It’s time to get on your bikes and ride (Queen reference). After months of sucky weather there couldn’t be a better moment to start biking. It’s consistently in the 70s and you’re in or near a city, meaning there’s no excuses.

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We have you covered. Whether you’re looking for a route, tips on how to make your biking experience part of a triathlon, how to bike with confidence, how it helps you get laid, what to listen to while cycling, films to get you in the mood to pedal, what to put on your skull and more, it’s in here.

Ride of Silence May 16

Remember and honor the cyclists who have been injured or killed in biking accidents with a slow and peaceful ride through the city.

Bike to Work Day 2018 May 18

It’s your annual excuse to be a little sweatier, a little later and a little more sanctimonious as you cruise through the office doors on your healthy as hell mode of transportation. Make sure to stop by the southern part of Canal Park to stock up on free breakfast bars, tune ups from Conte’s Bike Shop, prizes from Nando’s / FreshFarm and free t-shirts for the first 20,000 registrants. Or head to Adams Morgan to get tune ups from BicycleSPACE / City Bikes and snacks from Tryst / The Line Hotel. So register online now and get ready for some fun and flirty bike lane traffic.

Black Girls Do Bike National Meet Up Weekend May 18-20

This is BGDB’s second annual meet up and they’re looking to go all out. Not only are hitting up the DC Bike Ride on the 19th, but they also have events over the two days surrounding it. On the 18th, they’ll be visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture followed by a BGDB social at REI and on the 20th they’ll be hosting a group ride (with more details to come soon).

DC Bike Ride May 19

D.C.’s bike Christmas is here! If you’re a cyclist (and if you’re reading this, I know for a fact you are) then you already know about D.C.’s largest, traffic free ride, but let me clue you in, just in case. For the past two years, the DC Bike Ride has been shutting down the streets to cars and giving cyclists the right away, allowing them to safely cruise by some of D.C.’s most iconic architecture. The 20 mile route involves some beautiful views, but there are also surprise on course entertainment like the SWAGG TYME Drumline, Damien Walker and The Experience Band. After you cross the finish line, stay around for DCBR’s finish festival, where you can dance to the sounds of Trouble Funk and Little Bacon Bear while you hit up your favorite food trucks and do some restorative post-ride yoga. You’ve never been to a bike ride like it.

DC Bike Swap & Expo May 20

Gearin’ Up Bicycles is hosting their fourth annual bike swap and expo, just in case you’re looking to upgrade (or maybe even downgrade! I don’t know your life!). You can expect all sorts of biking gear (not just bicycles) and the chance to chill with all your favorite biking people, including people from your local biking shops. Admission is a $5 donation to Gearin’ Up, but that feeling you get after finding your dream bike in perfect condition is priceless.

We’ll be updating this roundup as more events are announced.

Ride at your pace and comfort. If you are afraid to clip in the day of the ride, don’t. Crushing your ego to impress others is often times a setback!

You know those new dockless bikes you see clogging up sidewalks and thrown in the the water in Rock Creek Park? Not many people know this but you do not have to leave them in the middle of the sidewalk or in the water in Rock Creek Park.

Fortunately for us assholes who don’t own cars, live in DC, and who love camping… our forefathers covered our asses with some pretty accessible camping spots via le bicycle. Take these three solid options:

First stop, C&O canal. So we’re talking a 20-something mile bike ride to free camp spots every 4 miles all year round dotted all along the Potomac terminating in Pittsburgh. Generally they’re open game to first-come-first-serve bikers. Be ready to share some spots with a few locals who are mid-life crisis’ing their way from Pittsburgh to DC. The first real stop is at White’s Ferry along the Potomac where you can snag some cold beers and a greasy refueling meal. Make sure to wear bike shorts to avoid total grundle annihilation.

More info from Bike Washington.

Second ride, VRE train to Manassas. So the VRE is the only Amtrak train on the East Coast that allows bikes. You can simply load your bike on at Union Station and roll off at Manassas station for a solid night of camping and skeet shooting at Bull Run Public Shooting Center. But beware, the VRE only runs on weekdays and bikes are only permitted on the first and last cars of the train.

More info from VRE.

Third on the list, Mt Vernon Trail. Roll your way past Reagan National Airport, Old Town Alexandria and Mt Vernon on your way to plentiful camping on the southern side of the Potomac. Look out for the ghost of George Washington…he’s rumored to finish off any neglected beers around the campfire.

