Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Need for Speed Followed by Tweed

This fall is jam-packed with bike-centric events.

On Saturday, Dandies and Quaintrelles --who encourage us all to find "Redemption through style"--will lead the D&Q River Ride,  then follow it up with the most fun you can have in a parking garage, the Diamond Derby. 

The Derby features a variety of events on the Crystal City course: a kids' race, open course with obstacles and tasks to be completed, and events that focus on speed for the sprinters among you. And for those who want to concentrate on spectating there will be food and a fashion show.

The River Ride and Derby should not be confused with the Tweed Ride, which will take place November 4th. As always, participants are encouraged to get creative and find that balance between casual style and effortless elegance.  And participants are also reminded to do the cycling community--and their mothers--proud by a) following the rules of the road and b) demonstrating their unfailing politeness.

This was among the signs held by ride marshals at last year's event. Motorists seemed to get a kick out of them. 

But wait, that's not all:

Friday night, you can get all kinds of crafty and come up with a costume for your bike for Saturday's Bike Parade, organized by DC's Bicycle Space bike shop. And then Saturday, meet at Yards Park for the 1pm event.

Sunday, you can gear up for Baltimore's Tour de Port--a ride that takes you through Charm City's neighborhoods on courses that range from 12 to 65 miles in length. 

Ok, shifting gears here:

Anyone ever have this happen? 

You head out to meet your friends and colleagues at restaurant and find--uh-oh--you left your bike lock at home? Or did you find there simply wasn''t a good place to lock your bike close to your destination? I've done both.

Last night, it was the latter: a lovely K Street restaurant had valet parking, but out on the street? There just didn't seem a good spot close to the restaurant to park my beloved Brompton. So what to do? I figured I'd see what would happen if I folded it up nicely into its tidy Brompton-y bundle and asked the woman at the front if I could check it.

I fully expected to get some raised eyebrows and braced for a "I'm afraid we can't do that." Instead I found it was no problem.  Without a moment's hesitation Britta, the woman at the hostess station took my bike with a big smile and stowed it graciously. She even marveled at how it folded up.

I'm curious--what kind of reception are you folding bike owners getting at reception desks around town when checking a fold up bike?


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sidewalk Social Scientists

Got thoughts on rules on riding on the sidewalk? Concerns about bike parking? Bike lanes? Of course you do!

What do you do with those thoughts and concerns?
Check out the DC Bicycle Advisory Council's blog for where to take them.
Hint: meeting Thursday night.

Got thoughts on flying with a Brompton?
(Pedal harder not the answer I'm looking for.)

I've scoured the internet and see all kinds of responses to this admittedly very, very first-world problem. The staff at Bicycle Space has patiently listened as I go on and on about what I should do as I get ready to take a trip with or without my beloved Brompton.  The shop's Erik Kugler shared his experience with me. He says take it naked--it worked for him. The bike, people, the bike was naked.

Seriously, I've been obsessing over how to fly/whether to fly with the Brompton, etc. So if anyone's had experience, I'd love to hear more. And no matter what I decide, I'll let  you know how it goes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DC State Fair 2012

I missed the DC State Fair's Home-Made Bike Accessory Contest, but I did get there in time to watch some of the judging in the cupcake competition, talk to the winner of the best home-made honey (dark category) and just meet and greet some of my neighbors here in DC.

As someone who's still very much on the sharp edge of the learning curve when it comes to video, here's a little bit of what I saw. And heard.

DC State Fair 2012 from Kate Ryan Reports on Vimeo.

And here are some stills from that video. With a bit of background.

Hope you like them.

The official logo of the DC State Fair 2012.

Is it me, or is this guy giving us a little bit of an eye-roll? Still, he was very sweet to the kids. He seemed to like their attention. The dogs that people brought to the fair? Not so much.

Dancing feet. 
This stilt walker took time to engage everyone who walked by. And made plenty of parents happy when she told kids "How did I get this tall? I ate alllll my broccoli." 

I loved how this little boy seemed beside himself with excitement, yet wasn't letting go of his mom's leg--juust in case.

This Marine sweetly asked the little girl if she liked being up on top of the Humvee. She nodded. After a while he asked, "Would you like to get down now?" She simply shook her head. She looked totally comfortable up there. Future Commander-in-Chief?

Face-painting, shopping, food-sampling, balloon souvenirs. It was the end of a fun, full day. I just thought they were such a cute, happy family.

...and here's our bikey reference (aside from the contest I missed). Yvonne Vanderhoof was walking her pretty burgundy bike along, and looked the picture of stylish and casual. We chatted a bit. Her son goes to a school where they encourage the kids to ride their bikes to and from school. Future bike commuters of America.