Utilitaire 12: Winners Announced! Finally!

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.

Continue reading Utilitaire 12: Winners Announced! Finally!

A Utilitaire Prevented me from Posting the Utilitaire 12 Winners

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.

Continue reading A Utilitaire Prevented me from Posting the Utilitaire 12 Winners

In for a Penny, In for a Pound. Of Fleche, That Is.

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.

Continue reading In for a Penny, In for a Pound. Of Fleche, That Is.

Cherry Blossom Photos Friday

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.

Continue reading Cherry Blossom Photos Friday

When All’s Right with the World

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.

Continue reading When All’s Right with the World

Run Like You Stole a Pot of Gold: the D.C. Rock and Roll Marathon

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.

Continue reading Run Like You Stole a Pot of Gold: the D.C. Rock and Roll Marathon

Link Love Monday: Spring has Sprung Edition

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!

Utilitaire 12: Final Day!

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!

Bikes to Like: John R.’s Surly Long Haul Trucker

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!

Continue reading Bikes to Like: John R.’s Surly Long Haul Trucker

Utilitaire Roundup: the Final Week!

Yowza! The utilitaire deadline is almost upon us. Participants have until this Friday (March 16) to complete their 12 utilitaires so we are truly in the final throes of the challenge.

Lots has been happening while I’ve been away, and I’ve already received four utilitaire control cards for validation. I look forward to receiving several more in the coming days.

The zombies love Capital Bikeshare. Perfect for utilitaires!

In the meantime, here’s a summary of what’s been going on in the land of the utilitaires.

Continue reading Utilitaire Roundup: the Final Week!

Bike Riding and My Stuff: Clothing Edition

It’s great to be getting back on the bike after taking a week off. I’m still catching up on all of the utilitaire activities I missed during my absence, and hope to have a roundup tomorrow.

While on my little bike sabbatical, I had a chance to think about and appreciate how much my bike is part of my everyday life.

Trying to get some miles in on vacation.

The past couple of years, my randonneur and real-life spouse Felkerino and I have been shifting to a car-lite lifestyle, especially during the week. We ride to work every day. We use our bikes to get groceries and go to doctor appointments. We’ve embarked on bike tours that started and ended at our front door.

From all of our bicycling, I’ve been learning a lot about myself. In particular, I’ve realized that I do not need nearly as much of the clothing I have.

Continue reading Bike Riding and My Stuff: Clothing Edition

Link Love: No Time to Waste Edition

Hi, everybody. Great day out there today in D.C. The moon keeps showing its cheery crescent self and the stars peer brightly, even downtown.

Felkerino pedals past the Kennedy Center

Found some good stuff to share with you, too.

  • Check your bone density, but don’t freak out. Randoboy writes about a recent trip to the doctor and the adverse effect endurance cycling can have on bones. He’s still pursuing his bliss, though.
  • More haircuts! Porta-John impressed me with his 11-destinations outing this past weekend. That’s a lot of stops! I was additionally excited to see he a haircut in the mix. And on a sidenote, what is all the fuss about Downton Abbey?
  • Pugsley World Championships. Oh yeah, and guess where they took place? Decorah, Iowa. Photos of the event here.
  • Too hot (or cold) to ride? Capital Bikeshare stats man JDAntos is at it again with another post about CaBi’s usage and its relationship to temperature. Good stuff coming out of this blog, and I don’t just say that because he’s also doing the Utilitaire 12!
  • Day at the museum. Speaking of the Utilitaire 12, shebicycles recently crafted a beautiful post of a recent visit to a museum.
  • A little more history for you. An 1891 love song on the topic of bike racing. Excellent illustrations on the back cover of the piece, too. Thanks to Rambling Rider for finding this one.
  • Cycling and fear. Some good analysis about what keeps people from adopting bikes as a form of transport from Girls and Bicycles.
  • Eyebombing. I thought it was all about yarnbombing these days, but apparently eyebombing is finding a place on the urban landscape, too.

That’s all from Chasing Mailboxes D.C. headquarters. Have a great weekend, all!

Bikes to Like: Lauren K.’s Dahon Speed D7

Welcome to March, my favorite month of the year. What better way to kick it off than with another Bikes to Like? Yippee!

Lauren, a D.C. bike commuter and regular member of the #FridayCoffeeClub, rides around the city on small wheels. I haven’t seen too many small wheeled commuters out and about and when I spied her bike, I thought it would be an excellent addition to the Bikes to Like stable.

Thanks to Lauren for guest posting and sharing your bike with us. Enjoy!

Lauren and the Dahon on the Commute

1. What kind of bike do you have?

Continue reading Bikes to Like: Lauren K.’s Dahon Speed D7