Blugger supreme Mr. Eben Weiss, also known as BikeSnobNYC decided to visit Washington DC (and Bethesda) to sell somebooks.
He also participated in a group ride with the great folks at BicycleSpace, and I attended, along with Kate, many other #bikeDC folks. Brian from #TFTS has an account of where we went for the first half of the ride. Though after he peeled off the group continued up 8th to East Capitol, and did some circles on the east side of the building. At that point we headed back towards home, but decided to grab slices at We the Pizza first. Presumably the crew headed back towards the BicycleSpace shop, via Mass Ave?
Mr Snob seemed like a genuinely nice fellow, although I didn’t speak to him directly I was adjacent to the conversation, and can vouch for the “regular guy-ness” of it. That’s cool. Maybe he will come visit again.
Here are photos:
Mr. Snob addresses his followers. I think I heard him say something about AYHSMB?
Riding through the city at sunset, a pleasure.
Swinging by the Nationals Stadium after a ride through the SW Waterfront
Woah, then we rode into and up to the top of a parking garage. Beautiful sights, popsicles, book give-away for fasted Brompton folder.
View of the park. Looking forward to catching the O’s or Red Sox there this year.
It looks like October is going to be a pretty big cycling month for me – 140 miles planned this weekend, 120-ish between Thursday and Sunday last week, and a few short rides thrown in for good measure.
Over the past few years we have done cycling events in Boston, New York, DC and Baltimore – and I would have to say that the Boston and NYC events have stood out in my mind as how you should run events like these. Tour du Port came up a little short – here is my list of pro’s and con’s:
Support a Good Cause: The Tour du Port is the biggest fundraiser for Bike Maryland, which strives to raise awareness of bike issues and works with legislators to provide a voice for all of us.
See Baltimore Harbor by bike: It would be unfair to say that this ride captures all that Baltimore has to offer. Other than a loop through Patterson Park, the ride mostly followed Baltimore Harbor from Federal Hill out through Dundalk and Edgemere.
Excellent Route Markers: Green arrows painted along the roads meant that we never had to pay attention to the cue sheets that we were provided. That is especially helpful when travelling in the city, since you want to keep as much of your attention on the road as possible.
Inner Harbor Rest Stop: At about the 8-mile marker we stopped at a rest stop just outside of the National Aquarium. Though we didn’t necessarily need a stop that soon after the beginning, somebody had spent the time to make PB&J sandwiches and banana bread. That was a nice touch.
Helpful Volunteers: What else can you say – it’s nice to be nice.
Beautiful Weather: Ok, maybe they didn’t play a role in that
Registration Fumbles: The water set up for filling bottles was not turned on. Some people got wrist bands to wear, some got bands to hold on to but weren’t sure why. Clif Shot Blocks at the start were nice, if you were able to snag a pack before they ran out. Cue sheets, also nice to get, but running low and rationing is not good. Emphasis on cue sheets confused many inexperienced cyclists; nobody mentioned the green pavement markings (in my ear shot).
Very few routes with bike facilities: Maybe they don’t exist, but it would be nice to see some of the work Baltimore has put into cycling infrastructure.
Not Enough Rest Stops: One at 8 and another at 34 miles, and not very well stocked. I’m used to seeing more sponsors who give away fruit and drinks and mini-energy bars. Rest stops have some music blasting. Almost missing the last rest stop because it was hidden behind a building at the back of a gravel parking area was a bummer. Rest stops for me are usually more about the fun than the nourishment.
No Informational Signage: Boston’s Hub On Wheels really has this perfected. When you are passing through a new neighborhood, or a historic district, vista, or any point of interest the Hub on Wheels folks have little roadside signs that offer tid-bits of information. It makes the ride SO FUN to learn about things along the way. There was much to be seen on Tour du Port and some fun facts would be great.
No Rolling Starts: For events like this, I am against rolling starts. I know it’s a hassle, but line everyone up at a starting line. Play some “pump-me-up” music, and have somebody from BikeMaryland come out and talk about Baltimore and their organization and make me even more excited about the ride ahead! The first year I did the Hub on Wheels event both Sen. John Kerry and Mayor Menino gave speeched and then rode with us at the start – that was cool.
Close Something Down!: Boston closes Storrow Drive, NYC closes numerous bridges and roadways, BikeDC closes the GW Parkway. Again, added cost, added headache – but that type of stuff keeps me coming back year after year. It’s so fun to ride where we normally can’t!
Make the Finish A Party: Warm ziti and yogurt make my stomach turn after a ride – engage a few local food trucks to be present and I’ll gladly pay whatever they are asking for some yummy sandwiches or baked goods. Engage the local business community and make sure that there are tons of tables packed with information and advertising. I like to interact with these people and find out more about what services they offer. Also, nice cheering section guiding you to the finish line and a small goodie bag (even full of sponsors crap and coupons) is a nice way to end the ride.
I had fun, the weather was nice – I’ll probably come back and do the ride again someday. I also thank the event organizers and volunteers for their efforts. I probably sound grumpy – but I am not – I just hope that the event can become one of those “can’t miss” events every year.
I know that changing these Cons onto Pros takes organizational strength, money and time to organize – certainly easier said than done! But what gets me to pay a registration fee and come to these events is the party-esque atmosphere and the time taking in the sights. I’d gladly pay a higher registration fee to offset the costs.
I hear that Tour dem Parks is great – and I’m sure we’ll be itching to get on our bikes on June 10th next year to ride.
The weather is starting to look great for cycling this weekend. It will be a great chance to get some Coffeeneuring in, head to Baltimore for Tour du Port, or, if you can’t leave the District – participate in WAGBRAD IV.
What: WashCycle Annual Great BicycleRide Around DC
When: Starting from the Jones Point Light House at 9:00 am. For those, like me, riding Metro we’ll leave the King Street Metro for Jones Point at 8:45 am on October 9, 2011 Where: Starting at Jones Point Lighthouse and going around DC to National Harbor