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“The Inaugural DC BIKE RIDE on May 22nd: 17 miles of car free streets, a finish festival and more”

by Prince Of Petworth February 3, 2016 at 9:45 am 30 Comments


From a press release:

“DC Bike Ride, a scenic urban bicycle ride celebrating the people, places, and culture of Washington, D.C. will debut in the District on May 22, as an exciting addition to National Bike Month celebrations.

The recreational ride offers a unique car-free tour of the nation’s capital. Riders will cruise past some of the most iconic sites taking in everything from the Washington Monument to the
White House and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Participants will conclude their journey with a post-ride celebration near the United States Capitol.

“We are excited to join our partners in presenting a non-competitive biking event for all ages and abilities,” Capital Sports Ventures Chief Executive Officer Greg Bibb stated. “DC Bike Ride will celebrate and promote biking, a healthy lifestyle and street safety while allowing participants from throughout the region and beyond to enjoy a one-of-a-kind journey through the District.”

The inaugural 2016 event expects to include 8,000 riders, but the ride is projected to grow to 18,000 in the coming years, becoming a premiere recreational cycling event on the east coast.

Washington, D.C. provides the perfect locale for the event. The District was recently voted Walk Score’s “Most Bikeable City of 2015” and boasts one of the largest bikesharing systems in the United States.

“The addition of the DC Bike Ride to the sports landscape of the nation’s capital is a perfect and timely fit,” said Erik A. Moses, senior vice president and managing director of Events DC Sports and Entertainment. “DC has been voted the fittest city in America multiple times but has been missing a cycle event among the marathons, fun runs and the triathlon that currently provide athletic challenges for District residents and visitors to enjoy. The DC Bike Ride will attract bike enthusiasts and tourists from across the country by providing a unique opportunity to experience our great city and many of its wonderful features from an extraordinary perspective.”

Washington, D.C. is also home to Vision Zero, a long-term street safety initiative, which works to end traffic deaths and major injuries for all road-users. Vision Zero was recently adopted in the District of Columbia and is supported by WABA (Washington Area Bicyclist Association). As the primary benefactor of the inaugural DC Bike Ride, WABA will receive a portion of the proceeds to fund street safety programs carried out by the organization.

“WABA is a proud founding partner of the DC Bike Ride,” stated Greg Billing, WABA’s Executive Director. “DCBR represents the return of a family-friendly, traffic-free bike ride to the District of Columbia, and our community couldn’t be more thrilled. We believe the best way to experience our region is on the seat of a bicycle. In addition to the good work of bringing people together, DC Bike Ride will provide critical resources for our community engagement work to support D.C.’s Vision Zero goal to end traffic fatalities by 2024.”

Early bird registration for DC Bike Ride presented by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Events DC is available now through February 28 and can be purchased by visiting DCBikeRide.com. Early bird pricing starts at $50. Regular pricing, starting at $60, begins on March 1.”

  • Kukki Bakemono

    I’ve done the Five Boro Bike Tour a couple times and wished DC did something similar so I will definitely sign up for this.

    • anon

      Even better is the Tour de Brooklyn, and the other borough rides. So fun and great for families – slow paced, easy but interesting routes through a variety of neighborhoods, great atmosphere. I miss that ride.

      • Kukki Bakemono

        I’ve never heard of that…I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  • Petworther

    This has been really successful elsewhere but would be more fun on residential streets. Maybe if this one goes well they can get a better route next time.

    • petworther

      Nevermind. Just saw this is 60$. What a crock.

  • tom12hours

    How is this different from “Bike DC”, which WABA hosted annually until a few years ago? It seems to be an identical route, but with a new name. Perhaps it’s just re-branding.

  • Anonymous

    This is a half-assed attempt at what really needs to happen, a true open streets event. Open to all modes of transportation and encouraging interaction with surrounding businesses and amenities.

    As it is, this is basically a marathon and a much faster pace over a much shorter length. No kids. No stopping. Not open to the public. $60. No thanks,

    • anon

      what? the whole point is to have a ride on car free streets…why should it be all modes of transportation? That’s everyday. As tom12hours suggests above, this is a rebranding of an event that used to take place until a couple years ago. for people who enjoy biking, its awesome. the route is great. going over the bridge and cycling downtown without cars for just one saturday morning? yes please. Also, kids participated in past Bike DC rides and the description clearly states riders of all ages. And non competitive. I’m not sure you are reading the post.

      • Anonymous

        No, I read it and I get it. It’s an organized bike ride on car free streets. You know what’s better than that? Car free streets. That any person can use. It works all around the world including in big bad car-is-king Los Angeles (CicLAvia) but for “security” and “traffic” reasons, DC is a special little flower and can’t do it.