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D.C. has a large deaf population! Don’t assume someone hears you calling or ringing your bell. Slow down, breathe deeply, and pass when it’s safe and polite.

1. Lube Your Damn (Dang) Chain!

Pedaling through this city I’ve grown accustomed to the sound of sirens, Go-Go music, and bleating tourists, but I will never be able to bear the sound of a squealing drivetrain. You’re chain should never sound like an excited rodent. That rhythmic squeak, squeak is the sound of your drivetrain dying, and it should be driving you insane. Buy some chain lube–it’s cheap–and it’ll save you $$ down the road. Like in life, being well lubricated is a good thing.

2. Put Air n Your Tires

Most common type of flat I see? Pinch flat. Know how you pinch flat? Not putting air in your tires every week. When there is too little air pressure in your tubes and you hit a pot hole, curb, rat king (it’s happened!), it will flat your tire and we all know that’s not fun. Look on the sidewall of your tire to determine the correct PSI and visit your friendly neighborhood bike shop once a week and put some air in those tires!

3. Don’t Salmon!

It is basically never acceptable to ride down a bike lane traveling in the wrong direction, that is unless it’s 4 a.m. and there is literally no one about. This transgression is referred to as, “salmoning,” a coin termed by the snarktastic BikeSnobNYC. Salmoning is dangerous, silly, confusing, and frustrating for cyclists and motorists alike. Salmoning is a cardinal sin for cyclists! Confusing cars is bad, but it’s especially wicked to alienate your own kind.

4. Lock your bike properly

Truthfully, there isn’t a thief-proof way to lock your bike. There are lots of ways to break even the best of locks, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Cable locks don’t cut it in the city, I’ve heard of bikes being stolen from in front of the Convention Center in broad daylight! Thieves are brazen sort. Also, kids and drug addicts alike love running off with wheels and seatposts. There are myriad options for securing your wheels/seatpost to your bicycle and I suggest looking into them, trust me, there are much cooler things you can buy for your bicycle than a replacement seatpost.

5, Learn to Use Your Front Brake

Your front brake is much more powerful than your rear. I know it’s scary because you’ve either endo-ed (crashed over your handlebars in a spectacular fashion) or have heard rumors of people endo-ing. It’s totally possible to do, I won’t lie, but if you learn to use the front brake in conjunction with the rear your brake pads will thank you. By using your front brake more often you’ll dramatically increase the lifespan of your pads, saving you time and money.

6. Have fun

What’s all this hard work and infrastructure for if we can’t have fun? Don’t be a menace, smile, and make sure to wave to fellow cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists. DC is too serious, let’s have some fun and do something to change the status quo while riding your bike.

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Get a Bikeshare membership. It rains a good amount in D.C. Sometimes it’s raining and 60 on the way to work and sunny and 80 when you’re getting off work. You may want to bike home. Get a Bikeshare membership.

Two months after I moved to D.C. I had a moment of inspiration, and decided that living by the national mall was the perfect opportunity to learn how to ride a bike. After 18 years of using the poor excuse that I grew up in a city, I was ready to start peddling. My friend, an experienced bike rider, a.k.a. he could at least balance, came up with a plan for my first bike experience. We would rent bikes by the Lincoln monument, get our bearings together and then journey to Sticky Rice on H St. At the beginning I was pretty full of myself. I had a scooter as a kid, until I had a nasty wreck down a hill, and it couldn’t be that much different. They both have wheels. It took about five seconds on a bike to realize that I was very wrong, and that I had made a grave mistake. I could not balance for my life, tears were streaming down my face and I definitely should not have been wearing a dress. Tourists watched me continually crash into the chained-off grass areas by the Lincoln while falling off the bike as it tilted sideways. It wasn’t quite as glamorous as I had imagined.

An hour later and we had made it past the monument, and were now on Madison Drive. Note: When learning to ride a bike, whatever you do, you should avoid an area over-filling with tourists, and especially on a nice, sunny day. They do not move, there are many of them and the threat of hurting a child increases tenfold. I made it a couple blocks, but the oncoming traffic and crowded sidewalks heightened my anxiety. As a result, I went straightforward into a planter outside the National Museum of Natural History. My leg cut open, blood ran down past my knee and I looked scarred for my life. By the time we made it to Chinatown, my friend had advised that I walk with my bike for the safety of both the public and myself. We made it to H. St eventually, but two and a half hours later than planned. It would have been shorter to walk, and needless to say we did not bike back.

