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September 9, 2022 / bikesbytesbites

DC/VA Bicycling Weekend (August 2022)

I participated in two organized bike rides on one weekend in August.

  • The Seersucker Social
  • Reston Bike Club Century

I couldn’t imagine two more different events (that both involve a group of cyclists doing a ride.)

Seersucker Social

The Seersucker Social is sponsored by Dandies and Quaintrelles, “a Washington, DC based social group, organizes and hosts vintage-inspired, stylish events in partnership with and in support of noble causes.” (quoting from their Facebook page)

I volunteered as a mechanic, helping adjust people’s bikes. There was not that much to do – most of the bikes were practical and in good riding condition. Note to self: On rides like this be sure to bring tools that are no longer required for current bikes (eg, an open-ended, crescent wrench) but are necessary for performing adjustments on older bikes.

The ride was 10 miles in the monumental center of DC. It took us two hours to cover the route. (Socializing was the point, not getting an aerobic workout.) The marshals did a good job of keeping the group together and finding shade for rest stops.

At the end of the ride, prizes were awarded for, among other things, best costumes, best hats, best vintage bike, best modern bike. There was also a prize for the best picnic after the ride. Ross and I had a modest picnic, mostly thanks to him, but also thanks to a lunch provided by Velocity Bicycle Coop, since I volunteered as a mechanic through them.

Reston Century

The Reston Bike Club (RBC) sponsors a yearly ride which includes a century plus shorter distances. Sunday of this weekend I volunteered to marshal the metric century (62 miles). That meant riding along with the riders, offering encouragement if required, and providing repairs or adjustments, also if required.

Since there’s massive construction going on in Reston Town Center, the starting point of the ride was relocated from previous years. But it was pretty obvious, once I found it, judging by the stream of bicycles heading on their routes away from there and the mass of bicycles and bicyclists congregated there. Hmm, no vintage clothing or vintage bicycles here …

During the ride I helped out with some minor repairs and adjustments. Mostly I provided directions (some of the route markings were not clear or missing) or encouragement (“Yes, the metric century goes this way.”) The route heads out of town on some roads that most bicyclists (except maybe locals) usually don’t get to, in North Reston. The area is great to ride through very early on a Sunday morning, before the suburbs awaken and the shopping centers get going.

The rest stops (there were two on the metric route) were very well planned and organized. I was particularly impressed with the ways the organizers found to distribute doughnuts and water.

Unfortunately, the weather forecast was slightly off — it started raining earlier than forecast. The last hour of my ride was in a light rain. My Cleverhood rain cape did its job and, since I ride in sandals during the summer, my feet didn’t get waterlogged. A great ride! Thanks, RBC, for organizing.

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