Last year I waited entirely too long to actually take a look at all the regional and sport calendars or put some thought into what I really wanted to accomplish.
So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve put together calender to help me and a few friends figure out what we wanted to do this year. As I look at it, though, I realize that it might be useful to other people in the region. So I’m throwing it up here.
This listing is not at all comprehensive – it’s just a list of DC area cycling or amateur athletic events that I either want to participate in or go just go watch. If you’re in the DC area, I hope that you’ll give it a read and see if something catches your interest, either as a competitor or spectator. A fair number of the events listed book up pretty quickly, and lots of them seem to open for registration on January 22.
Just FYI, it’s a list that makes me seem far more ambitious or in shape than I really am. I won’t be a competitive threat to anyone in any of these events. Except, perhaps, for the Lanterne Rouge. I just aim to finish and have fun.
The calendar is broken down into events for which the date has been set, and events for which the date has yet to be announced. Also, if you’re reading this any day but January 22, 2007, please note that this information could be out of date.
Quicksilver Winter Solstice Series February 24 — March 3 — March 10 — March 17
This is a road race/crit – 1.2 mile course, the race being as many laps as possible in 30 min (for my class, anyway). I’m going to try and hit at least a couple of these, to get actual racing starts exp. under my belt (and on my USCF license) in a pretty low pressure environment. See here for more info.
Greenhorn Adventure Race – April 15, 2007
Prince William Forest Park – Triangle, VA
This is a “Short Sprint Adventure Race”. Which 12-16 miles in 2-4 hours, by means of trekking, paddling, and mountain biking. People compete in teams of three, in Co-Ed, Female, Male, Masters (combined age of 120+) divisions. I’ll be competing. More info here.
Leesburg Bakers Dozen – April 21, 2007
The Leesburg Bakers Dozen is a 13+ hour MTB race held on a private farm overlooking the Potomac. Course will consist of 7-9 mile laps on rolling farmland. Open to single racers and teams of two and three. I’d love to go watch/take pictures of this one, but I hope to be at the Tour de Georgia in person (watching!), that weekend. More here.
Greenbrier Challenge – April 29, 2007
Greenbriar State Park, MD
A mountain bike racing schedule that draws many participants – and this year, it has gained UCI sanction, so I expect it will draw an even more impressive crowd than in the past. This is all beyond my abilities, so I hope to go watch and shoot it. More info here.
Worldgate Super Sprint Triathlon – April 29, 2007
A 300 yard swim (indoor pool), 17.8 mile bike (using the W&OD trail – what’s up with that?), and a 2 mile run. This even might even tempt me, but there’s the problem of this ridiculous 6am start . . . More info here.
12 Hours of Lodi Farm – May 6, 2007
Another 12 hr race, one of the bigger in the area. If others wanted to make it into a three person relay, I’d be up for it. Otherwise, I think I might just volunteer to help. More info here.
Rocky Gap – May 19, 2007
Rocky Gap State Park,MD
Yes, the “Sprint Adventure Race” that made me into an ADVENTURE RACER, COMPLETE WITH T-SHIRT TO PROVE IT. Heh. As with last year, it’s 18-24 miles in 3-6 hours. Segments involve “trekking, paddling, mountain biking, [&] navigation.” Between understanding my mistakes of last year (following bad navigators, instead of judging the checkpoint location ourselves), improving my readiness (I’ll actually run this time! Well, mostly.), and not completely fucking my ankle up in the first 15 minutes, I think we can do better this year. I think I’ll be doing this with the same team as last year, with D, T & me reprising our roles in Team Whine & Cheese. More info here.
Power Sprint Triathlon – June 3, 2007
Glen Allen, VA
This race consists of a 300 meter pool swim, 20k bike and 5k run. The race takes place at and around the Shady Grove YMCA and Fitness Center in Glen Allen, Virginia (Richmond). The swim is in a 25 meter indoor pool. The bike is rolling, 20k or 12 miles through Henrico/Hanover/Goochland counties. Unless they’re quite serious about this “power sprint” thing, it looks like a good first triathlon. I may try this one myself. More here.
XTERRA East Championship – June 16, 2007
Big triathlon, swimming in the James River, and a full weekend of activities. On this calendar just as an FYI sort of thing – I’d definitely check it out, if I wasn’t set on doing this:
City Bikes RFK Criterium – June 17, 2007
This is DC proper’s only professional bike race. This annual event races around RFK Stadium’s old grand prix course. Along with Categories 1-5 racing, WABA is sponsoring an open course fun ride at 1:30pm. I’ve watched it a couple of years now, and it’s always enjoyable – the race location makes it very easy to follow the action. Pictures from last year. Also, note that it has been moved to June – that should make for a much cooler spectating experience than its previous August runnings. Registration here.
