Watch out Washington: Now that the weather’s beginning to cool down and we can once again spend time outside without succumbing to heat stroke, cycling is one of the best ways to enjoy the changing seasons. There is always the option of taking your bike down one of the many area trails, such as the C&O Canal path along the Potomac or through Rock Creek Park. But if you need some encouragement, there are several area events that may motivate you to pull your bike out of the garage, strap on your helmet, and hit the road.
Tomorrow, September 22, is International Car Free Day, an event that encourages commuters to leave their cars at home and consider all forms of alternative transportation: bus, metro, and especially bicycle. Here in D.C., 1,000 residents went car free in 2007, and that number increased to 5,445 in 2008. But the District still has a ways to go to catch up to Portland, Oregon, where 8% of the population bikes to work every day. (To learn more about biker-friendly Portland, look out for our November issue.)
For those of you who aren’t sold on biking to work, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is holding its 50 States and 13 Colonies ride this weekend, Saturday, September 26. The 50 States Ride, which is over 60 miles long, takes participants through all of D.C.’s eight wards and covers all 50 state streets. The 13 Colonies Ride is a less challenging path that covers the streets named for the 13 original colonies in under 15 miles. Event organizers offer lunch in the middle of the ride and discounted food and drinks at the end. It may not be around the world in 80 days, but I’d say around the United States in one day is pretty impressive.
—Traveler Intern Meg Beasley
- Nat Geo Expeditions