Use the proper U-Lock. A lot of people move here from places where bicycle security may not be such a necessity. Portland, Fort Collins, etc.. But here you need a solid U-Lock… Maybe two. I meet a lot of people new to DC who bring cable & chain locks from their previous city. I try my best to explain to them that it won’t be sufficient.

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This is me looking like an exemplary human after crossing the finish line of my first sprint duathlon. It was really fucking hard. Much harder than the indoor super-sprint triathlon I did in February. Did I mention I’m signed up for another sprint triathlon in July? Did I also mention that I’m insane? I mean, no rational person should want to swim (or run), then immediately go for a bike ride, then a(nother) run shortly thereafter. Multisport competitions are the dumbest competitions, and though I oftentimes question my sanity in the middle of training, I find myself drawn to them, not a little obsessed with pushing the limits of my physical fitness. Should you be of similarly questionable mental health and want to try this for yourself, here are my 10 tips for preparing for the bike segment, which is the longest part, and arguably where you can make up the most time and not embarrass yourself.

(1) Pick your race. Duh. Know your limits, but also give yourself a good challenge. Basically, don’t pick an Ironman as your first race. And, you will get dusted by people twice your age, so don’t let your youth make you cocky or lull you into a false sense of security. If you plan on doing more than one race in a season, join USA Triathlon, which is the national governing body of multisport events. You can buy a temporary membership which covers the day of the race, but but it costs $12. A year-long membership is $45. Economics, dude. (If you buy a one-day membership, USAT allows you to apply that cost towards towards the purchase of an annual membership.) Also, look into joining a triathlon club, because your new tri friends will understand what you mean when you talk about improving your T1 and T2 times.

(2) Invest in a decent road bike. When I signed up for my second and third races, I planned on using the bike that I had been using to commute to work for the last four years: a 40-plus-year-old steel-frame hybrid I inherited from my mother when I moved out of my childhood home. This, in retrospect, was really fucking naive. I stated my intention to use this old, heavy bike when I went in for a fitting a couple of months ago, and though the guy who worked at the shop was really nice about it, I could tell he wanted to laugh me out of the store. I ended up buying an entry-level road bike that day. You can buy a used one (and I saw plenty of older bikes on the course), but make sure it’s the right size for your frame, and schedule a bike fitting. If you’re using a bike that’s too big or small for you, and if your body isn’t in the right position on it, you won’t be nearly as efficient as you could be, and, in the long run, you might injure yourself. If you buy a bike from a shop, they should fit you for no added expense.

Optional: clipless pedals (so called because they lack the toe clips/cages found on standard pedals) and cycling shoes. You probably won’t need them for your first race, but should you decide to continue in this stupid sport, you’ll want to invest in some down the line. Way more optional: aerobars, which you can attach to your stock handlebars to get in a more aerodynamic position. I don’t plan on getting aerobars, but I do plan on replacing my pedals within the next two weeks.

Something you might want to get is a GPS unit. If you’ve got a smartphone — and I assume you have one, you web-savvy Millennial, you — there are apps that will allow you monitor your speed, or, alternatively, you can buy one that you can affix to your bike’s handlebars or one you can wear on your wrist. I use a free app because I’m a cheap bastard. Try Strava or MapMyRun.

Not optional: a helmet. You cannot compete without one so suck it up, young invincible, and buy one.

(3) Now that you’ve got your bike, learn how to take care of it. Most bike shops offer free basic maintenance classes: take one. And, make sure you know how to change a flat. Now, will you get a flat during your first race? Probably not. I mean, I’ve only gotten a flat once since I’ve been regularly biking. But, I did see a couple of my fellow competitors get waylaid by a flat and a chain-drive issues, respectively. They ended up finishing, which was great — I would have been too hysterical — but they didn’t finish in the time that I’m sure they expected to.

