For more information visit our website ride schedule
by Anne C. M. Hyman — President PPTC

Welcome to September, Pedalers

First, a heartfelt thank you to those who reached out to me in concern after last month’s president’s page. The issue was published before I had a chance to update that my COVID-19 test was indeed negative. A relief for sure, but it remains a sobering ideal to strive for with continued diligence in keeping me and those around me safe. 

This month brings some exciting events for all of us! 

Our Back Yards Century kicks off on September 12th, so make sure your bike and legs are in working order to put in the miles to support PPTC and Phoenix Bikes! Register ASAP if you haven't already!

We are going to host a watch party for the Tour de France later in the month! While we can’t cheer on our favorite teams and boo our villains together in person this year, we can still gather virtually and keep our annual tradition alive.

I’m sure you’ve all seen or heard about the cautious return of rides in other clubs in our area. These clubs are fortunate in that they have much smaller regional areas and riderships than we do, and thus fewer challenges to face when resuming their rides. We are working on restoring our group ride availability- we’re in the stage of vetting ride coordinators and ride leaders to review new guidance and to self-select to lead rides if they are comfortable doing so. As you can imagine, it is a lengthy process with critical dialogue to ensure everyone who wants to lead rides is comfortable doing so, and also so our riders stay safe, and importantly, responsible when we resume our rides. The one thing other clubs in our area have told their memberships that we echo, and amplify, is this: We are all going to have to cooperate, build trust with each other, and respect each other and the new regulations to be able to resume and keep hosting our group rides. Our ride offerings are a wonderful privilege that our club and ride leaders give to us in order for us all to experience and share the joy of cycling with each other, and are a very nice thing. We must act maturely and responsibly as we open up to be able to have this nice thing.

In the meantime, please continue reading this issue of Pedal Patter to learn about the advocacy efforts that are going on in our area and how you can get involved, and keep considering the other wonderful benefits your PPTC membership gives to you- discounts at bike shops, access to a treasure trove of great cycling routes in our club’s Ride with GPS account, and a voice in the greater cycling community of our region. 

For the first time in what feels like a decade, I am optimistic that I will see some of you out on the roads sooner rather than later. 

Be safe, ride well, Allez. 

September 12 - 27

Registration fees
$30 Member; $40 Non-Member

Registration includes:
  • suggested outdoor routes in VA, MD, and DC; 
  • group access on Strava and Zwift, BYC t-shirt, 
  • invitation to virtual happy hour on September 25, 
  • invitation to participate in a BYC scavenger hunt, 
  • option to purchase the BYC jersey ($65), and 
  • a portion of the proceeds from every registration will be donated to Phoenix Bikes to help their mission of promoting education, healthy living, and community in our local youth population.
Summary of July 2020 PPTC ExCom Meeting

Discussed how the club can save money, specifically on the storage unit. As part of an assessment of cost vs need for the storage, an inventory will be performed.

The financial picture is not good, with dues revenue down significantly. The club is in the red.

The ExCom discussed the need to ramp up our social media profile and capabilities, and is exploring cost effective mechanisms to accomplish this. Because no official club rides are currently taking place, the Potomac Pedalers MeetUp group will be mothballed for the time being.

The ExCom agreed to establish a Social Media Committee to better promote the club.

The ExCom will draft guidelines for when we reopen rides and get feedback from ride coordinators and leaders before any decision on reopening rides. 

The target date for our Annual Member Meeting is early November. This will be a virtual meeting, with use of an electronic voting system for ExCom officers and any other official club business that requires a vote by the membership.

The ExCom is exploring options for updating the PPTC website to enable more user-friendly features. 
New! Social Media Committee needs volunteers!

Potomac Pedalers is starting a Social Media Committee to help revamp our presence on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Ideally, we are looking for members with marketing experience or familiarity with the application HootSuite, but anyone is welcome to join. Please contact Catherine Kitchell at catherinekitchell@gmail.com. We'd love to get your input and ideas!
Capital Trails Coalition

Potomac Pedalers is excited to announce we recently joined the Capital Trails Coalition. The Capital Trails Coalition is a ”collaboration of public and private
organizations, agencies, and citizen volunteers working to advance completion of an interconnected network of multi-use trails for metropolitan Washington, DC.” Their vision is to “create a world-class network of multi-use trails that are equitably distributed throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan region. The regional trails network will transform public life by providing healthy, low-stress access to open space and reliable transportation for people of all ages and abilities.” 

We will be serving as an advocate for the Coalition by sharing the work they are doing and promoting advocacy opportunities with our members. 

