Cycling Insanity in Washington

On Friday and through the weekend, cyclists will take over Washington at events across the area. Want to be one of them? Here’s how.

It’s cycling madness! In the days to come, don’t be alarmed by the incessant whirring of wheels and dinging of bicycle bells. May is National Biking Month, and Washington is gearing up for several events that most definitely won’t involve the revving of engines.

Friday, commuters are encouraged to ditch their four-wheelers and cycle to the office for Bike to Work Day. Sponsored by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and Commuter Connections, the event features several “pit stops” across the region, where cyclists can enter to win prizes including commuter bags, bike locks, and bikes. Check the full map of stops here. The two-wheeled fun doesn’t have to stop after work: Celebratory Bike to Work rallies are taking place in Columbia Heights Plaza (4 to 7) and Fairfax City (4:30 to 7).

All this leads up to Bike DC on Sunday, the annual community bike ride that starts on Pennsylvania Avenue between Seventh and 14th streets, Northwest, at 7:30 AM. The 19-mile route winds through downtown DC and wraps up in Crystal City. Don’t worry about getting struck behind cars in traffic—streets are closed until 10:30 to accommodate the ride. The event is free for 12 and under, and with advance registration, $20 for ages 13 to 19, and $35 for everyone else. Prices go up $10 the morning of the event. Shortcuts are available for those wishing to avoid the hillier sections of the course.

Psych yourself up for the Bike DC ride at Pedalpalooza on Pennsylvania, a free event with activities and entertainment that begins at 7 AM at the start line. Afterward, relax at Bike DC Finish Line, a free celebration hosted by the Crystal City Business Improvement District and Arlington County from 9 to 12:30. Several Crystal City restaurants are offering lunch deals to help replace all those burned calories. Click here to see the list of participating restaurants.

As if all this wasn’t enough, BikingTown DC is offering free tours Saturday and Sunday in conjunction with the above events. There are rides through Ward 5 and Anacostia and a nighttime excursion around the National Mall and Capitol Hill. Check out the full offering of tours here. If you don’t have a bike, Bike and Roll is offering discounted $15 rentals.

With all the bicycle hullabaloo going on Friday and through the weekend, it’d be a shame to sit on the couch. Get cycling!

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