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Dear PoPville – Looking for advice on bicycle touring in/around DC

Photo by PoPville flickr user mixedeyes

“Dear PoPville,

I’ve been thinking of getting into bicycle “touring” which I’m not even is the right word for it – Basically I’m looking to put on some spandex and ride 60 miles like the folks in Rock Creek Park every weekend but have absolutely zero knowledge of where to start.

An obvious step is to a bike store and talk with folks there, but before looking into a bicycle purchase I wanted to learn more and maybe experience it first. (Buying a bike can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars which is quite a commitment for something I have never done.)

Are there any riding clubs here in DC that offered advice to beginners, rent bikes (do we do that here?), will let newbies along on rides, etc. Years ago I remember hearing about a DC bike club that had an online calendar of beginners sessions/classes and searching has led me to nowhere.”

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