Bike Month Events in Washington

Celebrate Bike Month with group rides, festivals, classes, and more

Did you know May is Bike Month? Thanks to lots of new bike lanes and DC’s now-thriving Capital Bikeshare program, more and more Washingtonians are hitting the streets on two wheels.

You can get in on the fun with bike events throughout May. If you know of any races, classes, or events not listed here, feel free leave information in the comments.

Saturday, May 7
Ride alongside a wounded soldier at the Soldier Ride in Annapolis. The event is an opportunity for the public to log miles with soldiers in rehabilitation in order to honor their sacrifice and help them recover. The ride starts at Quiet Waters Park Amphitheater (600 Quiet Waters Park Road) and runs 17 miles through Annapolis. The ride costs $50 to register, and each cyclist is responsible for raising a minimum of $125 to support the Wounded Warrior Project. Details are here.

The American Diabetes Association’s Tour de Cure comes to Cooksville, Maryland, for 10-, 32-, and 63-mile bike rides through Western Howard County. Free bike rentals will be provided through Mt. Airy Bicycles, and the event includes lunch and a post-race party. The ride costs $25 to register, and riders must raise a minimum of $150 to participate. Register here.

Sunday, May 8
If you've got a bike and a high tolerance for caffeine, check out today's Coffee Bike Crawl. It starts at Qualia Coffee in Petworth at 8:30 AM and makes stops at Filter Coffeehouse & Espresso Bar, Yola, Big Bear Cafe, Sova, and Pound. The route is 10 miles. The ride is free, but you'll have to pay for your own coffee. Details are here.

Wednesday, May 11
The National Building Museum’s lecture series, DC Builds, is hosting a bike-themed panel discussion called “Build It and They Will Ride.” Panelists include Jennifer Toole of Toole Design Group, a consulting company that works on bicycle and pedestrian projects; Shane Farthing, director of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA); and Jim Sebastian from DC’s Department of Transportation. Barbara McCann from the National Complete Streets Coalition will moderate. 6:30; $12 for National Building Museum members, $20 for the public. Purchase tickets here.

Friday, May 13, through Tuesday, May 17
If you can figure out a way to get yourself and your wheels to New York City, you can join the Brita Climate Ride, which starts in Manhattan and ends in DC. The 300-mile journey goes through busy cities and rural farmlands, and includes a number of events along the way. Riders log between 45 and 69 miles a day. The ride ends at the US Capitol Building. Registration costs $75, but riders must raise $2,400 to participate. Funds support eight organizations, including WABA, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, and Green America. Go here for more information.

Saturday, May 14
Mt. Airy Bicycles and College Park Bicycles are hosting a Moonlight Memorial Monument Ride starting at 8:30 PM. The ride pedals participants on a 15-mile route past the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and more. The ride is free, but a suggested donation of $10 is suggested to help raise money for the Potomac Area Council of the nonprofit Hosteling International. Appropriately, the ride starts at the PAC hostel at 11th and K streets, Northwest.

Friday, May 20
WABA estimates there will be 10,000 people commuting on two wheels on Bike to Work Day. You can participate by joining a commuter convoy and visiting a pit stop for water and snacks. If you register, you can pick up a free Bike to Work T-shirt, too. Need a bike? Bike and Roll will be renting bikes for free from its downtown DC and Alexandria locations. To reserve a bike, go here.

Sunday, May 22
Twenty miles of Washington roads will be closed to cars for the Bike DC group ride. Cyclists will gather at 7:30 AM at Third Street and Madison Drive, Northwest, near the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. The ride goes past the White House and across the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge to Arlington, and continues along the GW Parkway and Washington Boulevard. The ride then finishes back in DC at Walt Whitman Park at E and 20th streets, Northwest. Riders are encouraged to make stops along the way to enjoy the sights. Registration required; adults ages 20 and over are $35, teens ages 13 to 19 are $20, and kids 12 and younger are free. More information is here.

Saturday, May 28
Head to Baltimore for the all-day BikeJam cycling festival. The family-friendly event runs from 8 to 5 at Patterson Park and includes recreational bike rides, a cycling stunt show, food, live music, and a bike expo. Free.

Throughout May
WABA is hosting bike classes throughout the month, on topics ranging from bicycle commuting to learning how to ride. Some classes are free. Details—including how to register—are here.

Looking for some bike friends? Try one of these free group rides hosted by local bike shops.

• Rides leave from Revolution Cycles’ Georgetown shop on Sundays at 8:45 AM; from the Clarendon shop on Wednesdays at 6 PM and Sundays at 8:30 AM; from the Rockville shop on Sundays at 8:30 AM; and from the Crystal City shop Thursdays at 6. Distances range between 10 and 30 miles.

• The Bike Rack near Logan Circle hosts group rides on Saturdays (10 AM) and Sundays (8:30 AM). The Saturday ride, which caters to beginners, goes between 20 and 30 miles and is run at a slower pace. The Sunday rides are faster and include 40- and 60-mile courses.

• Calling all ladies! City Bikes’ Ladies Ride starts at 10 AM every Sunday. The ride, which leaves from the Adams Morgan store, is led by Gin Armstrong, who manages the shop. Armstrong teaches riding techniques and bike maintenance along the way. The ride is 30 miles long and is open to all ability levels.

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