Photograph of Adam Austin (right) by Jay Westcott.
Gregg Deal and Adam Austin
of District Cycling
Why you should read their blog: The self-deprecating banter between the two 36-year-olds is just downright amusing. Deal started the blog a few years before Austin began contributing in 2008, and now the pair run a popular podcast twice a month, where they chat about local cycling news, races, and athletes. Their podcasts caught the attention of professional cyclist Michael Creed, who soon joined their team.
How did you two meet?
Austin: “Funny story. Gregg was actually stalking me. I was on a TV show back in 2008 for the Discovery Channel, and I was at Revolution Cycles for a book-signing event. Gregg was covering the event for his blog.”
Deal: “I went over to him fully intending to give him a hard time because he quit the cycling show. I remember yelling at the TV when I saw his special. So I gave him a hard time.”
What kind of audience are you trying to reach with your blog and podcast?
Austin: “We really want to point out how ridiculous things are in the Washington area. Cyclists, I think, do take what they do really seriously, from what they wear to the bikes they ride. We were really just looking to poke fun at the culture a bit.”
Deal: “A man can’t wear spandex and take himself too seriously. We make fun of each other and of people who love cycling. It’s just for fun. Our blog and podcast are purely for cycling enthusiasts who like to watch, race, and talk about it—and have a good sense of humor.”
of Chasing Mailboxes
Why you should read her blog: Gersemalina started chronicling her commute on her husband’s blog before switching over to Chasing Mailboxes almost two years ago. Now her readership has spread overseas. At a recent trip to Paris Brest Paris, one of the oldest cycling events in existence, a man from Norway called out to her, “I know your blog!” We love reading about her daily trek to her office at the Department of Justice and the support she gives to other local cyclists and bloggers.
Why did you decide to start your own blog?
“I thought, seeing all these amazing things on my commute, there were things to explore that were different from what I was writing about on my husband’s blog. So I started writing more about the Washington commute experience. Having grown up in Iowa, I was taken aback by how different riding a bike is in an urban area as a commuter as opposed to in Des Moines.”
What bike do you ride on your commute?
“I ride a Surly Long Haul Trucker and a Rivendell. But I own eight bikes total.” (That includes half of the tandem bike Mary rides with her husband.)
Who is your target audience?
“There are certain people who are interested in the bike and gear, but I’m not a gear person, per se. I’m more about the ride experience. It’s fun writing because you see a post that resonates with people. I’ve seen the audience grow through building a community of local bike commuters and bloggers.”
Mike May and Dave Kirkpatrick
of November Bicycles
Why you should read their blog: These two thirtysomething cyclists are budding entrepreneurs who know the best gear out there. Their own Bethesda-based business, launched in summer 2010, allows customers to purchase equipment at half the cost of most other companies. May is also the founder of the five-year-old cycling blog GamJams.
What’s the story behind your blog’s name?
Kirkpatrick: “We wanted the name to really represent and speak to dedicated cyclists. The training year for cyclists begins in November. So the concept is that if you’re not training by November, you’re behind the game.”
What is the blog’s mission, and who is your target audience?
May: “I think the main mission of the blog is to build trust with our customers and prospects. Our whole business model is to be very candid. We try to open the kimono of the whole cycling industry and talk very openly about where products come from. It’s a fairly complex conversation.”
What are your favorite trails in the area?
Kirkpatrick: “For mountain biking, Mountain Head Fountainhead in Fairfax Station. Potasco Patapsco is awesome—it’s up by Baltimore. And you can do Cabin John Trail if you just want to get some time on the dirt.”
May: “One of my favorites is on the stretch of each drive between the Mormon temple and Garrett Park. That’s a great street because the speed limit is 25 and you’ve got a mile between each light stop.”
of Tales from the Sharrows
Why you should read his blog: Tales from the Sharrows is a great read for the everyday commuter. The 29-year-old started documenting his daily commute from the Stadium-Armory Metro to American University in January 2010. He posts about the “wacky” sights he sees every morning and after work, from a man on the run from a car crash to a friendly smile received from another random bike commuter.
Why did you decide to commute all the way from Southeast DC to American University?
“It was frankly just the fastest way to get there. I tried the Metro and driving and spent the same amount of time commuting; biking was just cheaper.”
Why did you start writing about your commute?
“I think bicycle commuting puts you in contact with things you just don’t see when you’re in the car or on the Metro. I kept noticing these things over and over again: pedestrians and drivers and wacky stuff going on around me. I wanted to put those thoughts in writing.”
Who is your target audience?
“There are so many bike blogs out there that are really serious. So many people take bicycling and put a quantitative approach to it, like, ‘I biked 100 miles at 15 miles per hour.’ This blog strives to be completely the opposite. It’s very subjective, qualitative, and irreverent. I’m just trying to show that we’re real people trying to get to work.”
What bike do you ride on your commute?
“A steel-frame Surly Cross-Check. It’s really durable and good for riding in the city.”
Why you should read his blog: Huller tells it as it is on his five-year-old blog, with a pinch of snark and wit in every post. The 40-year-old father covers everything from product reviews to interviews with big-name cyclists to random musings. He’s also in the know when it comes to gear, after his stint as manager of Revolution Cycles from 2000 to 2004. His full-time job as a graphic and web designer only helps draw readers to his site, thanks to its sleek design.
How many bikes do you own?
“Right now, I have about six. And there are about eight or nine in the house.”
How would you describe the cycling scene in Washington?
“Compared with when I started [cycling in DC], now it’s unbelievably friendly. But you still get both sides of the story. Anytime someone posts something about bikes in the city, the first comment is, ‘I hate bikers—all they do is run red lights.’ It’s an interesting time to be biking in DC.
How long have you been cycling?
Since ’89. That’s when I bought my first real bike. But I’ve been interested in cycling all of my life, since my dad rode a bike way back in the ’70s.