WABA 50 States Ride 2013: 45 States, Fueled by Espresso

50 States Ride
Plotting a shortcut

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.

Back for another 50 States Ride
Back for another 50 States Ride. Photo by Felkerino

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.

Eric and the Proteus tandem
The beautiful Proteus tandem

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.

Felkerino, Tom, Kirstin, and Lane 50 States

WABA provides excellent support at the four pit stops along the 65-mile route, and staff and volunteers are friendly and upbeat.

Megan on the 50 States Ride

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.

Lane, Kevin, and Felkerino on 50 States

This year it also poured buckets in the final miles. Good thing we brought lights, rain jackets, and bikes with fenders.

Time for jackets
Time for rain jackets. Thank goodness we didn’t carry these around for nothing.

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.

Time out for coffee!
Time out for coffee!

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.

50 States Ride pitstop at Mike and Lisa's

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.


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