12 Hours of Cranky Monkey Mountain Bike Relay – June 24, 2007
Quantico Marine Corps Base – Quantico, VA
The 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey Mountain Bike Relay will challenge solo racers and teams of 2 or 3 as they complete as many 10-mile laps as possible in a 12 hour period, from 8am-8pm. As with Lodi, I’d be interested in making this a three person relay. Otherwise, I’m probably just going to watch/volunteer. More here.
Philadelphia Women’s Triathlon – July 8, 2007
I may be supporting at least one racer for this event, a sprint distance (750m swim, 17 mile bike, 5K run) triathlon. More here. Race report from a competitor, last year.
XTERRA Rocky Gap – July 15, 2007
Rocky Gap State Park, MD
This is one of two XTERRA qualifiers in the area (the other being in Richmond). You can either do the “Off-Road Triathlon”, which is “.75 miles swimming, 14 miles mountain biking, [and] 5 miles trail running” as a solo or in team of two or three. Or you can skip the water and opt for the “Off-Road Duathlon” which gives you “3 miles trail running, 14 miles mountain biking, [and] 5 miles trail running.” This option is for solo racers or teams of two. The class of competitors here are probably beyond what I should get involved with, but I’d like to do it some day. More here. Perhaps next year, as I should be in Richmond this day. Doing what?
Muddy Buddy – July 15, 2007
The name is pretty descriptive. The race features a 6-7 mile course with 5 obstacles. From the web site: “At the start of the race, 1 team member will run & one will ride the bike. At the 1st obstacle, the rider will drop the bike, complete the obstacle, & begin running. The runner will arrive & complete the obstacle, then find their bike & begin riding. Teams will continue trading off & leapfrogging each other thru the entire course. At the end of the race, racers will crawl through the infamous Mud Pit & then cross the finish line together!” And, as I understand it, a fair number of competitors do it in costume – it more a fun excuse to go out and be a kid on a giant playground than anything else. More here. Registration fills up quickly – register by Feb 15th for the lowest price ($115 for the team of two. Strikes me as a bit steep, though).
Cranky Monkey MTB Racing Series – July/August 2007
This is a four part mountain bike race series held out at Wakefield & Quantico. More info here. I participated last year, and plan to do it again, for at least the Wakefield portions. This is the schedule:
- CM Wakefield 7/29/2007 Annandale, Va
- CM Wakefield 8/5/2007 Annandale, Va
- CM Fountainhead 8/19/2007 Fairfax, Va
- CM Quantico 8/26/2007 Quantico, Va
It’s a lot of fun, and I hope I can convince some folks to join me. If not, at least come out and watch? Pictures from last year.
Covered Bridge Metric Century August 19, 2007
A bunch of us did this last year and quite enjoyed it. For those of us doing the Seagull Century, this might be a decent “half way” benchmark ride. This event is organized as 100, 50 and 25 kilometer (62, 31 & 15 mile) rides, which “wind their way through some of Pennsylvania’s most famous rural scenery, including seven covered bridges. The terrain is rolling with a few hills on the 100K ride and flat to moderately rolling on the 50K & 25K rides. The rewards are stunning vistas of the richest farmland in America.” I probably won’t sign up for this again on my own, but may end up doing it with a friend looking for company. More here.
Richmond Sprint Triathlon – August 26, 2007
This is another triathlon event where I’ll either be supporting or racing. It’s a 400m swim, 20k bike, 5k run. More info here.
Shenandoah Mountain 100 September 2, 2007
This is the Shenandoah Mountain 100 that folks were cajoling Floyd Landis into doing (when he was here at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse earlier this month). I’m giving serious thought to trying to pull this off. Yes, that’s 100 miles on a mountain bike, going well into the night (if you’re me, anyway). Here’s the course map, times from last year, and a ride report worth reading. Also, a good Cycling News story on it. Honestly, it may turn out to be way beyond my abilities, but if there’s ever a time to set and reach for ridiculous goals, it’s early in the year, no?
MS150 City to Shore Bike Tour September 29-30, 2007 (Saturday to Sunday)
Cherry Hill, NJ
I’ve been thinking about doing this for a couple of years, but as with the Schuylkill Century, it will probably be a continuing casualty of my other ambitions, so I’m putting this here in case anyone else might think it’s a nice way to spend a weekend. Named by Bicycling Magazine as the “Best Cycling Getaway in NJ,” the flat terrain takes you “through the blueberry fields and the NJ pine barrens and into the sweet smells of salt water taffy and ocean air in historic Ocean City, NJ.” This ride is fully supported with catered rest stops, bike support, and SAG transportation. If a group wants to do this, they could drive out Friday night, and drive back right after the ride on Sunday. Cyclists collect a minimum of $250 in donations to participate – if you do this, you can count on a donation from me. More here.
