This year was the second time I have participated in the National Bike Summit. I was one of more than 800 attendees from 49 states.
The Summit concludes with a bike ride where people who don’t have to run back to their home states right away go on a leisurely bike tour of Washington DC. This year’s ride had a bunch of participants. I don’t have an exact count. I’ll just say there was a whole bunch of cyclists — including the world’s largest gathering of League Certified Instructors — so everybody was on their best cycling behavior. Mostly.
The ride began at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in front of the US Capitol.
I lived in DC for more nearly a decade, and I am always wanting to show off my DC cred. I probably told three people (and now I’m telling you) that in the US Cavalry part of the Grant Memorial, the sculptor, Henry Merwin Shrady, included this self-portrait.
How do I know this? Back before US Park Rangers routinely led bike tours around the capitol, I took a couple of bike tours with the rangers who probably piloted the idea. And holy cow did they like to fly their history geek flags. Most of my DC did-you-knows come from half-remembered tidbits learned from those rides.
The bike I used during the Summit and on the ride was a Tern Verge Duo, lent to me by Tern, one of the sponsors of the my trip.
I will give my review of the bike in another post. Here’s a photo of the Tern in front of the grotto inside the Summerhouse designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for the Capitol grounds. It’s a place for visitors to get away from the heat, and where politicians used to cut deals. Yep, that was more pedaling Park Ranger pedantry.
But you are probably more interested in the bike. For now, let me just say that it was a great bike for my needs while in DC. And I began to recover some of my deeply buried coaster brake skills by the time I left.
At the end of the ride, I met Elizabeth from BikeCommuters.com — the first person from that great site who I’ve had the pleasure to meet in person. We agreed that our sites are complimentary, not competitors. Then she kicked me in the shin. Not really.
Elizabeth is also the Chicago organizer for Ride of Silence.
Tom Bowden joined the ride for about 100 yards and then headed left. He made it all the way back to Richmond in one day — 130 miles, no commuter trains. But I’m sure he’ll want to tell you about that himself.
My participation in this years’ National Bike Summit was made possible by these sponsors.