To help balance the negativity of today's comments from Tony Kornheiser (see other thread), I'm glad to post that Bike DC will be taking place in May, May 23 to be exact. Like the recent Vasa Ride, Bike DC is a casual affair, an open bike ride, not a race. Unlike the Vasa Ride, the roads are usually closed off to automobile traffic during Bike DC.
Last year's Bike DC was held in October. The turnout was light because of the cold rainy weather. I signed up but I wimped out on riding because of the near-freezing rain. But now that Bike DC is in late May, the temperature should be much better. Even if it rains, it should be pretty warm that day.
Details about the event and the route won't be posted until March 20. Last year there were two separate rides. The longer one was around 25 miles. The shorter one was about half the distance.
Bike DC involves an entry fee, not as much as a triathlon but more than the typical 5K (if I remember correctly). You won't be able to race the entire distance if that's what you're looking for since there will probably be speed limits in certain sections. (I think there was a 15 mph speed limit in some sections of last year's course.) But if the course heads up along the GW Parkway again, you can pick up some speed there.
The shorter ride is intended to be more of a family-friendly affair so it's better not to ride fast if you sign up for that distance.
Here's the official website although there won't be much information until March 20:
They should invite KC to get on a bike.
This is great, I missed it last year. But May 23 is Columbia!!
I'm going to use Bike DC as another tune-up for Eagleman in June. It'll be fun to see how well I can handle this shorter 25-miler. I'll try to ride it as a tempo workout except for the parts that have a 15-mph speed limit. I'm not signed up for Columbia.
But I am going to miss the Crystal Ride/Air Force Cycling Classic in June because it's on the same day as Eagleman.
I don't know if I'd recommend Bike DC as a training ride. In 2008, my friends and I did the 50 states version - about 62 miles only in DC. There were tons of turns, probably 80+ turns. Hard to be quick when you're looking at the map. Lots of quick, short climbs. And lots of traffic lights. We kept a good pace but the ride felt like 80 miles or more.
Didn't do the 25 mile version. It's a leisure ride not done for time or tempo. Either way, it's well organized, shows you unique parts of the city...if you want to train in a certain zone without rest stops/stopping, I do a different ride on Sat. and 50 States on Sun.
hey wait a second, I wrote an article about 50 states:
-- I do recommend it though--
The 2009 route map had some continuous stretches on the GW Parkway and on Constitution Ave. If the 2010 route is similar, I think it would be possible to get some speed there and still be safe, even with a large group. People should get spread out after a few miles on the ride. There's plenty of room to pass on those two roads.
The 25-miler was the longer of the two options last year. Families and beginners will probably ride the 12-mile course, assuming a similar set-up this year.
I should add that if the Squadra Coppi racers show up again, I'll be struggling to keep up with them. But that in itself would be a good workout. If I can keep up with Cat3 and Cat4 bike specialists, then I know I'm doing something right with my training.
Bike DC is the new ride. I thought you were talking about 50 States (by waba, the same people). My bad. It would be cool to bike on GW Parkway.
Registration is now open for Bike DC at the official website:
The route is a little shorter this year, 19 miles instead of 25, but the weather should be nicer. Even if it rains, the temperatures should be nice, unlike last October.
The ride starts on Pennsylvania Ave. and heads up to the Whitehurst Freeway and Key Bridge. From there, cyclists can ride on the GW Parkway to where it passes over Rte. 123. Then they turn back and get a close look at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington National Cemetery before finishing up in Crystal City.
There should be plenty of room on the roads to go as fast or as slow as you want. Those roads will be closed to automobile traffic during the event. Faster riders can finish in under an hour. Even if you decide to focus on sightseeing and ride at a casual pace, you'll still have time to get to the festivities in Crystal City.
Cyclists can continue onto the nearby Mt. Vernon Trail and ride over to National Harbor in Md. and take a water taxi back to D.C. Or head over to Nationals Park and watch the Nationals take on the regional rival Baltimore Orioles in interleague play that afternoon.
Bike DC is not a race so timing chips are not necessary. If you want to avoid the hillier section of the course, you are free to take one of the shortcuts. No penalties since you aren't being timed.
Those of you who are racing in the Nation's Triathlon in Sept. should enjoy the opportunity to bike up the GW Parkway north of Key Bridge. The Nation's Tri bike course heads up the parkway this year (a bit longer than Bike DC does). It's supposed to be a bit hilly there. Bike DC may be your only chance to survey that road by bike before the Sept. race. It's not quite the same if you drive on the route.
Even if you're not racing in the Nation's Tri, Bike DC lets you ride on several of the main roads and parkways in the area without having to dodge cars and motorcycles. If you have kids, you can bring them along. Children 12 and under ride for free.
Registration is $35 for adults, 20 and up ($45 on the day of the event). Riders 13 to 19 years pay $20 ($30 on the day of the event).