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Potomac Pedalers Calendar of Events

by Anne C. M. Hyman — President PPTC

Happy March, Pedalers!

March typically brings a lot of joy, especially to cyclists in our community. It marks the beginning of spring and the official end of winter (though, as I type this on a balmy weekend afternoon in February, it seems that is only ceremonial at this point). It also brings a personally important date, and as you are reading this I am celebrating another lap around the sun- I’ll spare you the mileage count right now. Don’t worry, I thought of all of you as I blew out my birthday candles and made my wish (and then promptly tried to shush the smoke detector in the house).

With Spring brings longer, warmer days, and the cycle of planning for another fruitful PPTC season begins. We have a lot of exciting things happening this month as well as this season. First, our Ride Leader Symposium is on March 8th, which will bring together seasoned leaders and new members of our club, ready to learn how to best lead a ride they’ve been eager to share with the rest of us. I encourage all of you to attend, as we engage in meaningful discussion about how to best serve our club and surrounding cycling community. Second, I’ll be leading an ExCom ride the weekend of March 21st, because that’s the first chance I’ll have to get my birthday mileage in for the month. This ride posting will be showcased at the symposium, hopefully in real time, to demonstrate how a relatively novice ride leader can best use the tools that PPTC has to offer to showcase a ride or event.

Don’t forget to register for Lewes Weekend in Delaware, the last weekend in April! This weekend is a lovely gathering of cyclists of all abilities who love the ocean air, excellent food and drink, and ever better company. We’ll also have Spring Thaw weekend registration up and running soon, with a discount code for the Six Pillars Century on the first weekend in May!

Finally, I hope all of you have seen the save the date for the Back Roads Century Weekend of September 26-27. Registration for our club’s signature event will be in place by the end of the month. This year, due to this weekend’s necessary position on the calendar coinciding with the beginning of Yom Kippur at sundown that Sunday, and thanks to some ingenuity offered by excellent ExCom members, we will be hosting longer ride options on Saturday with a brand new half and metric century for the BRC. We hope that this gives everyone who wants to participate in our BRC weekend the opportunity to do so. Along with these new Saturday rides, we are introducing our special weekend Challenge: Ride or volunteer Saturday or Sunday, and celebrate your accomplishments with your fellow cyclists at the parties planned for both days. Or, if you are feeling intrepid after a great summer of riding, tackle our 50-50 Challenge by riding either the half or metric both days or an even MORE intrepid Back-to-Back challenge of the half/metric on Saturday and the FULL century on Sunday- oh, did I mention the challenge swag yet? I should probably do that, after we settle on a shirt and jersey design especially for challenge participants. More details on all of this will be published when registration opens.

Once again, thank you to all who have participated in our events and have volunteered your time and resources so far in 2020. We’ve had a couple of great happy hours and hope to plan more in the future, that when the sun stays out a liiiiiiitle longer, we can all ride to after a long day in our respective saddles.

Be safe, ride well, and see you at the Ride Leader Symposium!


Do you want to lead a ride for Potomac Pedalers but aren’t sure of how to do so?

Are you a current PPTC ride leader and want to meet up with fellow ride leaders from around the region and share your practices?

If your answer is yes, then you are invited to attend the 2020 Potomac Pedalers Ride Leader Symposium!

Join your fellow PPTC regional ride coordinators, ride leaders, and Executive Committee at the Arlington Library on March 8th at 5pm to learn and discuss such topics as:

  • How to use the PPTC Ride with GPS account
  • How to post (and update!) a ride on the PPTC website
  • Ride Leader Best Practices
  • Worst Case Scenario tabletop exercise
  • Ideas for new rides
  • Brainstorming on new membership conversion

Join us in the Bluemont Room at the Arlington Central Library: 1015 N. Quincy Street Arlington, VA 22201. This location is located near the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations, several bus lines, and also has on-site parking.

Snacks and beverages will be available.

Any RSVPs for attendance and questions can be directed to Anne C. M. Hyman at

Call for Statistics - 2019 Cast Iron Crotch

It's time once again to collect names and numbers for the Potomac Pedalers' Order of the Cast Iron Crotch. If people have been telling you that you're crazy to ride your bike so much, this is your chance to be certifiable. Inductees must have bicycled outdoors a minimum of 5,000 miles during 2019. As usual, the prize is bragging rights.

