The Utilitaire 12 was all about celebrating everyday errands and cycling trips. Utility cyclists have figured out ways to use our bikes, our legs, and our own steam to live various aspects of our lives, carry stuff from point A to point B, and get things done. I think that deserves some recognition.
People rode to haircuts, Goodwill, bike shops, the dentist, movies, museums, concerts, basketball games, the post office, FridayCoffeeClub, and libraries. They coffeeneured, lunched, dined, attended various volunteer and community meetings, and went grocery shopping. They even rode to bike rides (meta-utilitairing!). People took photos and diligently filled out paperwork.
Waylaid again… because I became an aunt. Wahoo!
I intended to announce the Utilitaire 12 winners today, but Felkerino’s and my double whammy utilitaire to dinner and the grocery store kept it from happening.
Utilitaire to the grocery store via Arlington Cemetery
I don’t want to give the Utilitaire 12 short shrift so I’ll be doing a longer post about it tomorrow. I will give you this teaser, however.
- 14 individuals completed the Utilitaire 12; and
- 9 participants earned an honorable mention.
While some people ride brevets throughout the year, Felkerino and I tend to do most of our of brevets during what we call the “Spring Season,” which basically consists of the four-brevet Super Randonneur series and the Fleche.
One of the big kickoffs to spring is the Fleche, as it is usually one of the first events on the D.C. Randonneurs ride calendar and, compared to brevets, seems slightly lower key.
For those unfamiliar with this strange ride with some historic significance, the Fleche (French for arrow) is a 24-hour team cycling event. Audax Club Parisien started the Fleche in 1947 as an homage to French rider Paul de Vivie, Mr. Velocio himself.
Life has been busy and full.
The cherry blossoms in D.C. have prettied up the city so that I’ve been spending as much time as I can indulging in their beauty. Who can sit inside and scribble when it’s so gorgeous outside? Not me!
Instead of narrative, I thought I’d share some text-lite moments from this week with you.
Sometimes, not that often, everything shakes out perfectly.
Felkerino and I launched from home early to enjoy the peak of the cherry blossoms and avoid some of the crowds. Thanks to the lightning and thunderstorm earlier in the morning, we had most of Hains Point to ourselves.
2012 Rock and Roll Marathon Bib and Finisher’s Medal
This past Saturday I left the bike in the Dining Room Bike Shop, laced up my Montrails, and headed out to participate in the D.C. Rock and Roll Marathon. I like this 26.2-mile course because it stays within the District boundaries and traverses all of its four quadrants. In addition, it is a rolling course with a few actual hills along the way.
The course is a double loop, which I did not like in the past because it makes it tempting to throw in the towel at 13.1 miles. I also have a love/hate relationship with the fact that the course passes my house at around 16 miles which, depending on my state of mind, can be a tempting time to end the run.
Hope you escaped outdoors to enjoy some of the amazing weekend weather. Yowza! Welcome Spring!
Felkerino amid the Cherry Blossoms on Hains Point
I’ve been doing a little blog catch-up reading and found some good things to share. I couldn’t wait until Friday so they’re going up today. Please enjoy.
- Biking in Heels, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just happened to be walking by as Tim Johnson’s Ride on Washington was getting under way. Perfect timing! This ride starts in Massachusetts and ends in D.C. for the National Bike Summit. Our own #bike DC commuter and Surly Troll owner, Pete Beers (Pedro Gringo), is participating in the ride, and he appears in one of her photos. Like I said, perfect timing!
- Tales from the Sharrows shared a few ideas about behavior to consider while commuting. I’m on board with all of them, though I’m still mulling over his comment about the overuse of bullet points. What? I love bullet points!
- Will Bike for Change (or Pie) recently blogged about the failings of Street Smart, a pedestrian and cyclist safety campaign in the D.C. area. Good stuff here.
- A helpful piece from Commute Orlando about how and where to cycle when trucks are in your midst.
- Sue Macy, the author of author of Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flats Tires Along the Way), is the keynote speaker at the National Women Cycling Forum in D.C. on March 20. I wish I could attend, but I’m hoping to attend the reception at Busboys and Poets. See you there?
- Photographer Gregg Bleakney recently had some of his aerial cycling photo work published in Paved magazine. (Some of you might remember Gregg from The Daily Randonneur Randonneur Photo Contest.) Super cool shots.
I don’t know about where you live, but the commutes in the District are a little bananas lately. Breathe deeply, take time to smell the flowers (achoo!), and ride safe!
Today, March 16, is the FINAL day for completing the Utilitaire 12. If you’ve been participating in the challenge you are probably well aware of that, but just in case it escaped your mind and you still have a utilitaire pending, today (Friday) is your day!
Community Meeting Utilitaire (FridayCoffeeClub) at Swing's
People have through March 18 (that is, midnight in your area or before I wake up on the 19th) to send me their paperwork.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this challenge and seeing all the different types of riding people do in lots of different places. I also added some new blogs to my regular reading list.
As of this post, I’ve received eight submissions and I look forward to more in the next few days.
Zombies in the Bike Lane
Wishing everybody a great weekend, and all the best to those getting out for brevets this weekend!
If you regularly read this blog, you probably know of my great affection for the Surly Long Haul Trucker. My Surly has proven itself to be a comfortable, reliable companion that doesn’t talk too much and will always offer to help carry my stuff.
This past year I met John R., who writes the thoughtful and engaging Porta-John blog, and is also rides a Surly for around-town riding as well as century rides. His bike has a beautiful setup and is in my favorite color Truckachino. Of course, I had to ask him if he’d guest post for me. As you can see, he said yes. Thanks, John!