys will know what to do with it.”
Felkerino and I used to see Russ quite regularly on D.C. Randonneurs brevets. Russ is great riding company. He loves wool, flat pedals, steel bikes, and being outdoors. Also, he always seems totally relaxed when he’s on the bike.
Unfortunately, we don’t see Russ on D.C. Randonneurs rides anymore because he is now stationed in Korea. However, we keep virtual tabs on Russ and his bike via flickr. He’s still riding brevets, only now he does them with the Korea Randonneurs.
(Lothar Hennighausen, a D.C. Randonneur who travels frequently to Korea, started the Korea Randonneurs, and they now offer a full Super Randonneur series. Is that cool or what?)
When we first met Russ, he was riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker in Olive Green, and one day he turned up riding a knock-your-socks-off gorgeous Rivendell custom. There was a lot of ooohing and ahhhing that day. Read more about the bike and check out the pictures. I dare you not to oooh and awww.
1. What kind of bike do you have?
I have a 2000 Rivendell custom that I acquired on eBay in 2007. It was custom built for a gentleman in Alaska who, unfortunately, died of a heart attack in 2007. His entire stable of bikes was auctioned by a professional seller. The bike came to me nicely equipped and as far as I could tell was seldom if ever ridden. The seller even included the original correspondence with Grant Peterson on the details of the build. So it is custom, but not to me.
I may be laughing now, but I certainly was not on Saturday morning when my alarm went off at 2:45 a.m. I never imagined that my idea of fun would require this kind of early riding rising. I propped my eyelids open with toothpicks, felt heartened by the comfortable morning (or evening?) temperatures and forecast, ate a banana, and hoped for the best.
Today was Bike to Work day! Of course you all knew that.
In a fit of irony, Felkerino and I rode away from work and headed to the Rosslyn stop to join the Bike to Work festivities. I have found Rosslyn to be a fun stop and not quite as crowded as the Freedom Plaza location. Continue reading Bike to Work Day, aka Friday→
This year I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and riding with Ritchie, a D.C. Randonneur. The first time I saw Ritchie, I had to rub my eyes and take a second look to make sure he was real. He looked liked he might have stepped out of a time machine and somehow ended up on our ride. I later learned that he had not emerged from a time machine; he just embraces vintage treasure. Ritchie’s Austro-Daimler is one of those treasures, and I asked him to tell me more about it.
In case you haven’t noticed or don’t live in the area, it’s PRIME TIME for tourists.
I love watching tourists. It’s also a requirement if you are a pedestrian or cyclist, because you never know what a tourist is going to do. One minute they are walking on the right side of the mall path, and the next blink of an eye they could be standing right in front of you. It can be quite disconcerting.
I remember the first time I rode with Barb and Ron. I spied the Berthoud bag adorning on their steel Burley, their matching Swobo jerseys, and thought to myself, “These are some stylin’ randonneurs. I must find out who they are.” And so I did. Ron and Barb are great randoneuring buddies with wicked senses of humor and one awesome tandem. Don’t believe me? Read on, my friends!
That’s right, people. It’s a double feature of Bikes to Like this week on Chasing Mailboxes. Today, I highlight Bill B.’s Trek Madone. Bill, the excellent RBA for the D.C. Randonneurs and our head photographer, has completed many MANY brevets on his Trek Madone.
I was curious how he managed to make a randonneuring bike out of what I would consider a more “racy” bicycle. Read on and find out how he did it!
1. What kind of bike do you have?
It started life as a 2003 Trek 5200 with the Project One “Andromeda” paint job. But after the bottom bracket shell came loose from the carbon frame in 2007, Trek replaced the frame with a 2006 Madone SSLx.
There are some people I know from being on the bike and nowhere else. Rick B. is one of those people. We’ve never seen each other in our “real lives,” only our cycling lives.
I’ve come to know Rick from my morning commute, where our routes occasionially cross paths. Rick and Felkerino know each other through weekend rides with the C&C Climbing Factory. Rick may be speedy (I think he’s not carrying enough stuff on his commute!), but he always takes time to say hi and chat with Felkerino and me.
Rick commutes on a lovely Merlin and, since I wanted to find out more about it, I asked him if he’d be part of Bikes to Like. Rick said yes, and below is the story of his bicycle.