A Perfect Storm: Recreators, Tourists, and Cyclists on the National Mall

If you have ever visited Washington, D.C., you have most likely been to the National Mall (known also as the Mall). It is a large national park (more than 1,000 acres) managed by the National Park Service.

For Washington, D.C.-area cyclists, the Mall is a prime commuting zone. Many local cyclists traverse the area daily, including me. The Mall offers a nice expanse of car-free riding amid the limited green space of the city. Continue reading “A Perfect Storm: Recreators, Tourists, and Cyclists on the National Mall”

Bikes to Like: Alec B.’s Velo Orange Randonneur

Randonneur Alec B. recently moved to our area and began riding brevets with the D.C. Randonneurs this year.  Alec lives car-free and impressed many of us by not only riding the brevets and the Shenandoah 1200K, but riding his bike from Annapolis to the ride starts, often camping under the stars the night before. Felkerino and I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know and ride with him. Unfortunately, his bike can’t talk so I had to ask him to spill the beans about his randonneur steed of choice.

Alec on the Velo Orange Randonneur

1. What kind of bike do you have?

Eeets a Velo Orange Randonneur, 59 cm.
Continue reading “Bikes to Like: Alec B.’s Velo Orange Randonneur”

Paris-Brest-Paris Training

If you’ve been following this blog (or another fine blog I know called Chasing Mailboxes) you’ll know that PBP training is in high gear. Randonneurs across the country, including Felkerino and me, have been heading out regularly to put in miles for the main event. It’s been a fun summer of riding our brains out.

This past weekend our friend Lane, Felkerino, and I packed on the miles. Saturday we traversed 176 miles and Sunday’s total came out to 146, for a total of 322 miles over the two days. This is Felkerino’s and my final big ride before PBP next month. Continue reading “Paris-Brest-Paris Training”

Hot in the City! Commute Wrap-Up

Holy hot sauce, Batman! It’s been a steamy week in the city, and I confess that I focused much of my energy on gym workouts and a pokey pace to and from the office. Here is a rundown of the week in a few photos. Continue reading “Hot in the City! Commute Wrap-Up”

D.C. Commute Smells: the Fish Market

I’ve posted various photos on this blog of scenes from my commute to give a window into what my commuting life in Washington, D.C. is like.

Some things, though, defy visual depiction. The Southwest fish market is one of those things. I pass the fish market almost daily. Continue reading “D.C. Commute Smells: the Fish Market”

Sheer Shorts Syndrome = Sheer Embarrassment

The booties, balaclavas, and jackets are long forgotten as the summer heat cranks up and the time for riding in bare arms and legs is in full swing. It’s glorious!

Now is also the time for all cyclists who wear spandex to assess the state of their cycling shorts collection. Your favorite shorts that you bought three years ago? It may be time to send them on their way.

Those shorts with the oddly placed mesh panel in the back? Yes, you know what I mean when I say oddly placed. I saw you on Hains Point last week. Please stop wearing those. Continue reading “Sheer Shorts Syndrome = Sheer Embarrassment”

Bikes to Like: George M.’s Boulder Bicycle

For some randonneurs, 650B bikes are where it’s at. I’ll use my randonneur spouse (who is also my real-life) spouse as an example. He became enamoured of the notion of a 650B ride and used a 650B Rivendell Bleriot as his primary randonneuring bike for the 2007 brevets as well as Paris-Brest-Paris. For Felkerino, riding this 650B bicycle was, as he said, like riding along in a plush Cadillac.

Fellow D.C. Randonneur George M. recently acquired a lovely 650B Boulder Bicycle for his randonneuring adventures. I was intrigued by this bike, and particularly curious if it is up to all the Vintage Bicycle Quarterly hype that it has received. Thanks to George for being part of Bikes to Like so I could learn more about what makes his Boulder Bicycle tick! Continue reading “Bikes to Like: George M.’s Boulder Bicycle”

The Urban Forest Project D.C.

One day last month, I was out for a lunchtime walk in downtown D.C. when I noticed a poster on a nearby light pole.

See the Forest and the Trees

“See the forest and the trees,” it read. That is a really good poster to hang near an office full of analysts.

A few days later, I noticed more posters scattered about the downtown area. All of them were accompanied by another poster mentioning the “D.C. Urban Forest Project.” Finally, my curiosity could stand it no more and I went to my good friend the Internet to find out what the heck the Urban Forest Project was. Continue reading “The Urban Forest Project D.C.”

reCYCLE Art of Bike Project in Takoma Park: Part II

As promised, I’m showcasing the final three sculptures of the public art sculpture project, reCYCLE. (Missed yesterday? Scroll down, dear reader.)

If you get a chance, it is worth a ride to Takoma Park to see the artists’ creations. Don’t forget to take this map when you go, though.

All sculptures are constructed primarily of bike parts and each one has its own personality and feel. This exhibit goes from now until October, at which time the pieces will be sold at the Takoma Park Street Festival.

Note: Just so you don’t think you’re reading the insights of a famous critic, all commentary that follows is by me. Continue reading “reCYCLE Art of Bike Project in Takoma Park: Part II”

reCYCLE Art of Bike Project in Takoma Park: Part I

A couple of weeks ago, Felkerino and I met up with a few friends and pedaled our way out of the District all the way to Takoma Park, Maryland, to tour the reCYCLE Art of Bike Project sponsored by the Old Takoma Business Association (OTBA). This bike-centric project consists of seven sculptures composed of (guess?) bike parts.

Eric, our tour leader, did a fantastic job of leading us around to the various installations found throughout the heart of Takoma. All of the sculptures are outside, making this a 24/7 must-see exhibit for all local cyclists. Ride your bike to go on a bike tour of the bike sculptures made of bike parts = yes! Continue reading “reCYCLE Art of Bike Project in Takoma Park: Part I”

Bikes to Like: Mike W.’s Custom Waterford

In randonneuring, you get to know people by what bike they ride. I first met Mike after seeing his bike in the parking lot. “Who owns this bike?” I wondered. “Someone with an excellent randonneuring aesthetic!”

I found out the owner was Mike, who started riding with the D.C. Randonneurs this year. Mike’s positive attitude, sense of humor, and tenacity make him a perfect randonneur! And did I mention his bike? A custom steel steed that I’m thrilled to feature on Bikes to Like.

Mike and his Waterford (c) Dave S.

1. What kind of bike do you have?

I have a custom fitted Waterford ST22 frame.  It was built up by Bike Doctor in Frederick, Maryland.  I purchased the frame in September 2010 and then began accumulating the parts to build it up.  It was delivered to me in February 2011.

Continue reading “Bikes to Like: Mike W.’s Custom Waterford”

Summer Commuter Clothing Choices: What’s so Wrong about Shorts and a T-Shirt??

The past couple of years, various blogs and news articles have been written about women riding around in “regular clothes.” Often, these regular clothes have included skirts, dresses, heels, and who knows what else.

While these may be regular clothes for some (and I do have a dress code at my office that requires professional wear, sigh), heels and dresses don’t tend to be a successful combination for me when I’m on my bike. Continue reading “Summer Commuter Clothing Choices: What’s so Wrong about Shorts and a T-Shirt??”