(4) This area has some amazing, amazing trails and they will be your best training resource. You know what sucks about biking to work? Traffic lights and cars. Trails don’t have that. My favorite is Capital Crescent, despite it being a shitshow on the weekends since I’m not the only one who loves it so much. Another favorite practice course is Rock Creek Park as the Park Service restricts car access on weekends. And since I live within spitting distance of the Northeast and Northwest Branch trails, I would be remiss to not mention them.

(5) Make sure you do some hill training. I didn’t do this, and it negatively impacted my performance. Now, I knew that the bike terrain was hilly because it was described as such on the race’s website. “Hilly” was was a euphemism. It was damn near mountainous. It’s true that there’s a decline for every incline, but it doesn’t make a damn difference if it takes you a long to get up the damn hill in the first place. I took multiple breaks on the course because I just couldn’t deal, and it probably added minutes to my time. Even if the terrain on your race isn’t hilly, practice hills anyway because it will help your legs get stronger. Don’t be a wuss.

(6) Brick workouts and strength conditioning are equally important. All that repetitive movement from swimming, biking, and running will lead to injuries, and the best way to combat this is with strength training. I started having knee issues as soon as I eliminated most strength training from my regimen. Also, brick workouts — practicing one discipline after the other with very little rest between — will get you used to working through muscle fatigue. Most brick workouts are bike-run, but you should also do swim-bikes and, especially if you’re doing a du, run-bikes.

(7) It might not rain in southern California (not true), but it sure as hell rains in DC. Don’t let weather affect your training schedule. Start taking spin classes if you’re not already. Most gyms (if not all) offer them, and, should you lack a gym membership, you can’t spit in Northwest without your saliva landing on an indoor cycling studio. Alternatively, buy a trainer, a rig that allows you to ride indoors without smashing all your furniture.

(8) Speaking of weather, make sure you have all the weather-appropriate gear you need and practice in it before the race. We had been really lucky with weather and I had counted on that streak continuing but it was cold as fuck the morning of my race. I ended up buying a pair of compression capris literally 14 hours before the start time, and while I was warm, I wasn’t comfortable in them and it definitely messed with my head. Related to that, make a list of anything you know you’re going to need well in advance in order to decrease the chances of leaving something at home.

(9) Those stupid little energy gels will save your whole fucking life in the middle of the race. Intra-race nutrition is just as important as having the right gear and working out. You need carbs to keep you going: energy gels provide exactly that. (Otherwise, your body starts burning fat for energy which isn’t nearly as effective.) I choked down some Hammer Gel (Hammer Nutrition was a race sponsor, so there were boxes and boxes of free energy gel available to us) halfway through the biking segment and felt like a new woman.

(10) Rest days are just as important as training days but this doesn’t mean sitting on your ass. Yoga gives you a good stretch and walking is a low-impact way to keep active.

Now that you have my tips, go out there and compete in this inane sport, you crazy diamond. Wear that race-specific tech shirt and finisher’s medal with pride. Eat all the damn snacks the race organizers offer you afterwards, too — you will likely have a near-religious experience with that snack pack of Oreo Minis. And don’t forget to schedule that post-race massage because #treatyoself, you will have earned it.

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Take up as much space as you need. I’ve had so many friends get hurt while riding because they’re trying to create room for cars to pass when it doesn’t exist or puts them in danger. Remember: on a bike, you’re trying to get where you’re going alive, while cars are trying to get there quickly. They can wait.

Fun fact: I don’t know how to drive. Not like: I live in D.C. now so I let my driver’s license expire, but one of: I never, ever in my life got one. This makes me sort of a joke (in America, at least) since I am 16×2 (+1) but it also makes me a person that has lived (and walked and biked) in very urban environments on several continents for several decades and I am VERY GOOD at both walking and biking. Since we don’t have a BYT WALKING GUIDE, I am going to limit the notes (in bullet point, natch) to just biking in cities, and please, use them:

