Last Thursday, temperatures in DC crept into the upper 90s and the sun was unrelenting. The roads felt hot enough to melt tires if one was stationary for too long, and I’d be lying if I said that it was ideal weather to spend the day shadowing Angela on a bike as she did what she does everyday. But, I did, and I’m proud (and a little shocked) to announce that I lived, and that I would even do it again (if Angela lets me).
I didn’t follow Angela around on a bike just for the sake of having some good blog material. We had a number of different meetings and tasks planned in and around DC, including scouting a route for our upcoming Cycle Chic Progressive Dinner Ride, so riding Allants from the City Hub was the most logical way to proceed. Departing from the Hub, we first made our way to the Capital Bikeshare warehouse/workshop, where over one thousand bikes and dozens of stations are being assembled, stored, and readied for distribution. As Revolution Cycles is a founding member of Capital Bikeshare, Angela, Jakob and I had a very cool opportunity to peek inside the inner recesses of the operation and to learn a little bit more about the point-to-point bike share program that will be launching this September in DC and Arlington, VA.
From there, Angela and I began to test the course for the progressive dinner ride that we’re organizing for Sunday, September 26th. As a huge fan of Top Chef (and eating delicious food), I am ecstatic that we’re partnering with three of José Andrés’ ThinkFoodGroup restaurants. We first rode to Oyamel in Penn Quarter, where they serve Mexican small plates, or antojitos. Part of scouting a ride for thirty guests on bicycles involves checking out the bike parking and people parking situations, and while we figured out these details, we were treated to Oyamel’s famous aguas frescas, or natural flavored water. They make this stuff fresh everyday, and it was outrageously refreshing after spending a couple of hours riding around the city. Then, we headed over to Zaytinya; this restaurant’s fare features Mediterranean small plates, and the handmade pita is so fresh when it lands on your table that steam pours out from the inside when your tear it open. After we downed a basket of the pita with hummus and I devoured a plate of Bantijan Bil Laban (or crispy eggplant with a roasted garlic-yogurt sauce), we were back on the bikes and headed to our final destination in Crystal City. Jaleo, just a few blocks from the City Hub, will be our last stop on the progressive dinner ride, where we’ll enjoy a classy, seated meal of Spanish tapas.
My day didn’t end at Crystal City, however- I still had an exciting errand to run with Jakob over in Clarendon. In my glistening state, we walked over to Northside Social Coffee & Wine to deliver a Trek Lime bike, complete with a sumo wrestler squeeze horn on the handlebars and flashing rainbow valve covers on the wheels. The bike was a gift from one bike-loving local business to another (their GM Alison even showed us her bike tattoo on her arm), with the hope that they’ll have a blast riding the bike around our neighborhood for errands, lunchtime stress-relievers, or whatever other purpose they see fit.
It was a crazy, sweaty, tiring day, but it was also extremely satisfying and productive. There are plenty of days when I am stuck inside in front of a computer, reviewing inventory reports, creating purchase orders or working on communication materials, and I actually enjoy those projects, but I also love the fact that my other job responsibilities include riding around, stopping in a few of DC’s top restaurants, and getting a behind-the-scenes look at an absolutely amazing bike share program. I wouldn’t know where to start planning a progressive dinner ride or making all of these appointments fit into my day by bike without a little help from Angela, so it was incredible for me to spend a day in the life of our resident car-free working mother of three, and to be able to share the gift of cycling with another business in our neighborhood. Not bad for a day’s work.