Grant Petersen’s Just Ride, the Rivendell Reader & an E-Less Stanza of “The Raven”

Grant Petersen, of Rivendell Bicycle Works, appeared at College Park Bicycles last night to talk about his book, Just Ride. I had a great time seeing familiar faces of the #BikeDC community AND meeting the man behind Rivendell Bicycles. Woo!

I won’t rehash the evening too much, as I think he covers much of the material he talked about with us in his book. 

Surprisingly, I found Grant to be quite gracious, friendly, and relaxed. I had worried that the opionated nature I saw in some of his writing might translate into a formidable bike guy. Not true. Thank you, Grant, for visiting our area AND for talking to me despite the fact that I was wearing Sidis!

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Tangobiker: A Tale of a Super Coffeeneur

Last year around this time, I launched the 1st Annual Coffeeneuring Challenge. The goal? Ride your bike to seven different coffee shops over six consecutive weekends, and adhere to 15 rules in the process. Several riders began the challenge, and 12 people officially earned the title of coffeeneur.

After the challenge ended, one person decided to continue and mapped out his quest to visit at least one different coffee shop each weekend for a full year.

It will never happen, I thought skeptically. First of all, what kind of coffeeneur has that kind of determination and love for the bean? Second, what town has that many coffee shops?

I now have my answer. Tangobiker is the coffeeneur with that kind of determination, and Portland, Oregon, is the town with more coffee shops than I can fathom.

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WABA 50 States Ride 2012: All About the People

This past Saturday Felkerino and I participated in another edition of the Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA) 50 States Ride. Yeah, that ride with 500 participants that crosses over all 50 of the state streets within the District of Columbia and covers about 65 miles in the process.

Felkerino and me at the first 50 States Ride pit stop

True to our plan, we shortcut as our coffee requirements dictated and skipped a few state streets along the way. At the end of the day, Felkerino and I crossed off 34 of the 50 state streets. I don’t know if this means we have to do some Sharpie editing to our 50 States Ride t-shirts or what so if you know the protocol, please let us know.

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Getting Comfortable in the Saddle

One of my blog readers, Trish, recently asked the following question about comfort in the saddle:

I searched your blog to see if I could find your thoughts on comfort in the saddle, which is my biggest obstacle to long rides. I’ve been doing metric centuries every weekend, but beyond that I think my rear end would be in too much discomfort.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

I know the saddle itself is highly personal, but do you have a favorite chamois? I like the Castelli Kiss chamois, not crazy about my Pearl Izumi, but haven’t tried all that many as experimentation is an expensive undertaking! Do you use Butt Butter or the like?

Obviously the position each rider finds comfortable varies by person, but the methods we use to achieve it are generally the same. Here’s what goes into making my saddle setup the best it can be.

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Lost in the Landscape. One Perspective of a Female Touring Cyclist

Over the summer Swift Industries, a bicycle-loving and beautiful bag-making company out of the Pacific Northwest, sponsored a writing project called Tough & Tender, “a literary and photographic project that celebrates women’s relationships with bicycles, touring, and the bike industry.”

The project received several contributions and I’ve found them all inspiring. Many thanks to Swift Industries for creating this forum for women to share our stories. Click here to see the Swift blog and check them out.

I submitted a reflection titled “Lost in the Landscape” that Swift recently posted and I’m also posting it here. I’ve edited it slightly since my original submission. While not a full-on celebration of bicycling and my relationship with the bike industry, it was my best effort to capture my feelings about them both from my lens as a female touring cyclist. As always, thanks for reading.

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WABA 50 States Ride: Pre-Ride Prep for the Ultimate Urban Excursion

This coming Saturday marks the arrival of another edition of the 50 States Ride. While this ride sort of freaked me out the first time I did it, it’s since grown on me and now it’s a much-anticipated fall event.

Felkerino and me at the end of the 2011 50 States Ride

Washington Area Bicycling Association (WABA), our local cycling advocacy group, organizes the ride. My entry fee supports WABA’s good work and in exchange I get a tour through all four quadrants and 50 state streets in the District with 500 other people.

The total 50 States route is around 65 miles. My plan is to not ride the full route. How about that for ambition? Rather, I’ll be doing the “More than 25, but fewer than 50 States Ride,” depending on where and how far I feel like riding. Last year, I pedaled over 40 of the 50 state streets and completed slightly more than 50 miles.

It feels good to accomplish the full route and all 50 state streets, but I found myself pulling out my hair at some of the more congested downtown areas. Since I ride those fairly frequently anyway, it doesn’t break my heart to skip them during the 50 States Ride.

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Riding the C&O Canal on the Rawlands

This weekend, Felkerino and I took advantage of the spectacular mild weather and busted out our Rawland dSogns for a day ride along the C&O Canal.

Rawland dSogns on the C&O Canal

Our destination? Homestead Farm, a pick-your-own produce place just outside of Poolesville, Maryland.

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The Bicycle Cycle

Felkerino and the SimpleOne on a fall morning commute

Given this week’s temperate weather, I’ve heaved a big sigh of relief and welcomed the idea that fall will soon be (if it is not already) here.

Fall is my favorite time of year for bike riding. Ironically, fall is often when my monthly mileage slacks off, at least for a couple of months. As I looked over the way that Felkerino and I plan our riding, I realized that the fall months really represent cycling for fun and relaxation.

That got me thinking about what I see as our “bicycle cycle,” and I realized that our bicycle cycle follows the four seasons.

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Rando Q&A with Andrea M., D.C. Randonneurs

Today the bloggy action takes place over on that other blog I know, The Daily Randonneur, with another Rando Q&A. Andrea M., of the D.C. Randonneurs, graciously agreed to be a guest contributor for this week’s Rando Q&A. Check the full post out here. The Rando Q&A features many thoughtful insights about riding brevets from randonneurs in various clubs in the U.S. If you’ve ever … Continue reading Rando Q&A with Andrea M., D.C. Randonneurs

Southern Virginia Tandem Bike Tour Lessons Learned and Wrap-Up Post

Writing during the journey is always a bit different than what comes to mind after a bike tour ends. The week has given me time to reflect on the trip we had, and I wanted to throw up some summary observations, assessments, and lessons learned from our recent jaunt around southern Virginia on our Cannondale tandem.

Felkerino and me, bike touring with the Cannondale, Carradice Camper, and two small Ortliebs


  • 8 days
  • 636 miles
  • Average mileage: 79.5 miles per day
  • Longest day: 105.6 miles
  • Shortest day: 68 miles

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The National Bike Challenge and Teams Friday Coffee Club

You may or may not know this, but the National Bike Challenge happened. The goal of the challenge was to get more people out riding their bikes and logging their miles. The League of American Bicyclists, Bikes Belong, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, and Endomondo sponsored the three-month event, which took place from June 1-August 31.

Specifically, the challenge sought to engage more than 50,000 riders, and hoped to accumulate a grand total of 10 million miles through everyone’s participation.

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Pedaling the Blue Ridge Parkway: The Dream I Thought I Had

Welcome to the Blue Ridge Parkway

This past Saturday, Felkerino and I capped off our weeklong bike tour of southern Virginia with two days on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Below is a map of the segment we toured, which extended from Floyd to the northern edge of the Parkway in Waynesboro, Virginia. As you can see, we covered slightly more than 150 miles of the parkway.

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