  • If you are on a bike – you are part of traffic. You are NOT part of: the sidewalk, your own parade, some random fantasy bike music video etc – you are part of traffic. Behave that way. Stay either in the bike lane or as far right of the car lane as you can so people can pass you without issue, don’t meander and zigzag on the road (even if no one else is on it), follow traffic signs, and KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING AND HOW TO GET THERE. Google maps! people.
  • Practice, much like with most things in life, makes (biking) perfect. Most novice urban bikers just tend to use the bike to get to and from work and that is, as anyone who drives knows, the busiest time of the day to take to the road. Busiest also means the most stressful. Take your bike out early in the morning, on weekends, during lunch breaks-get to know it, get to learn how it turns, how sensitive your breaks are, how it cruises, test drive it on a few hills and hill declines …. become ONE WITH THE BIKE. Then, once it is time to face a stressful traffic situation together, you can face it TOGETHER vs you and this breakable machine that is a stranger.
  • Which brings me to my next point: OWN YOUR BIKE. Citi bikes are fine in a pinch but they are heavy and bulky and DC has hills and they are NOT machines you know and therefore not your allies. I recommend a light framed, single speed bike for urban situations. Fixies are sort of show-offy and unnecessary in a city like DC and those ten-speed mountain bikes are too heavy and ALSO UNNECESSARY in a city like DC.
  • Get a comfortable seat. CHANGES EVERYTHING.
  • Get a good way to transport shit you carry with you while you’re on the bike. I see people biking with things hanging by their side constantly. This is not smart or safe (Esp if you are not a confident city biker). Buy a cross body strap for your bag, buy a cross body bag, buy a bike basket. Put your stuff in those. Have both your hands free to break and hold onto your handles in an evenly balanced way.
  • Footwear/clothing wise: tie your dress in a knot so it doesn’t get caught in anything. Learn to love shorts. Pack those heels and strappy sandals into that cross body bag/basket – trust me.
  • Don’t drink and bike. In fact-don’t do anything involving traffic and drinking unless it involves ordering yourself a cab/Uber/Lyft.
  • In the early stages of bike confidence – don’t yell or wave at people. They’ll live if you don’t yell or wave at them. You may not live if you are so distracted by yelling or waving at people that you miss a STOP sign or someone trying to pass you.
  • ALWAYS LET PEOPLE PASS YOU. You’re going places, not racing places.
  • Don’t listen to music on your bike (and even then: just one earbud) unless you can truly handle everything that is going on around you. But if you do, listen to this song first (or right before you get on your bike). It changes everything:
  • Enjoy it. Seriously. People around you are suffering from butt cheek sweat while walking (hello D.C. summer!), experiencing pre-emptive road-and-parking-ticket rage in their cars, breathing in someone’s armpit on the Metro – you are in the open air equivalent of a transportation unicorn: wind in your hair, sun on your face, magic. I repeat: enjoy it.

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Buy yourself a bike pump. They aren’t that expensive, and having your own pump at home in your shoe closet can save you a $25 Uber ride when you get a flat tire – most flats are caused by not having enough air in your tire. Plus, if you’ve ever changed your own flat tire, you know that this also avoids getting covered in bike grease.

After many double-blind science-related tests, peer-reviewed scholarly research activities, and other things, the data sets have been coagulated into the following findings by our over-sexed and extremely physically fit biker-scientists.

First and foremost, biking allows anybody to show off their assets in a most flattering way- 69% of subjects reported photos of people on bikes to be significantly “hotter” than photos of the same person sitting on a bus. Every body benefits from what experts in the field call “bike posture,” characterized by a long, straight back, broad, open chest, activated glutes, and strong arm placement.

Cyclists are perceived as 75% more confident by potential mates. Who seems like a more advantageous match, a depressed oaf waiting for public transit, or a glistening, muscular cyclist in control of their commute and thus their destiny? They may not have a handle on anything else in their life, but at least track work isn’t going to murder their commute.

People on bikes are 136% more likely to initiate successful conversations with other strangers on bikes. Sometimes it can be weird to start a conversation with some babe you see, but when you’re both on bikes, you automatically have a common ground and unspoken understanding of one another. Most successful ice-breaker reported between biking strangers: “Hey.”

On average, biking has been found to 5 times cheaper than owning a car, 3 times cooler than taking the Metro, and basically negates your need for an expensive gym membership, thus freeing up excess funds to buy whiskey and condoms.

When compared to non-cyclists, the sexual partners of cyclists reported that pelotons are 27% more likely to be called “calm,” 38% more likely to be called “patient,” and have 270% the “stamina” of non-cyclists. Sting has tantric yoga; YOU have cycling uphill against the wind in rush hour traffic. You are unstoppable.