To add your name to the list, please send the following information to before March 31, 2020 :

 * Your name
 * Age as of December 31, 2019
 * Total miles ridden
 * Number of days of riding
 * Maximum number of miles ridden in one week
 * Number of weeks not riding
 * Number of crashes (hopefully zero!)
 * Date of first ride
 * Date your mileage total crossed 5,000 miles.

Several club members have inquired about a printable distance log. Mark Pankin has an excellent downloadable spreadsheet at . If you see him on a ride, please be sure to tell him thank-you!
April 24-26, 2020

Registration is online only via the  PPTC website .

Rides range in length from 20 to 65+ miles and are flat, although there are usually headwinds at the beach. Many rides visit nearby wildlife refuges, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, and remote beaches. We also have rides that stay east of Route 1 and tour Lewes or travel to Rehoboth Beach via bike paths. Depending on the ride you choose, some begin at the Beacon Motel and some have a remote start after a short drive to a beach or nearby town.

PPTC member price for the weekend is $295 for single occupancy and $225 per person for doubles ; non-members add $25 . The prices are the same for non-cycling spouses or guests. If you are coming alone but would like to share a room, we can assign a roommate (double occupancy only). If you are interested in a triple room, please contact Cindy Marisch for pricing and availability. Hotel rooms have two double beds, or a queen bed, or a king bed. All have refrigerators. The Beacon Motel does not allow pets.

The cost of the weekend includes the following:

  • Nice motel two blocks from the center of town and .4 mile from the beach.
  • Locked storage room for bikes or keep in your car.
  • Cue sheets will be available at the Beacon Motel starting Friday at noon.
  • Rides of various lengths available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
  • Ice Cream Social/Welcome Party Friday night at the motel.
  • Breakfast Saturday and Sunday morning at the motel.
  • Lunch fixings for a bag-lunch on Saturday to take with you on the ride.
  • BYO Wine and Beer party on Saturday at the motel before dinner. Snacks provided.
  • Buffet dinner Saturday night in downtown Lewes, a short walk from the motel (cash bar available).
  • Free late checkout on Sunday with advance notice to hotel personnel.

Your hosts this year are Cindy Marisch and Bettina Myers. Cindy is responsible for registration and cue sheets. If you have questions about your registration, please contact Cindy at  c  or 571-243-4576. Bettina is responsible for food catering. If you are vegetarian, vegan, or have any other special dietary needs, please contact Bettina at least two weeks prior to the ride weekend at  b  or 202-577-5278 so we can accommodate your needs accordingly.

Note: Your registration will be under the PPTC group and not your individual names. The cost for the weekend includes food and lodging and cannot be separated. Registration at the Beacon for this weekend must be completed through PPTC online, not directly through the Beacon. If you have questions about the Beacon Motel itself, please check their website .

CANCELLATION POLICY:  Before April 10 th , full refund (minus $25 per person cancellation charge). After April 10 th No refunds.
The Tour de Cookie in Rockville, MD is looking for volunteers to help with its May 2 nd ride.

In a nutshell they need cyclists with group ride experience who like to eat cookies (yes, day of volunteers out on the routes also get cookies along the way!).

Needed are:
  • People who can ride sweep on each of our four routes
  • People who can provide SAG services.
  • We'd also like a few people who would be willing to ride the routes for us a few days (2-3) before the event to potentially find problem areas, such as debris or gravel, so we can then have people posted near those areas to warn riders day of
  • People who are able to place road signs on the routes the day before the event and retrieve them after the event

If you can help contact:

Loretta St. John
Director of Operations, The Tree House CAC
7300 Calhoun Place, Suite 700
Rockville, MD 20855
Phone: 240-777-1208

The event is designed to raise awareness of the issue of child abuse and the services provided by The Tree House CAC, as well as raise funds for services provided to children and families impacted by abuse. 
Ever wonder what it would be like to ride your bike in the Nation’s Capitol without any traffic in sight? You’re in luck! Are you ready to enjoy life on two wheels?! DC Bike Ride will be back on Saturday May 16th , with 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.
The 2020 Bike Maryland Symposium was held in Annapolis on Wednesday, February 20. I went (even though it meant driving most of the way!) and am glad I did. The symposium informs attendees about bike-related legislation and other activities in the state of Maryland and gives the attendees the opportunity to lobby their state delegates and senators, furnishing the legislators an up-close look at how the legislation affects their voters, and gauging (urging?) their support for these bills. For people new to advocacy, lobbying or activism, or unfamiliar with the issues being addressed, the symposium this year included excellent materials for the attendees to bone up both on the issues and on effective ways to lobby.

