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Weekend Bike Rides: Nats + 50 States Ride

Photo by gypsybug

Fall weather seems to get us on our bicycles more often.

Friday night, I took Hubz on a "Secret Date" to see the Washington Nationals game. As is our custom, we rode our bikes there. The Nats caught fire in the sixth inning and kept hammering to an 8-0 win over the Miami Marlins. What an exciting game!

The ride home is always glorious. We were stoked about the Nats win, and about avoiding the crowded metro. There's just something exhilarating about summer night bike rides, whizzing through the streets that look a little different under the cover of darkness.

The following morning, we hopped on our bikes again. Destination: The 50 States Ride

Deciding on this ride was a tough choice, because it meant we couldn't ride the Back Roads Century the next day (we are not as hard core as some). We really enjoyed this lovely ride last year, where we rode the 50 mile option in the interest of keeping it fun. We had planned to return for the full century this Fall. 

In the end I chose the 50 States Ride since we hadn't done it before. 

Bonus: We didn't have to get up early since the start was less than a mile away! As soon as we arrived we recognized several friends from both our biking and running circles. 

50 States Ride
Friday Coffee Club Tweeps! @Ramblingrider @Bicyclebug @JDAntos & @Rootchopper

50 States Ride
Our running buddy, Gray, was a ride marshall
The day was cool, but a bit humid. The sun couldn't make up its mind. There was an occasional breeze, and the threat of rain lurked.

Ed and Mary, whom I often refer to as 'The Ultrarunners of Bicycling' had invited us to ride a few miles with them. The two of them (and Twitter) are the reason I am a part of the #bikeDC community. They had the brilliant idea to start #FridayCoffeeClub and that's where I met and got to know so many cool kids on bikes.

Kirstin, Lisa & MG
Photo by Felkerino

We had a great time riding with them for stretches (then watching them pull away on the many hills), detouring for an illicit coffee stop early in the day, and chatting at all the rest stops.

50 States Ride
Mary, Hubz, Lane and Ed at Chinatown Coffee

We also rode many miles with Kevin, Dave S., Justin, Lane, and most of all Lisa* and John** during the ride. There were some hills on this course where I inevitably fell behind everyone, but someone always made sure we weren't too far behind. It was a real pleasure getting to ride with all of these #bikedc friends whom I've gotten to know over many Friday Coffee Clubs.

50 States Ride
Mary, Lisa, Ed and half of me
The ride itself involved a lot of stoplights and hills, and large groups of cyclists early in the day. Skipping the southwest quadrant section to get coffee with Mary*** and Ed allowed the crowds to thin and made for a more pleasant experience. 

50 States Ride Elevation
The hills on our version of the 50 States Ride

The 50 States Ride was very different from a scenic century in the countryside, but we have a great affinity for city rides. It was in the midst of a bike date in the city that I first realized I was in love with Hubz.

While keeping my pedals cranking and checking my cue sheet hindered my ability to leisurely gaze at things around me, it was a treat riding in parts of the city I hadn't seen on a bicycle.

The rain began to fall about the time we hit Rock Creek Park. It relented, but as we reached Wisconsin it began again in earnest. Since we weren't far from home, we decided to call it a day. We logged 53 miles, our longest ride ever. We are proud of that!

Hats off to WABA and the many volunteers who made this stellar event happen.

Our weekend of biking got us excited to do more, especially knowing that The Coffeeneuring Challenge is just around the corner

*Read Lisa's excellent 50 States ride report here.
**Rootchopper's double (he rode 50 States AND Back Roads) starts here
***Mary's account of the day is here.

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