All things being equal, scientifically-proven “boring people” still have a 35% chance of being perceived as interesting when they are thought to be cyclists. Biking is an insta-hobby, and something you can talk to people at parties about instead of your boring job or your cat.

The bike is the perfect excuse machine. In a recent Finnish study, subjects reported 71% more likelihood to feel sympathy and forgiveness toward a flaky date-canceller if the canceller used a cycling-related excuse such as a flat tire or “icing their thighs after a 32 degree incline 40-mile ride for children’s leukemia research.”

Biking allows for maximized eye contact, with minimized creepiness. 100% of attempts by sexual pursuers in large black SUVs with tinted windows failed. At least 42% of cyclists approaching a potential sexual partner were at minimum not persecuted.

Lastly, a bike ride is the cheapest and laziest date idea on earth, and the only cheapskate activity that still retains respectable levels of “adorability” and “creativity” in popular perception. So even broke people can get laid, with the help of a bicycle.

Small, sweaty, dedicated teams of social scientists and cycling professionals around the world are still investigating this rapidly evolving field, and new studies and findings are emerging daily. So keep yourself informed and keep getting laid by lots of sexy biker babes, and don’t forget that the sexiest thing of all is a nice flat damp head of hair recently unsheathed from a helmet.

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Since hairstyles vary, helmet sizing for afro type hair varies. For me I usually put a wrap or bandana on my head and then the helmet. This helps to flatten my hair down.

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5. Premium Rush

It’s ridiculous on its face to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt as a fixie-loving bike messenger for whom a BMX bike is basically a superpower. Still, this a terrific New York chase film that knows its place.

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4. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Before Tim Burton became a boring parody of himself, his debut film was brimming with wit and energy. Pee-wee spends the whole movie searching for his bike, and his plight inspires sympathy for anyone who has lost their treasured conveyance.

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3. The Armstrong Lie

Lance Armstrong is an obnoxious asshole, one who deserves more public scorn than he’s probably going to get, and Alex Gibney’s lucked out with his documentary about the former Tour de France champion. While it’s easy to hate Armstrong, it’s important to remember that his lies and power would be nothing without a media who wanted to love his story.

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2. The Triplets of Belleville

This is gloriously weird animated French film, one that involves a chase with a mute young cyclist whose legs are thicker than his head. This one is inventive from beginning to end, and it’s comically-exaggerated characters are memorable than anything done by Disney.

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1. Breaking Away

Sorry, Bicycle Thieves, Italian neorealism has got nothing on a pleasing, all-American coming of age story. Breaking Away is the story of Dave and his buddies, including Daniel Stern and Dennis Quaid, who decide to compete in Indiana with a professional racing team. I’ll take Dave’s piss-poor Italian pronunciation over the real thing any day of the week.

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The only way you’ll avoid crashing your bike is if you expect to crash your bike every time you hit the street.
6th St NW is underused as a street for bike commuting. Sure, there are so sanctioned bike lines, but it is plenty wide with little car traffic.
Don’t be afraid to take the lane when needed—it’s actually safer than trying to ride in the shoulder near cars.
Obvious (but wonky) biking tip no one thinks of: lobby your Councilmember to install more bike lanes! DC is one of the most progressive and transit-friendly cities in the U.S., yet we still have only a small portion of DC streets that have dedicated bike lanes – if that’s going to change, the DC Council needs to make biking a priority. The only way to do that is to get in their ears.

BYT does not advocate bicycling while wearing headphones and listening to music. That being said, we know that people that bicycle with headphones on while listening to music will not be persuaded to go without sound, so, here’s a playlist. Once again, not advocating, we’re just not ignorant to the people around us. ATTENTION TWITTER, WE DO NOT ADVOCATE BIKING WHILE LISTENING TO MUSIC. -ed.

So you’re on your bike, and whether about to set out for spin class, the open road or just for leisure, this playlist has a bit of everything for you –  the cycling enthusiast. Yes, I’ll blow a few surprises. “Bicycle Race” by Queen and “Handlebars” by Flobots are here. As well, there’s some pulse pounding and super high intensity tracks, hard rock to engage your muscles in going up that hill, and a few tracks that are there to just keep you in the zone of getting the most out of the journey. And no, Journey is NOT here, because putting “Don’t Stop Believin'” on this playlist would’ve been boring and expected. In any event, do enjoy this one as it’s definitely intended to best provide the feel of the ideal cycling experience!
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Get headlights. Get taillights. Get blinkies for you helmet, strip lights for your bag, string lights for your front yard. (Side note: it’s still a nice touch). A helmet won’t do much good if cars and people can’t see you. Grab a fistful at your local bike shop.

