Tom & Ted's Excellent Public Service Announcement

What is Tom & Ted’s Advocacy Adventure? Read this.

The 2012 National Bike Summit wrapped up in Washington DC on Thursday — or on Friday, if you count the Congressional Bike Ride.

Needless to say, Tom and I made it all the way to DC — nearly 100 miles on comfy commuter bikes. Which is kind of like hiking the Grand Canyon in a pair of Oxfords. Not the best bike for the task, and I think I started to feel why long-distance cyclists prefer their broken-in leather saddles to the cushy saddles that help sell bikes to less experienced cyclists.

In other words: My butt hurt. Tom, with his Brooks saddle, had no such complaints.

But that was my only complaint. I was relieved to discover that my short little daily bike commute had kept me in sufficient condition to make this unprecedented bike trip.

So before I fill in the highlights, here’s a Public Service Announcement Tom and I made at the beginning of our second day on the road:

Richmond to Fredericksburg

We rode 70 miles our first day, from Richmond to Fredericksburg, Virginia. I’m pretty sure it’s the greatest distance I’ve ever gone by bike in a single day. It was easy, surprisingly easy. It was beautiful too.

Much of the riding was through rural neighborhoods, with a few good stretches of we’re-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-are-you-sure-you-know-where-we’re-going-Tom?

But we only made a couple of wrong turns, and we discovered the errors quickly. One missed turn was discovered when I stopped to take a photo of this lawn decoration.Bicycle Lawn Decoration

While I was taking the photo, Tom got out his smartphone and realized we’d missed our turnoff by about a quarter mile. Thank you, half-buried bicycle with teapot.

Somewhere outside Fredericksburg
Tom, somewhere not quite to Fredericksburg

Dusk was upon us and casting long shadows of us and our bikes on the shoulders of the roads. Tom was coordinating with our contact in Fredericksburg, providing our ETA.

When we arrived, our welcoming committee was Terry Dorn, beer, and two-dollar burgers at Fredericksburg’s Capital Ale House.

Terry Dorn
Terry (L), Beer (R)

Terry is President of the Fredericksburg Cyclists Club, and on the board of the Virginia Bicycling Federation. He laughed at all of my dumb jokes. He’s my new best friend.

He convinced us to turn our ride into a multimodal commute, and to take the Virginia Railway Express to the other side of Quantico, because cycling around would add about 16 miles to our commute, and riding the shoulder of I-17 or US 1 would be bike unfriendly.

This train ride would shorten our bike ride by 30 miles. Tom fretted about falling short of his stated goal of riding 110 miles. I was thinking, Yesssss! Thirty fewer miles of comfy chair torture!

Monty Python: Spanish Inquisition Comfy Chair Torture
Like this, but with a bike.

To be continued…

My participation in this years’ National Bike Summit was made possible by these sponsors.

Campfire Cycling Tern Flagstaff Biking Organization Bike Virginia
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