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Thread: DC Bike Ride

  1. #1
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    Default DC Bike Ride

    Thinking of doing this, as I've never done an cycling event like this before.

    On the one hand, seems like it would be cool to have the streets to ourselves, see the sights, and enjoy the pit stops, parties, music etc.

    On the other hand, I'm also a runner and after decades of marathons and other big races, stopped doing them because I no longer enjoyed shuffling along in gigantic crowds of runners, trying not to trip, etc. Also, the level of consideration has sadly degraded over the years. For example, many now feel it's OK to be running on the course with strollers and dogs despite the tripping hazard to fellow runners in close quarters -- and regardless of prohibitions of race organizers.

    So with that perspective, would enjoy hearing from folks who have experienced the DC Bike Ride. The good? The bad? The ugly? Recommend/don't recommend?

  2. #2
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    Slightly tangential to the theme of your question here, I'll mention an alternative if you end up deciding against joining the DC Bike Ride:
    The group ride & private cathedral tour I'm leading that same morning -- about an 8 mile ride through DC streets (from Wharf / Velo Cafe up to Washington National Cathedral) followed by me giving a private special-access guided tour inside the cathedral.

    Details here on the forum: http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showth...onal-Cathedral

  3. #3
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    Good: biking on 395

    Bad: Insanely crowded course, especially at the beginning. I was towards the start of the "advanced" group 2 years ago, and had to weave around children and people who really shouldn't have been up front. It definitely takes some good bike handling skills to feel safe. And you really won't go fast. Too many potholes and people.

    It was fun to do once and if you haven't, you should totally ride it. But I have no desire to do it again. I find smaller group rides, or the WABA rides to be more fun.

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  5. #4
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    I did this last year, started in the intermediate corral. The crowd wasn't bad at all, but it was pouring rain all day so that may have had something to do with it. Doing it this year with a slightly larger group ~8 people. We were not riding fast - it's not a race. Hit a crazy bump coming down the Whitehurst freeway and my U lock went flying out of my rack.

    One other thing I remember is that people are trying to give you a banana like every 100'... so many bananas.

    Also, all of Potomac Park was under water so the course got shortened down from 20 miles to about 15 miles.

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  7. #5
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    I rode it the inaugural year and I'm in no hurry to ride again for many of the same reasons you listed as to why you gave up running organized races

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk
    Last edited by AFHokie; 05-02-2019 at 03:17 PM.

  8. #6
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    My experience was the same as AFHokie - I'd recommend doing WABA's pleasant and beautiful Cider Ride in the fall instead... and if you feel like suffering from conditions and circumstances rather than the people around you, the 50 states ride.

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  10. #7
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    Steve O is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeprosyStudyGroup View Post
    My experience was the same as AFHokie - I'd recommend doing WABA's pleasant and beautiful Cider Ride in the fall instead... and if you feel like suffering from conditions and circumstances rather than the people around you, the 50 states ride.
    Or come join us on the Great Pumpkin Ride in October and you can wear a silly costume.
    2018
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  12. #8
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    The good? If you want a route *totally* car free and protected, and ride roads and freeways you could otherwise *never* ride safely, then this is for you.

    The bad? The expressways are nowhere near as smooth as your motor vehicle makes you think. The Whitehurst Freeway in particular can be treacherous with potholes and pavement seams.

    The good? Amongst MANY MANY MANY fellow cyclists.

    The bad? Amongst too many fellow cyclists. Pro tip- you *can* control the space directly around you. Do that, have a full level of alertness around you, call your passes and pass with discretion, and you'll be fine.

    The good? Entertainment along the route cheering you on. My favorite was Batala, the Afro-Bahia (Brazilian) drum group, a few years ago. Also, well supported. As noted elsewhere, you will not lack for bananas.

    The weather? It is what it will be. And if you have rain gear and fenders, riding in the rain can actually be reasonably pleasant.

    I have done this ride 3 times, once with my wife. I will be Sue's ride support again this year (riding as Papillon Cycles/Starduster Racing). She feels safer doing this ride than she does riding on my Papillon shop rides. No cars. That's why.
    Last edited by Starduster; 05-05-2019 at 08:40 AM.

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  14. #9
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    I do it with one of the kids, I wouldn't do it by myself.

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  16. #10
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    Many thanks to responders providing useful perspective.

    Gut feeling I had was borne out -- I'll pass on the event.

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