The emphasis this year was on two bills:
  • Safe Pass. Maryland has a 3-foot passing law. This bill would make it legal for drivers to maintain that 3-foot distance even if it means crossing a double-yellow line. This is already the behavior of most drivers when passing a slower moving vehicle with sufficient sight lines to ensure safety, so this bill is a welcome addition to Maryland law.  
  • Vulnerable Road User (VRU). This bill creates a civil penalty for vehicular crashes that involve anyone not in a vehicle. It fills a gap in Maryland law between a civil violation “unsafe operation of a vehicle”, which only entails a fine, and criminal charges from negligent (or worse) driving behavior by mandating a court appearance.

Good to see that the law can better take into account current driving and bicycling practices.

The symposium included other activities in addition to legislative briefing and lobbying. There was a special recognition for  Kim Lamphier  and her dedication to advocacy. Rachael Maney of Bike Law ( ) was the keynote speaker with an excellent address on “Influencing the Conservation on Bicycle Safety”, and comments on the current status of law enforcement regarding bicyclists and bicycling. She and Bike Law have been helping Javier Lopez down in Florida, a case that has been publicized in Bicycling magazine ( ) and elsewhere.

I saw people at the session from Maryland-based bike clubs and advocacy groups, including Oxon Hill Bike and Trail Club, Baltimore Bike Club, Annapolis Bike Club, Bike AAA (Bicycle Advocates for Annapolis and Anne Arundel county), Howard County, and probably many more whose names escape me. (In fact, Baltimore Bike Club was a co-sponsor of the symposium.) Did I miss any PPTC members?
Last year we re-launched the coveted summer weekend trip to the Shenandoah Valley! It was a success. The folks on the trip loved it and by the end of the trip were asking when it would be in 2020. We are ready to announce the date! Registration will be open later in the month.

Join us in July for a weekend of rolling hills, sightseeing on pedal and foot, and excellent company. We’re introducing a revamped weekend with an exciting, comfortable new venue in Woodstock, which features a mix of old favorite points of interest and new sightseeing opportunities. Cycling AND hiking routes will take riders and explorers through the New Market Battlefield, close to the George Washington National Forest, and through the rolling and verdant hills of quiet Northwest Virginia.

When: July 17-19 , rides can begin as early as noon on Friday so block some time to enjoy the area!

Where: Our Shenandoah weekend based in Woodstock, VA at the newly-renovated and award-winning Holiday Inn. Rides launching of Woodstock for the weekend will vary in distance, ability, and points of interest.

How: We have plenty of riding and out-of-saddle activities planned, including a warmup ride on Friday afternoon, a welcome social on Friday night, a Saturday BBQ (with new, expanded vegetarian options!), and trips to points of interest that can range from antiquing to fishing, spelunking and wine tasting. Don’t feel like exploring on two wheels? Hikers can enjoy the beautiful National Forest with suggested routes, complete with cue sheets and topographical maps! And, as always, a trip to the famous Route 11 potato chip factory.

Who: PPTC members and non-members are welcome! Pricing tiers will cover single and double occupancy for hotel rooms, the welcome social, the Saturday dinner, and cue sheets. Spouses and non-riders are welcome!

Cost: TBA.

Host POCs, Deb and Butch once again.

More to come!
Back Roads Century 2020 — Save The Date
Choose from 25, 29, 47, 52, 64 or 100 mile routes

The 2020 Back Roads Century now features TWO days of riding! Ride either an all-new metric or half century with us on Saturday, September 26th created especially for this weekend on the 2020 calendar, or choose from the full range of routes for the Century on Sunday. And, for the intrepid riders, we are introducing TWO back-to-back challenges! Complete both days of riding the half/metric routes and either the half/metric or FULL century on Sunday, and earn special gear and bragging rights!