Coming on the heels of Bike to Work Day on Friday, I (and 5,000 others) participated in Bike DC on Sunday.
In case you’ve never heard of it, once a year, by some great feat, what could only be a magnormous sea of bureaucracy and red tape is parted so that bicyclists can ride 20 miles through downtown DC and Arlington on the streets and highways–without cars on them.
It is quite an amazing experience–you riding on the street with no worries about being flattened. You even get to run red lights. At first, it is quite surreal–like doing something you aren’t supposed to be doing. I think everyone felt that way, because the pace of the ride was really slow for the first few miles and most riders stayed in big clusters.
Once we got across to the GW Parkway (again, on the highway bridge–which just felt so amazingly odd on a bike), people started to pick their own pace. Though most riders, probably out of habit more than anything else–usually stayed glued to the far right side of the carless roads.
I thought the hills on the GW Parkway would be the worse–and they were unrelenting–but the hills around the Air Force and Iwo Jima memorials spanked me pretty hard.
Overall it was great fun.
A big thank you should go out to the hundreds of people who made it possible: dozens and dozens of volunteers that kept riders safe, fed, and going in the right direction; the many law enforcement and EMS personnel who worked the route and kept traffic under control; the organizers who take on the huge logistics of this event and make it happen flawlessly; and especially to those in local government who have the vision and open-mindedness to help something like this happen.
I’m sure there are plenty of pictures in the media, but if you are too lazy to look for them, you can look at my incredibly bad and unsatisfying photos taken during the ride here.
Any other Bike DC riders out there?