Are you currently not wearing a helmet? Sounds dangerous to me.Your head is the most important thing on your body. You’re going to get doored / hit / pushed / tripped by a car / pedestrian / other biker at some point. Be proactive. Cover your beautiful head.

For the person who wants to rep their D.C. pride

Cherry Blossom by Nutcase $69.99

For the person who pretends they’re a minimalist on Instagram

Gloss White by Fika $109.00

For the person who never wants to not be wearing a fedora

Tokyo Denim by Yakkay $139.93

For the person who’s living in the future / loves Ikea

Hövding 2.0 – $354.56

For the person who wants to look like RoboCop

Annex Shield MIPS by Bell $174.95

 

1. Don’t buy a fucking cruiser bike when you live at the bottom of a hill.
2. Madonna made great cruiser bike music.

Covering back to back photo assignments in the district can consume tons commute time. If you can stay light, biking is the best way to get from an editorial assignment in Dupont Circle to the concert at 9:30 Club and then towards the art gallery party or nightclub/bar. This sums up a Friday night for some photographers. But you can’t really breeze through traffic with ease (and less sweat) with a 75 pound gear bag. Take out all the unnecessary bulk from your bag; subdue from using a battery grip and keep an extra battery in a tiny pocket of your bag, only bring the lenses you think you’ll need for the day, and leave enough room for your bike lock when you’re riding and an energy bar just in case you need fuel.

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Telephoto lenses would be the most ideal in terms of staying efficient and covering a wider range. I use a small shoulder bag that carries my Canon 5d Mk III attached to a 24-70 lens along with a 70-200 and speedlight in the same compartment. This pretty much covers the essentials I would need for most editorial assignments and natural light portrait sessions. It’s very key to bring extra batteries, so in the small side pocket, I keep an extra camera battery and double A’s for the flash as well as a lens cloth. As for everything else, my camera strap rests on top of my camera with a few memory cards inside a pouch and I still have enough room for business cards, pocket wizards, energy bars, and a U Lock.

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 There’s a mutual hatred between cars and bicyclists, in the way that a computer and a user of a computer hate the way that neither can seem to do anything right. But the best method of dealing with an irate driver is to pantomime wiping your tears away while crocodile-crying and saying, “That’s you, wah wah wah!”
No combination of curse words will ever get such sweet, primal reactions from a road raging motorist.

I’m the kind of person who can exercise fine on my own but I love taking classes because I always feel like I’m pushing myself harder and in a more accurate way when someone is telling (often yelling) me what to do next, which is why cycling studios are ideal.

First up is cost, which is of course a major factor. Most studios allow you to buy packages of 5, 10, etc…but the best deal I’ve found is CycleBar which gives you an unlimited monthly deal if you sign a year contract which you will. It will pay for itself in 4 classes. Speaking of classes, availability is important. Classes fill up fast, especially after work…so having more class options is important. You should sign up as early as you can but don’t skip that class because you will get charged for it!

Next up is music which is secondary for me because I’m so focused on not dying during class that I can barely hear the music however there are always one-off classes in all the studios like Beyonce vs Rihanna or Justin Timberlake vs Justin Bieber or the sound of your breathing vs the sound of your heart hammering against your chest that are extra fun.

Finally, the instructors. You want a high energy instructor, obviously, but you also want one that doesn’t take themselves too seriously because at times you do feel rather ridiculous and it’s good to laugh while sweat is streaming down your face. Of course there are times when being serious is key. I prefer the competitive studios that give you a mysterious score during class (and you can see everyone’s which really gets your bloodlust boiling). It’s definitely an excellent motivator, kind of low key wanting to destroy the people around you.

Don’t leave your bike with your ex. He will keep it out of spite and it will be annoying.

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Don’t ride on the sidewalk. Please don’t. If you have to ride on the sidewalk, even for a minute, what if you instead hopped off your bike and walked it until you get to the street/where you’re going? It would make a lot of people less uncomfortable and it adds less than a minute to your commute time. Thanks in advance!

Feature photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

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