DC Bike List for week of 11/16

[fyi, the DC Bike List is also on Facebook and Twitter]

OK so yes, it might rain on Saturday, but think of it this way, you’re going to be busy all next week with travel and cooking and hosting and trying to keep the dinner table conversation civil despite the Great Orange Turkey looming over everything, and by then you’re going to WISH you were riding a bicycle in the rain. So THIS weekend, get out there while you have the chance! Plenty of good options. Saturday is, of course, Cranksgiving, which is a fun scavenger hunt AND a way to help feed hungry people. (fyi, the Brrrewery Tour was moved to Dec 2.) The BicycleSPACE rides usually run even during less than perfect weather. The rained-out tweed ride was rescheduled for this Sunday, and there’s also a fun-sounding long ride that day through the Virginia countryside led by the Washington Women Outdoors. And next week, Proteus Bicycles is doing a Thanksgiving Day morning ride so you can work off the mashed potatoes before you even eat them!

Before we move on: There’s been lots of discussion of the dockless bikeshares currently littering/gracing the District of Columbia. At this point, there are five companies involved in this pilot: Mobike, Ofo, Spin, Limebike, and Jump. Bikescolding and concerntrolling aside, one legit question I’ve seen over these weeks is sustainability. Dude, these bikes are getting TRASHED. How long can these companies keep it up? A few thoughts:

  • The bikeshare companies are LOADED. Mobike and Ofo are Chinese companies, each worth a couple of billion dollars. US-based Limebike just raised $62 million and is valued at over $200 million.
  • The bicycles they’re putting on the street are produced at a MASSIVE scale in China and can be incredibly inexpensive. Check out Alibaba.com. You can order 100 bikeshare bikes straight from the factory for $6,000.
  • Potentially, one dockless bikeshare company’s entire 400-bike pilot fleet would cost it only like ~$40,000.
  • Or, you know, the price of a single new Uber. And they don’t even need to pay the driver!
  • Basically, even if they’re losing money as fast as possible, these companies will STILL easily have the financials to stay in DC for a very long time, no matter how many of their bikes get chucked into the C&O Canal.
  • From this angle, the more important concerns going forward may be safety and waste. Bikes that fall apart as you ride them would be… bad. And the companies need to be responsible to collect and reuse/recycle their damaged vehicles.
  • In any case, it’s important to remember this is a DDOT pilot program and they want feedback! Send it their way.

OK, onward! Scroll to the “Looking ahead” section at the end for events beyond this week. If you like this newsletter, feel free to forward it along to friends and tell them to sign up or follow on Twitter and on Facebook. Stay safe, ride fast, ride on.

– Peter

AnchorTheme rides

costumes, special destinations, a party on wheels

AnchorCranksgiving (DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 12pm
Annual charity ride/scavenger hunt to collect food donations for Miriam’s Kitchen! Teams of at least two riders get a map with a list of store locations and food items they have to collect to finish. Between 12 and 25 miles of riding depending on your route, team with the most points wins! Help people, ride a bike, have fun. [Cranksgiving]

AnchorTweed ride (DC)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ TBA
The annual tweed ride was called off this year on account of rain, but now its BACK, according to the Dandies&Quaintrelles Twitter account. A time for people to dress up in old-timey clothing and ride VERY sharp bikes around DC. Join, or just take pictures! Check Facebook and Twitter for more details closer to the event. [Facebook, Twitter]


not about speed. enjoy the journey, get some coffee on the way

Spokes Etc. Vienna shop ride (VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 8:15am
Leaves from the Vienna shop. Easy pace, no drop, covers about 15 miles. Check Facebook for updates and cancellations. [Facebook]

Bike Ride with Councilmember Silverman
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 10:30am
Led by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the Bicycle Advisory Council, with DC Councilmember Elissa Silverman. Easy 10 miles through beautiful Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens and Bladensburg Waterfront Park. See Facebook event for details. [Facebook]

Weekly Youth Ride (VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 11am
Leaves from Phoenix Bikes in Arlington. Kids, parents, and registered volunteers are all welcome to join this easy-going ~10-mile jaunt. Different route every week!

Coffee Ride (DC, VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 11am
An easy 15-mile ramble led by the Bike Rack from their Brookland shop. Hits a series of coffee shops in DC and VA, concluding with a stop for tacos. $10 registration covers a coffee tasting at each stop. [Facebook]

Nice & Easy (DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 10am
A BicycleSPACE ride. Leaves from their downtown shop. This is a ride for everyone, and great for beginners: 8-10 miles at a pace that’s, well, nice and easy.

Cupcake Ramble (DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 11:30am
Another BicycleSPACE ride. Still social, but longer than the Nice & Easy. Leaves from their downtown shop. A leisurely 10-15 mile ride with a stop at a bakery halfway. Back to the shop by 2:30.

Coffee Ride (MD)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 10am
A chill ~10 mile ride from Proteus Bicycles in College Park to get coffee. [Facebook]

Nice & Easy II (DC)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 10am
Same deal as the Saturday Nice & Easy, but this one leaves from the Adams Morgan shop.

City Explorers (DC)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 11:30am
A BicycleSPACE ride. Leaves from their downtown shop. A relatively long rambler (20-30mi) with an easy pace and a different route/theme every time. Learn something about the city and get some exercise.

Slow Roll (DC)
MONDAY, 11/120 @ 7pm
Gather at the African American Civil War Museum (11th and U) for this weekly 10-mile social roll through DC. “Ride bikes with good people and good things happen. You can ride with us.” Join the Facebook group here.