        All I’m saying is that it’s a niche event that is cost-prohibitive for many and family unfriendly (under 5 prohibited) when there’s an alternative that works better and is open to all (but would require government sponsorship so for incompetency or ambivalence, it won’t happen).

        • bll

          are you talking about something more like the “bicycle sundays on the Bronx river parkway,” where they close it to all cars for a few hours but keep it open for bikers, scooters, in like skaters, runners and walkers? it’s free, with a few (logical) restrictions, and you can enter at different points along the parkway.

        • Dan

          Then you should not have said “Open to all modes of transportation” in your original comment. Motorized vehicles are indeed “modes of transportation.”

        • cwjCO

          Beach Road on Saturday and Sunday

    • cyclist

      What on earth makes you say “No Kids” or “No Stopping” or “Not open to the public” ?! None of those are true…what press release were you reading?

      • womp

        reading comprehension: a dying skill in America.

    • Dan

      No no no.

      Where does it say, “no kids”?
      Where does it say, “no stopping”? Will the no stopping police be standing on the sidewalks with tasers for riders who step aside for a break?
      Where do you get the idea it’s “not open to the public”? The invite is on a public blog.
      How is this a “marathon”?

      Let us know what planet you’re on.

      • Pleasanter

        So apparently they changed the rules – on Monday when this was announced, no kids were allowed but they were discussing it. Guess they changed their minds. Still, this is a pretty expensive event at $60 and the 17 mile route looks pretty crappy. The 50 States Ride is 62 miles and only costs $40. And they give you a free beer. :)

        • Myron

          The 50 states ride is also on completely open city streets with zero traffic controls. It’s fun but not for everyone.

      • Anon

        I think here’s what Anonymous is getting at: 1) the FAQ appears to have strict rules about young kids. Specifically young riders aren’t allowed and older kids have to be in a 1:1 ratio to an adult. The tone of the FAQ makes me think that kids of any age just aren’t welcome. If that’s not true they need a better writer. 2) the map above states that those not able to maintain a 6mph speed will be directed back to the finish line. I have no idea what time that means in relation to the start, but that might limit/eliminate any stopping. 3) a $60 entrance fee is cost prohibitive to many members of the public.

        • Anon

          And what I mean about young riders is that they can’t ride their own bikes, before those who appear to be the organizers get all bent out of shape again.

    • womp
  • AP

    I thought this sounded fun until I read $60 and kids have to be 3y/o and it seems a bit more like a race. I thought they were just closing off street to traffic – which would make for a fun family ride.

  • tke

    This past summer, I was in LA for my bestie’s wedding. Another college friend who also lives in LA told me about CicLAvia and asked if I was interested. She borrowed a beach cruiser for me, I brought my helmet and it was beyond amazing. And FREE!!!
    From Culver City Venice Beach. With folks on skates, folks walking and folks pulling their kids in wagons. There were vendors and food trucks. Their was a marching band and we went passed this amazing farmers market. The senses of community was fabulous. I mean it was just awesome and I thought, “DC could do this.”
    I love the attempt at doing something, but this is not what I envisioned. $60?!?
    I’ve paid less to run a half marathons that gave me t-shirts, food and medals. . .

    • tke

      *ran half marathons*

  • anon

    They did changed the youth policy after a lot of comments, but unfortunately they did not go far enough. It should be for 1 year olds and up, not 3, if they have to have an age limit in place. Also, you have to pay $30 to register a child riding in a bike seat! So now it’s costing you $80 to do this ride. I miss Bike DC!!!

    • MiddleofNowhere

      +1. I’m still waiting to see if they do the right think and lower the age to 1+. I miss BikeDC too – no one hassled us if we were going too slow. Seemed like a much more casual ride than what they are offering here.

  • elbeech

    Like many others, I am balking at the $48/$60 price. I am ok paying that if it all goes to WABA, charity, and actual event costs, but, according to WABA, this is being run by a for-profit company. Genuine question – why should I support a for-profit company for a public event like this? I like the car-free road ride, and support WABA, but not private profiteering from something like this.

    • FacePalm

      Global Zero does a free bike race every year to raise awareness for eliminating nuclear weapons. If it’s a charity you would support (everyone obviously has different feelings on nuclear weapons which is fine), their Bike Around the Bomb is a great event. They’ve gotten police escorts in the past, and while the ride isn’t as long, it’s certainly a nice way to both bike around the city in a safe environment and support a cause.

  • C.

    $50 to ride a bike.. what is this city coming to? If people wish to ride without cars on the streets, start riding Critical Mass every last Friday of the month. None of this vanilla standard DC $50 crap. Cycling in DC is getting better, but has ways to go regarding its democratization.

  • Steve Holt

    Lamesauce to charge kids $30 to ride on a $50 registration. I’ll pass. STEVE HOLT

  • Jesse

    They can’t stop us from riding along for free, can they?

    DC Bike Ride Hustle anyone?


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