July 2020
For more information visit our website ride schedule

by Anne C. M. Hyman — President PPTC

Happy July, Fellow Pedalers,

We are now halfway through the year that no one saw coming, and certainly no one wanted. The club’s plans for a May membership celebration month seem like years ago, and the turning of this calendar page was a stinging reminder that we should be gathering to watch the Tour de France and experience the amazing special event weekend that is Shenandoah, but those events are simply not ready to be this month in the current atmosphere.

I hope you’ve had a chance to look over the Back Yards Century invitation and sign up. This is absolutely something we’re all looking forward to this September. While circumstances dictate that we must ride on our own for this virtual event to keep the annual tradition of a PPTC century alive, we’re hoping to provide to some fun options for you as you conquer your challenging distance- such as suggested routes (you are ALWAYS more than welcome to use our members-only Ride with GPS account!), a scavenger hunt with items to find and also create, and social gatherings online to keep us all close while we’re apart.

While our region is inching towards later phases of reopening and allowing larger gatherings, the Executive Committee is working on a plan to restart rides. You’ll notice that all rides are still canceled on the calendar for July (that is, IF you can see the calendar, which is behind the membership wall now), and we intend to keep it this way until we roll out our plan. This plan is going to involve multiple rounds of discussion with our ride coordinators and ride leaders to get rides listed again. I can say with confidence that ride organization and the ride calendar will not look the same as in “the before times”, but we are trying our best to come up with solutions to be able to safely ride together in an organized, responsible fashion where ALL of our members feel safe and confident being together on the road again.

Speaking of togetherness…Potomac Pedalers has formed a partnership with Phoenix Bikes in Arlington, and some members of our board have gone beyond the simple act of advertising and fundraising for them for the BYC. I spoke with their board and members last month regarding ride safety using the pandemic, and board members have also stopped by and donated some bike parts to the shop. I encourage you to check them out (from a safe social distance) down in Arlington. They are also hosting a virtual event from August 1-2, called the Sizzling Summer Century, details found here: . This could be a great training ride opportunity for you for the BYC…juuuust as a suggestion…

I hope that you are finding some joy on two wheels right now, wherever you can get it safely and responsibly. I miss all of you and can’t wait until the day we can get together for a ride again.

Be safe, ride well, Allez.


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.
September 12 - 27

Registration fees
$30 Member ; $40 Non-Member

Registration will include:
  • 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 
  • 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.
New W&OD Bridge May Open Early
by Ed Hazelwood

Detours on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail where it crosses Lee Highway in Arlington started in April this year as construction began on a new bridge that will carry the W&OD Trail safely over Lee Highway (Rt 29) much to the delight of cyclists, runners and car drivers. Pedal Patter is pleased to report that construction may be completed early, “perhaps sometime in August” according to a construction supervisor on the site about a week ago. As you can see in the accompanying photographs progress is being made on a daily basis.
According to the project website about 2,000 people use the trail in this area on peak days. It has a steady stream of recreational users as well as commuters. Official estimates which still appear on the website say the construction will be completed in Fall 2020. We are hopeful the earlier August 2020 timeline will come about and let cyclists and others make use of the new and safer improvement more quickly.
Charlotte Tandems

Bonnie ODay, Bob Hartt, and Mark Mulligan from Tuesday Night Tandems (a group ride of PPTC since 2012) have volunteered to operate the first Charlotte’s Tandems location in the U.S.

Charlotte’s Tandems is a award-winning UK-based charity that provides free
loan of tandems and tag-alongs (sometime called trailer bikes) to (and only
to) people with physical challenges or mental disabilities, who are unable to
ride a bike safely on their own, so that they can enjoy the wonders of

To find out more about us, or to request loan of a tandem please go to    (Yes, you use this website to request a loaner in the U.S.)

If you have a tandem or trailer bike/tag-along bike you would like to donate for use in this U.S. loaner pool, please contact:

PPTC members with questions about our group can contact Mark Mulligan at , but please share the official  with others instead.

What is the difference between Tuesday Night Tandems and Charlotte’s
  • Tuesday Night Tandems is a group within PPTC, open to all, but with a goal to match visually impaired riders with sighted riders on tandem bicycles.
  • Charlotte’s Tandems loans tandem bicycles to a family member or frien of a challenged athlete to ride with that person. We do not provide rider for the front of the bike. Charlotte’s Tandems is not part of PPTC.

History of Charlotte’s Tandems. Charlotte has severe learning difficulties, severe autism, has erratic challenging behaviour and is non verbal. It is hard to keep her busy and happy but we (Kate and Alex) found that cycling was the best way. When Charlotte grew out of her tag-along bike in 2005 we decided to take the plunge and a bought a tandem, without even trying one out beforehand, as we had nowhere to try one. Fortunately, she loved it from the start and we've ridden many miles, without major problems. We therefore wanted to share our love for tandeming with others, here in Gloucestershire, England. The very kind members of the UK's Tandem Club started to donate some tandems to lend out in April 2010. Other families, couples and friends are now able to try out a tandem for a couple of months for free, to see if they enjoy it too and decide whether to buy one for themselves. We turned it into a charity in April 2011 and then from the summer of 2011 we started to get Regional Helpers. Our current Helpers are shown on this website and we are very grateful for all their help and that from our previous Helpers. We became a Registered Charity in July 2012.

In the UK and Ireland, Charlotte’s Tandems has over 148 tandems available for loan.
Pedal Patter is collecting member's cycling stories to share.
Fall Foliage

I have enjoyed the mid-October Fall Foliage cycling weekend in Staunton VA for many years, and one route passes by farms that often host herds of alpacas. In the photo, I am posed next to a fenced pasture with several of these photogenic and friendly animals. Curious or expecting handouts, who knows?, but they have to be some of the most endearing critters. I've seen alpacas at this same farm cavorting and gamboling, calling to each other with playful cries you could not have imagined as belonging to alpacas.
This photo brings back good memories of sometimes hard, but pleasant riding, with steady friends in idyllic countryside and in (usually) superb fall weather.

Doug Lesar

Good News

This incident occurred at the end of a recent Seagull Century ride. My son and I were riding in traffic near the end of the ride. There were cars on the left and sidewalk with no vehicles on the right. We came to an intersection with traffic being directed by a young cop. He waved us through. My arms were so weak from the long ride that I couldn’t balance the bike when squeezing between the cars and the sidewalk. I fell over without anyone touching me. The look on the cops face was priceless. It was incredulous and seemed to question “what is your problem”? No one had touched me.

I hurt my ribs and cut my knee. Since I was on blood thinners, there was a fair amount of blood streaming down my leg. I was a sight. 

We managed to ride the remaining mile or so and had our picture taken at the finish.

I now have a picture of this dedicated bike rider making a turn into the finish line with blood streaming down his leg. What dedication! What a finish!

Martin Sultan

Editor's note: Please send your cycling stories and pictures to so we can get to know each other! 
DC Bike Ride Will now be postponed due to Covid-19.

DC Bike Ride's new date will be on Saturday, November 21st.

Same 20 miles of car-free roads, monumental views, great music, and delicious cuisine. Join thousands of riders in a unique experience through the nation's capitol. Register today with promo code POTOMACPEDALERSBIKE  fora special discount at .

Interested in winning a FREE entry?! Follow both @PotomacPedalers and @DCBikeRide on social media- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and post any ride of you and your friends on these social media platforms using the hashtags #PotomacPedalers and #BRDC in the caption.

One lucky poster will get the chance to ride for free! Winners announced in two weeks.

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 , with the subject "Pedal Patter Good News" , and we'll feature your story in the upcoming issue.