May 2020

Potomac Pedalers Calendar of Events

For more information visit our website ride schedule

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. 

by Anne C. M. Hyman — President PPTC

Welcome to May, Fellow Pedalers

I hope this finds you and your own safe and settled into this “new normal” that the current situation here in our region has brought to us. I have had a few personal revelations, starting first and foremost with the fact that I am not designed to be at home all day, and have been climbing the walls between meetings and workouts. A close second is that I bake a mean loaf of sourdough Ciabatta.

All kidding aside, we’ve had some excitement recently in the club, in realizing how to bolster our community right now when we can’t do what we do best right now, which is ride together. Two weeks ago, I hosted a Facebook live event and posted a survey to membership asking what you would like to see right now. Thank you to everyone who responded, and gave us some encouragement to start posting some content and event ideas to fill our social calendar. Potomac Pedalers hosted our very first “Virtual Happy Hour” on Sunday, and it was wonderful to see everyone who attended. I’ll be honest, I came prepared with some talking points in case there were lulls in the conversation, but I never used them. The excitement and delight in seeing everyone, and watching everyone see each other, brought much warmth and light to the room in my house on a cold and rainy Sunday afternoon.

So, let’s keep up that momentum. How? Let’s start with a few things you can do right now:

Send a picture from one one your favorite rides, with a brief description as to why that picture is meaningful to you to Catherine Kitchell at . We’ll publish our favorite stories in upcoming communications.

If you have any pictures from ANY (or ALL) of the previous Back Roads Centuries, send them in as well!

Also, stay tuned for more online meetups! The first one, since I don’t need much infrastructure to make it happen quickly this weekend, is a how-to on setting up virtual riding indoors at your home. I’ve been fielding quite a few questions about that recently, and I’m more than happy to provide an interactive seminar (BYOB, of course..the B can stand for Bike or Beverage). Please register  HERE  for the Zoom meeting. The others that will follow will include: Using the Club’s Ride With GPS Account to find some good route to ride solo (hosted by Eric Plisk), How to Plan an Epic Cycling Trip, Basic Bike Maintenance with a local bike shop manager, and How to Start Commuting on Two Wheels.

As in previous weeks and newsletters, we’re all longing for a future where we can ride safely together again. Until then, let’s keep in touch. This “new normal” may mean that we can’t do what we do well, which is ride together, but it doesn’t have to stop being who we are , which is a strong-spirited community that has stood the test of time for decades.

Be safe.


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.
In Lieu of the Lewes Weekend, What Did You Do?
By Cindy Marisch, Lewes Co-coordinator

This year’s Lewes cycling weekend was cancelled, a favorite annual PPTC event.
No one predicted the outbreak of the coronavirus, not even the President.

He did offer some cures, but I don’t recommend you ingest or inject Lysol or even bleach.

In fact, I prudently suggest you cover your ears to protect yourself from his freedom of speech!

Sadly, the pandemic has stolen our in-person happy hours and our group rides.
It’s taken away our freedom to mingle and has kept us inside.

The parks are closed, the theaters empty, the stores are boarded up.
But at home, the bottle’s open, the corks popped; it doesn’t take long to drain the cup!

If we were in Lewes, we’d be cycling the Lewes-Georgetown trail.
Westward ho, into that unrelenting—but expected—east coast gale!

Now extended 5 miles, the rail-trail goes under the Coastal Highway.
No more white knuckle Route 1 crossings, instead a peaceful byway!

We’d have cycled with Barry Taylor and Fred Carson on their custom-narrated rides,
Then Bettina Myers would carefully stretch our muscles from all their achy sides.

We’d be dining on salmon, lemon chicken, spanakopita, and moussaka at the Blue Sea Café.
Replacing all those calories burned and catching up with the cycling tales of the day.

Sharing stories of our past mild winter rides, the lovely fall trips, and the hot, hot summer spins.
When there was total joy in riding with friends because, after all, it never matters who wins.

So, just what did you do this year--in lieu-- of biking in Lewes, Delaware?
I’m assuming you stayed home, because we can’t go just anywhere.

I cleaned my bike. Who knew that under that black chain grease was silver so shiny?
Now my two-wheeled, detailed road bike is absolutely, positively worthy of my hiney!

I pulled out my wind-trainer, still bolted to my first (bought used) vintage 10-speed.
Put it in front of the TV, pretended it was the Tour de France, and I was in the lead!

I confess I did venture out to bike a quiet route where I could confidently social distance.
Only did it twice, as an attempt to maintain some semblance of a healthy aerobic persistence.

RIding was accomplished but there was something that just wasn’t the same.
My friends weren’t there. No one called me “turtle”, my well-earned pet name.

I miss the group rides and the camaraderie we’ve developed over these many years.
Whether Lewes or on monthly rides, it’s just more fun to be with others when you spin gears!

Stay safe and healthy and stay-tuned for some fun.
Maybe Lewes in the fall or for sure in 2021!
by Stephen Krill - ExCom member at large
While thousands of cyclists get to enjoy our annual Back Roads Century over an entire weekend, the planning and logistics for this event takes nearly a full year.

Beyond negotiating contracts, finding volunteers, setting routes, and securing venues, the Club purchases a lot of supplies for the BRC (and our other events as well.)

A lot of supplies!

Everything from paper napkins and toilet paper to disposable gloves (for food service use), hand sanitizer, bleach, and disinfecting wipes to powdered energy drink. (Thanks, Tailwind!)

If this list looks familiar, it is. These items are exactly what our first responders and medical professionals require for COVID-19 response.

A few weeks ago, Butch Counts reminded the Executive Committee of these supplies, which the Club keeps in storage between events. We unanimously and immediately agreed to donate them to COVID-19 response.

The question then was where?

After several phone calls and emails, we emptied our storage unit and delivered these supplies to the Northern Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (NoVA VOAD).

This non-profit, as do other such organizations all around the country, helps coordinate the resources of volunteer organizations that aid communities and individuals during times of crisis, such as natural disasters and public health emergencies.

NoVA VOAD works with State and local agencies, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations to make the best use of facilities, supplies, and equipment donated for disaster response and to coordinate the distribution of supplies to avoid duplication of effort.

In many disasters, individuals and organizations donate so many items that receiving, storaging and distributing them can cause huge logistical challenges. (Some donations, unfortunately, even get thrown away.)

The VOADs help ensure the right donated items get to the right place at the right time without overwhelming our first responders.

NoVA VOAD sent our supplies to fire stations, police departments, and medical facilities throughout Northern Virginia to help these brace women and men safely to do their jobs.

Over the past several weeks, many people make sure to thank first responders for their selfless and tireless service to our communities. The Potomac Peddlers now joins them courtesy of our donation to COVID-19 response.

For more information on NoVA VOAD, please visit: .

You will find similar organizations in DC and MD.

Stephen Krill
ExCom member at large
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.
When: July 17-19 , rides can begin as early as noon on Friday so block some time to enjoy the area!
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!