Having spent the bulk of the last four days in self-imposed isolation, I busted out of my hibernation state today and joined the Hot Chocolate Ride for a few miles in the saddle and hot beverages with BikeDC buddies old and new.
Organized by velocipedestriennes (my new favorite word!) Lisa and Crystal, this casual ride (or #chocoride, as it was known on the Twitterverse) toured four locales offering hot chocolate as well as other warm drinks and treats:
- Dolcezza in Dupont Circle;
- Pitango in Penn Quarter;
- Lot 38 in Southeast; and
- Peregrine at Union Market in Northeast.
Today was ideal for a Chocoride ride. A sunny December day with a cold bite in the air. Blustery like nobody’s business. Chilly miles spent outside were rewarded with long stops in cozy places serving warm sweet things.
Roads were also quiet on this post-holiday (and pre-holiday!) Sunday in the city. Have you ever biked around D.C. during the holidays? It’s one of my favorite times to ride here. Traffic dwindles. Gridlock ceases to exist.
Cyclists move freely through the city, and the cars that think they are king recede to the suburbs. Today, we owned this town.
This Sunday also offered a rare opportunity to ease up on the pedals and meander the city streets with the only destination in mind the next coffee/hot chocolate stop. Timeframe? Whenever we arrive.
So often I find myself riding around trying to get somewhere in the city. To work. To the store. To the doctor. On time. On a schedule. I navigate purposefully in the morning and again in afternoon rush hour amid other people (most of them in cars) missioning to their own destinations.
Not today. Our leisurely riding allowed me to soak in the rare quiet of our city. Our stops gave me time to thoroughly appreciate my beverages and engage in holiday chatter with the group. It was lovely.
Also, Lisa and Crystal did an excellent job of scoping out the hot chocolate hot spots, as each place had plenty of space for our group (about 15 or so people) to mill around, drink, and talk.
I made sure to treat myself at every stop. At Dolcezza, I indulged in a pre-ride cup of Intelligentsia coffee.
The barista at Pitango fixed me a rich, but not too sweet, cup of sipping chocolate.
Peregrine’s Union Market location did not disappoint with its double espresso.
The Chocoride crew completed its hot chocolate tour by looping back to Dolcezza where I allowed myself another cup of sipping chocolate and a churro.
The challenge of my ride was balancing the beverage and treat choices so as not to end up with a tummy ache or overbuzzed on caffeine. My choices worked out perfectly and I returned home 20 miles later satiated, happy, and sans stomach pain.
My other pro move ended up being the decision to bring my own steel travel mug. This allowed me to keep the hot beverages flowing throughout the ride. No worries about having to chug my beverage at any of the stops or wasting a paper cup (though most locations offered real mugs and cups).
It was a beautiful day on the bike. I particularly liked the sunny tailwind sections and the moments spent indoors. However, I would not have appreciated them nearly as much without the headwinds, miles on the shady side of the street, and the general wintry feel of the outdoors.
- Rootchopper was there and wrote up a summary of his day, too. He braved the headwinds all the way from Old Town so his beverages must have tasted extra good.
- Lisa, the co-ride leader, also has her take on the day here.
I have more Chocoride photos for you. View them on my flickr page.
Many thanks to Crystal and Lisa for organizing this special seasonal ride. BikeDC 4 evah!