This spring’s BikeDC gave many cyclists a rare chance to ride on local roads normally closed to bikes. But while many quite enjoyed the thrill of speeding down the George Washington Parkway, it wasn’t everyone’s kind of ride.
Now, there’s an organized ride for those who want to take things a little slower while avoiding the streets and enjoying the tree cover of Arlington's trails.
The Phoenix Bikes Arlington Fun Ride ($10 for an individual, $20 per family) is a community bike ride scheduled to start at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Marshals will help guide riders along a 17-mile route through Arlington, stopping several times for water, snacks and mechanical support at organized pit stops.
Proceeds from the ride will benefit Arlington’s Phoenix Bikes, a nonprofit organization that operates to “empower youth to become social entrepreneurs through direct participation in a financially and environmentally sustainable nonprofit bike shop that serves the community.”
The ride will start at Phoenix Bikes’ Barcroft Park location, and head east on the Four Mile Run trail until it hits the Mount Vernon trail just south of the airport. From there it will head north, stopping for a break in Crystal City, and then up to Rosslyn’s Gateway Park for another stop. After that, the ride continues west along the Custis trail (and up the Rosslyn hill) to another pit stop in Ballston. Riders will then return along the Custis and Washington and Old Dominion trails to Barcroft Park.
Organizers are planning to have a health and wellness fair at Barcroft, as well as a bike rodeo for younger riders.
The ride is being organized with the cooperation of all of Arlington’s business improvement districts – with Crystal City, Rosslyn and Ballston each sponsoring the pit stops in their respective neighborhoods.
Community rides like this are a good chance to get out and chat with your neighbors and fellow cyclists. They’re also a great way to better understand Arlington’s trail infrastructure and how it connects the community.
Plus? When it’s all over, Oktoberfest 2011 will be starting right down the street...
Register in advance here. Registration will also be available on-site, but T-shirt supplies may be limited.
Mark Blacknell is chair of the Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee, a member of the board of directors of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and a League Cycling instructor.