AnchorLong rides

30 miles and up, social, 3+ hours in the saddle 

AnchorBrentsville Rural Rogues (VA)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 10am
A ride for women, hosted by Washington Women Outdoors club. Rolling 35-mile trek through rural Virginia. Starts from Bristow, VA, cost is $10 for members and $15 for non-members. MUST REGISTER BY FRIDAY, 11/17. More details: [Washington Women Outdoors]

AnchorHill rides

often social, can be challenging 

Rock Creek Park ride (DC)
TONIGHT, 11/16 @ 6:30pm
Ride hosted by City Bikes. Meet at the Adams Morgan shop for ~15miles of RESPECTABLE hills through leafy Rock Creek Park. They say it’s 1,000 ft of elevation within 1 hr so bring your climbing legs. Roll-out is at 7pm sharp.

Hills of Anacostia (DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 8am
Hosted by BicycleSPACE. Meet at the downtown shop. A fun, brisk 20-25 miles of some good climbs and nice views up through Anacostia. No-drop ride. See our Ride Review here!

Conte’s Hill Ride (VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 8:30am
Hosted by Conte’s Bike Shop in Falls Church and rolling out from there. Pace is quick (“B”), but it’s a no-drop ride with two gather points for people to catch up if they get dropped. Great exercise, 22 miles with about 2,000 feet of elevation.

Tuesday Hills (VA)
TUESDAY, 11/21 @ 6am
Bikenetic’s weekly hills ride. Meets at the shop in Falls Church. Can be somewhat brutal. Route changes every week, check the shop’s Facebook page for announcements and details.

AnchorRoad rides

skinny tires, quick pace, use of group riding techniques

7am Ride (MD, DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 7am
Hosted by no one. Pure road ride, very fast. Gather in Rock Creek Park, at the intersection of Rt. 410 and Beach Drive. This ride is hard and fast, a 40-mile loop on MacArthur Blvd, along the Potomac, through Great Falls Park, an back to the top of Rock Creek Park.

Spokes Etc. Vienna shop rides (VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 7:15am, 8:15am
Two rides rolling from Spokes, Etc.’s Vienna shop. The first departs at 7:15am, moves at a good 16-18mph clip in a 15 mile loop, then back to the shop, where you can hop on the second ride, departing at 8:15am for another 20-25 miles at a slightly more relaxed pace. Check Facebook for updates and cancellations. [Facebook]

Spokes Etc. Leesburg shop ride (VA)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 9:30am
Medium-pace road ride covering 25-40 miles at an average pace of 14-17mph. Leaves from the Leesburg shop. Check Facebook for updates and cancellations. [Facebook]

Introductory Road Ride (DC)
SATURDAY, 11/18 @ 10am
Hosted by The Bike Rack. Gather at the Logan Circle shop. This is a moderately-paced 25/30-mile ride intended as an introduction to group rides. You must have a road bike. Bring water and a spare tube. More details here.

Coffee Ride (VA):
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 7-8am
Bikenetic’s regular Sunday ride. Leaves from the shop in Falls Church. Fun and social, but challenging, with a 20-30 mile loop. Route and time vary by week, check the shop’s Facebook page the night before.

Bike Rack Intermediate/Advanced rides
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 8:30am
Hosted by the Bike Rack from the Logan Circle shop. The intermediate ride is 40 miles at an average of 16-18 mph. It’s no-drop, but you have to move quickly. If you want something more challenging the advanced rides take place at the same time. It covers 60 miles at an average speed of 18-20 mph, and you have to be able demonstrated excellent bike handling skills. Both rides are canceled in the event of wet conditions.

Spokes Etc. Quaker Lane shop ride (VA)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 9am
Departs from the Quaker Lane shop in Alexandria. Quick pace (15-20mph) for a good distance (30-40 miles). Check out the Facebook page for updates and cancellations. [Facebook]

Arrow Bicycle ride (MD)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 9am
Gather at Arrow Bicycle in Hyattsville for this 32-mile no-drop ride that emphasizes group riding techniques. Ride heads out 52 weeks a year, rain or shine.

Spokes Etc. Belle View Co-ed Road Ride (VA)
SUNDAY, 11/19 @ 9am
Meets at the Belle View shop for a solid 25-30 miles of riding at a moderate 15mph pace. Check Facebook for updates and cancellations. [Facebook]

Goon Ride
Hosted by no one. The Goon Ride is maybe the hardest ride around. Riders gather informally at Garret Park Road and Beach Drive. Average speed is 25mph. Good luck.

AnchorThanksgiving Day Road Ride (MD)
THURSDAY, 11/23 @ 10am
Get the blood pumping before the turkey sets in. Led by Proteus Bicycles from their College Park shop. Beautiful intermediate (14-16mph) road ride through rolling MD countryside. [Facebook]

AnchorEvents and classes

Weekly youth night (DC)
TONIGHT, 11/16 @ 6pm-8pm
All young people ages 11-21 are welcome to attend this weekly workshop at Gearin’ Up to get some pointers and hands-on practices working on bicycles.

Chain Breakers Girls Bike Club (VA)
TONIGHT, 11/16 @ 6:30pm-7:30pm
A weekly group for girls ages 12-17. Learn to wrench bikes, go on rides, plan longer trips. More details here.

WABA adult cycling classes (VA, DC)
A number of options area available, including city riding and basic skills. Registration is a good idea. Visit their site for more details.

AnchorLooking ahead

11/24: BLACK FRIDAY RIDE! Bike, don’t shop. From Conte’s in Falls Church.
11/25: Sugar Loaf Mountain women’s ride! Burn off the turkey with Washington Women Outdoors.
12/2: Third annual Brrrewery Bike Tour on the W&OD! Hit four different breweries and then metro home!
12/9: Great Falls loop women’s ride! From Fletcher’s to Great Falls and back, with Washington Women Outdoors.
12/9: Massive used bicycle sale! Gearin’ Up Bikes, Phoenix Bicycles, and Bikes for the World are clearing out a large stock of refurbished rides.