For more information on the Coalition please see their website at https://www.capitaltrailscoalition.org/trail-projects/. Additionally, please see this recent article in the Washington Post ( https://tinyurl.com/y2l5syad) which details the plan to double trails in the region to 1,400 miles. This will bring access to a trail within a half-mile of 4 million DC-area residents.
W&OD Trail in Arlington

Two-Week Detour of W&OD Trail in Arlington for Continued Construction of New Trail Bridge Over Lee Highway (Route 29) Begins August 24

Upcoming construction activity for the new W&OD Trail Bridge over Lee Highway (Route 29) in Arlington will require a trail detour for about two weeks beginning Monday, August 24. Closure of this trail section and the current, temporary routing around bridge construction will allow crews to build a permanent trail connection between the new bridge and the nearby sidewalk and crosswalk on Lee Highway. 

Details include:

  • Around 5 a.m. on Monday, August 24, the W&OD Trail will close between Little Falls Street and Lee Highway (near mile marker 5.5).
  • Pedestrians will be detoured to the north on Little Falls Street, then turn right on Fairfax Drive to reach the signalized crosswalk for Lee Highway. Sidewalk is available for this entire detour. 
  • Cyclists will be detoured to the south on Little Falls Street, turn left on West Jefferson Street to reach Lee Highway, then turn left on Lee Highway to the signalized crosswalk. Most of Jefferson Street does not have sidewalk.
  • On the east side of Lee Highway, trail users will remain shifted to nearby Fairfax Drive for about 200 feet. This portion of Fairfax Drive remains closed to vehicle traffic.

Detour signs will be posted. Cyclists using sidewalks during this detour are reminded to yield to pedestrians and dismount if necessary. This detour route was previously used in 2019 and early 2020 to allow initial bridge construction activities.
In Memoriam
Roger Cubbage

Roger Cubbage, a long-time PPTC member, died unexpectedly on August 13, 2020 at the age of 79. He was also a treasured member of the “Wednesday Irregulars” bicycling group.

Roger was born in Washington, DC. He attended Woodrow Wilson High School, where his father was a science teacher. He graduated from Elizabethtown College and received his law degree from Dickinson School of Law. After passing the DC Bar, he worked for the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division. He initially took up running when his doctor recommended he get more exercise and completed 4 marathons, but later turned to cycling, which became his passion as he considered it much more fun!

His wife, Joann, says all his college friends called him “Jolly Roger” - a name all of his PPTC friends would concur was completely apt as he was always friendly and enthusiastic about cycling and his buddies. In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, Brian and James. Details on a memorial service will be announced at a later time. Photo: Roger standing on the right in the yellow jersey.
Car Free Day

Take the Car Free Day pledge by September 22, 2020 and receive promo codes for your own $30 gift card to local merchants from Nift Gift and a free vegan Love Burger from LEON. Plus, all will be entered for a chance to win great raffle prizes! Take the free pledge today at https://carfreemetrodc.org/
Status of DC Area Local Bike Shops During COVID-19
This is the list of all currently open bike shops in the region and what services they are offering. Click the Button below to see the full list.
Grit and a Skilled Surgeon Make for an Amazing Seagull Century
By Mark Mildorf

My third century ride and first Seagull. It was fun. My riding partners were great. Note the jersey, though. It’s a gift from the Anderson Orthopaedic Clinic Spine Center and is a clue as to why this century was special.

In the spring of 2017, a friend asked me to join her for the Seagull Century. I signed up. However, over the next few months, and despite physical therapy, pain and numbness in my left leg, foot and hip increased - all caused by my back. Even spine injections didn't help. I saw Dr. Corey Wallach, a surgeon for the Anderson Clinic and the Medical Director for the INOVA Spine Institute. 

On July 6, I had spine surgery. Dr. Wallach performed two spinal fusions and much ‘decompression’, i.e., widening the channels for the nerves.

For the next eight weeks, I was not allowed to bend, twist or lift anything - no BLT! I had to be taught how to get in and out of bed. The only activity allowed was walking. I used a walker for the first few days. I built up to walking 9 miles most days of the week up the steepest hills I could find. I asked Dr. Wallach and every therapist I met if they think I can do the Seagull. They all said “maybe” except for one occupational therapist. She had done many Seagulls and told me there is no chance.

On September 1, I saw Dr. Wallach. He said I was cleared for all activities including cycling. That day I rode my bike for the first time in over two months and, ironically, had my only moment of doubt about completing the Seagull. My first climb up a moderate hill (5%) that I am very familiar with was way harder than I expected, but I kept cycling.

Six weeks later, Oct. 14, 2017, I finished the full Seagull Century. It turns out this was exactly 100 days after the surgery. Credit to a skilled surgeon, a great medical team, a lot of support, and some grit!
Pedal Patter is collecting member's cycling stories to share.

We'd like to keep rolling with items in the "good news" column for Pedal Patter, so if you have a story about cycling that you'd like to share with everyone, now's definitely the time! Want to tip everyone off to an awesome cycling trip experience? Have you had a great encounter on the road with another rider? Have an embarrassing cycling story you'd like to get out of your head once and for all? Send these stories to catherinekitchell@gmail.com, with the subject "Pedal Patter Good News", and we'll feature your story in the upcoming issue.