Friday, May 18, 2007

A Successful Day of Bicycle Commuting

Well this morning was bike to work day so I recruited my neighbor to join me and we rode out to the Rosslyn pit stop to meet up with a few of the Racing Unions’ finest. It was chillier out then I expected so I ran in and threw on my arm warmers and rode with them along with my racing kit. I later ended up wishing I wore more clothing, but I’ve dealt with worse before.

The Rosslyn stop was nice, some fun music along with a bunch of people coming in and out. It was great to see so many people commuting by bike, though had the weather been better and the clouds less threatening I think there would have been a ton more. The Union stood out like a sore thumb in our green kit and attracted a decent amount of attention from photographers and their cameras. Hopefully soon I can post some links to a few of these pictures and videos.

We rode in a good sized group to Freedom Plaza where we hung out for a bit as well and were approached by a number of folks promoting their causes including a newish organization promoting car free areas in dc (carfreedc though no website yet) and one calling a few of us out for not wearing our helmets. Saw Mayor Fenty posing for a couple of pictures before taking off though we missed his speech since we got there a bit late. Saw a big 4 wheel mountain bike monster looking thing (Chris was a bit skeptical of this since technically it fits into the four wheeled hegemony idea, though I thought it looked pretty sweet) and a number of folding bikes. I stood around and caught a few guys from and talked to some folks for a bit while my legs started involuntarily shaking from the cold.

I caught up with Gwadzilla a bit and we started talking about some races including the Greenbelt Training series and the Cranky Money mountain bike series. He said he’d been thinking about going to the greenbelt races but didn’t feel like dealing with the roadies. After hearing today some things about roadies being unwilling to do things like bike to work day and some of the general attitudes towards non-road racing cyclists that many apparently have I can’t really blame him. This goes back to a few previous posts I’ve written on the old “can’t we all just get along” vein. Eh, whatever; I refuse to let that get in the way of who I ride with and what I do so f’ it.

We also talked about some mountain bike races, most notably the cranky monkey series and Wednesday’s at Wakefield. I mentioned I wanted to try out racing but that I’ve never done it before and he assured me racing those would be good as a beginner. I’ll definitely have to get out and try out the Wednesday’s at Wakefield which essentially sounds just like the greenbelt training series for mountain biking. Sounds like a great way to get my foot in the door, or woods as the case may be.

The final portion of the ride was pretty brutal coming down Pennsylvania Ave with the wind and rain blowing in our faces, but it was short and overall it was all worth it. Looking forward to next year’s event and hopefully we’ll get an even bigger turnout (and nicer weather). I may even join Chris in riding all the way out to Vienna to meet everyone else before riding back in, though we’ll see about that one.

(Oh and I was shocked this morning that on bike to work day, dcblogs went ahead and specifically featured the nations highway system. WTF is that about?)


Freewheel said...

Kudos on recruiting your neighbor. Did he have fun?

KMAX said...

Well I didn't so much recruit her as she wanted to do it but wasn't sure if she should. She did however have fun and rode quite well through traffic despite my best efforts to lose her (not really, I'm just bad at traffic riding with others).