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National Bike Challenge

May 23, 2012

Yesterday, I joined fellow #bikeDC tweeps in the National Bike Challenge.  In a nutshell, the campaign, which runs from May 1 to August 31, has a goal of uniting 50,000 people across the United States to bike 10 million miles.  Once signed up, cyclists can manually log their bike trips or use the Endomondo App.   You can compete as an individual, on teams, and for city and state pride.  Of course why ride solo when you can compete on Team FridayCoffeeClub and FridayCoffeeClub Team 2 (or single and double).  After @gypsybug’s call to arms, the first team of 10 quickly filled with me snagging the last slot.

Later that evening, @ebooksyearn, who missed out early, created the second team.  Not wanting anyone to miss out on a chance for free toilet paper for a year, I defected to team 2 and joined a few other people who live in the nosebleed section of DC including @girlonabikedc and @mrtinDC.  Unfortunately, @mrtinDC left shortly thereafter.  Not due to injury but rather due to a crummy, clustered, confusing registration and ride log interface that wanted way too much info.  Tangent: In the short-lived SyFy series, Caprica, virtual Doppelgängers were created using a search engine program that gathered all your public information.  I’m sure mine is walking around somewhere.

Not wanting to be the team slug (may I remind you of the year supply of cottonelle on the line), I decided to take the long way home after work.  I began on the larger eastern loop of the Anacostia Tributary Trail system.  Fueled by pleasant weather (finally),  I decided to ride through Mt. Rainer to Brookland.  I’ve never been able to figure the most efficient route and this time was no exception.  I rode momentarily on Queens Chapel Road before coming to my senses and hopping on the sidewalk (no reason to play hero today).  Passing the Franciscan Monastery, I tackled Fort Bunker Hill turned and ended up having to tackle the other side of this hill (like I said, no efficiency).  Not too late to be home yet, I picked up the Met Branch Trail south towards downtown.

I was expelled at Union Station during rush hour.  I tried getting my bearings as I looped around Columbus Circle (still construction going on).  My familiar route involved backtracking the way I came – something I am mortality opposed to.  Taking a full lane, it was at this time I began to worry I would somehow enter onto the 395 highway ramp.  I spotted another rider with VO hammered fenders and a Carradice saddle bag attached to his Brook’s saddle.  This guy knew what he was doing (at least on the accessory side) so I decided to follow him.  He took me north on 5th Street and I immediately knew where I was – Bicycle Space Land.  He rode with common sense and exuded no jackassiness (a rarity in these parts) so I continued following behind into Columbia Heights.  I ended my commute at 16.6 miles, just about double my usual.

We’re still looking for a few more riders to complete the team.  If interested sign-up here and search for “FridayCoffeeClub Team 2”.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. May 23, 2012 2:07 pm

    Great post! Way to get the word out there about the challenge. Go Friday Coffee Club Teams!

  2. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    May 26, 2012 3:09 pm

    Love this post,LOL at your decision to follow another cyclist b/c of his cool bike accessories. I can actually see the logic of that! Sounds like a great choice. I have never been on the Met Branch trail and have been curious to check it out. Where is the near-Union-Station access point?

    • May 30, 2012 3:00 pm

      So, I would take 1st NE up to M…I think that’s the best way although usually going the opposite way. It’s a pretty nice route and a real asset for the area.

      • Nancy L. Seibel permalink
        June 3, 2012 9:35 am

        Thanks, I look forward to checking it out.

  3. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    May 26, 2012 3:12 pm

    PS am participating in the Bike Challenge, too. Not on a team, just seeing how many miles I can rack up. In May I will surpass my goal for all of 2012, which is 160 miles per month.

    • May 30, 2012 2:54 pm

      Nice! Are you sure you don’t want to join our team? – we still need a few more area cyclists (and attending FridayCoffeeClub isn’t required).

      • Nancy L. Seibel permalink
        June 3, 2012 9:37 am

        I would be more than glad to join your team. I am sort of surprised by amount of miles I can contribute for May!

  4. May 28, 2012 6:21 pm

    That sounds like a lot of fun – good work! Wonder if there’s something similar on this side of the pond?

  5. Nancy L. Seibel permalink
    June 3, 2012 9:52 am

    So, I signed up for Team Friday Coffee Club 2. Do you think I am right that the May miles I already logged on Endomondo are automatically are added in?

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