In my very first ride report about the WABA 50 States Ride I described it as a 65-mile ride that feels like a daily commute that keeps on giving.
At the end of my summary I expressed my doubts about ever doing the ride again. That was 2010, and every year since I have participated in the 50 States Ride. So much for one and done.
And guess what? Each year I end the ride with a variation of mixed sentiments, but somehow find my front wheel heading back when the ride comes around again.
I love seeing fellow BikeDC buddies out and about in the District, meeting new people, and doing a little window bike shopping along the way.
WABA provides excellent support at the four pit stops along the 65-mile route, and staff and volunteers are friendly and upbeat.
But make no mistake about it, the 50 States Ride is an intense urban excursion. Riders of varying abilities come together on a group ride in a busy city where the roads remain open to cars. I spend a lot of time minding the riders around me and managing my way through traffic while frequently looking down at my cue sheet to figure out the next turn.
This year it also poured buckets in the final miles. Good thing we brought lights, rain jackets, and bikes with fenders.
To temper the more stressful aspects of the event, Felkerino and I linger at the pit stops. We add our own coffee stops along the way to ensure moments of leisure. We often skip roads that we regularly ride.
After the ride ends and I have enjoyed a meal, showered, and had a full night’s sleep, I am happy that I toured all four of the District’s quadrants and took my wheels over roads I would likely not otherwise.
It’s oddly satisfying to say you made it through the 50 States, even if you ended up riding, say, 45 of them.
My photos from the day are here. Thanks to all our BikeDC buds who spent part of their day with us.
And many thanks to WABA for another successful event. Maybe I’ll see you next year.