Venture Quest AR September 30, 2007
Fountainhead Regional Park – Fairfax Station, VA
Assuming that things have gone well for me in the summer, I’m planning to do this. It’s a “Long Sprint Adventure Race (Sport Level)”, which means 28-35 miles over 5-9 hours. As usual, it involves trekking, paddling, mountain biking, and navigation. My only goal is to finish anything but DFL, and have fun. The only way to really do that is in a team. Teams of three navigate a course with segment breakdowns ranging from 3-8 miles of paddling, 8-13 miles of trekking, and 10-16 miles of mountain biking. As with Rocky Gap, competitors are broken into teams of three & solo racers in women’s, men’s, masters, and co-ed divisions. Info here.
Seagull Century October 6, 2007 (Saturday)
Probably the most famous century ride in the Mid-Atlantic area. Last year’s storm resulted in less than a third of the usual participants, but I’m sure they’ll all be back this year. Riders have metric century (100k, 62miles) and century (100 miles) options, which they can decide on at any time until the 20 somethingth mile of the ride. See this for more info. Also, note that
decent pretty much all lodging fills up quickly, so reserve your room now, if you’re thinking about doing it. Most of the hotels in Salisbury are booked already.
Date Not Yet Announced
The following might also be of interest:
Five Boro Bike Tour Likely May 6, 2007
New York, New York
I first did this ride in 2002, and have done it three times since then. It’s an amazing way to see New York – from the street, along with 30,000 other bikers. The 30,000 other bikers can be a bit of a pain, though, so be prepared to do a *lot* of defensive riding. More info here.
CSC Invitational Likely June 2, 2007
This is the pro criterium race that runs around a tight circuit in Clarendon. As I have for years, I’m planning to go watch and take pictures. Always a grand time. And it should be even better this year, with the newly paved intersections (some years have been pretty brutal, crash-wise. I hope this helps avoid that.) Watch here for more info.
Ride Like A Girl Saturdays in the summer
Metro Washington DC Area
Traditionally 10am weekend starts. The purpose of these rides is to “[m]eet other women who mountain bike and work on your biking skills and fitness level in a nurturing and supportive environment.” I’ve seen them out at Wakefield a few times, and it’s definitely a ride that welcomes everyone, including beginners. The schedule will be posted here. The ride and rider ratings section can be helpful in figuring out if you’re up for a particular ride.
Wednesdays@Wakefield – TBD (traditionally late June through July)
Wakefield Regional Park, VA
Potomac Velo Club runs this informal series of weeknight MTB races. Whether it happens this year or not isn’t yet clear, but if it does, I’ll probably give it a go once or twice. It’s cheap, easy, and a favorite among the MORE crowd. More at Potomac Velo Club.
50 States Ride – Not Announced, but guessing August 25, 2007 (Saturday)
Put together by WABA, this (I think) annual ride covers all 50 state streets in the city in search of the District of Columbia’s statehood. The 60+ mile city tour is for “cyclists experienced and comfortable with riding through city streets with traffic”, so the roads won’t be closed for it (the reason that we no longer have Bike DC to look forward to). I’ve wanted to do this for years, but it keeps getting knocked out by other events. That’ll almost certainly be the case this year, too, but if you’ve got nothing else to do, consider this ride. Probably a $15 registration.
Rappahannock Rough Ride (mid September)
Little Washington, VA
I did this last year – a great ride in the foothills of the Shenandoah, amongst apple orchards and horse farms. It’s not an easy ride, but it’s a rather enjoyable day trip. My aim for this year is the 57.9 mile ride. Map here. As you can see, there are plenty of other options – either short road rides or off-road efforts. This raises funds for the Fauquier Free Clinic.
High Trek Adventure Washington DC Urban Adventure Late September
This is essentially an urban foot/Metro race (really) involving trivia. Because of its proximity to other events, I doubt I’ll do this one. But it looks like a LOT of fun, though, and is very different from the other kind of things I’ve got listed here. It’s done in teams of two. If you want to see an example of the sorts of puzzles and trivia involved, check out the recap of the last year’s race. Registration was $100 for a team of 2.
Scenic Schuylkill Century – Traditionally second weekend in Sept.
I’ve done this ride before, and it definitely lived up to the “scenic” billing. Given my other plans for September, I doubt I’ll be doing this. If you’re looking for a nice way to spend some time on a bike, though, I highly recommend this ride. It starts in Philly, near the Museum of Art, and runs out to Valley Forge and back. It’s a really really nice ride – a bit of urban park, some old Philly Italian neighborhoods, horse country, and some sections that remind you of the C&O canal. It’s not flat, but it’s not killer. More here. $35ish registration.
Buff Betty Adventure Race – Sunday in October?
What is the Buff Betty women’s adventure race? From the website – “Well, one thing it’s NOT is a wimpy race that has been watered-down because it’s ‘just for girls’. You won’t find a bunch of pink ribbons marking the course, just enough head-on adventure to challenge yourself to reach new levels of personal excellence. That said, fully one third of all previous Buff Betties had never done an adventure race at all, much less one on all female team, so the course is designed to be beginner friendly and any reasonably fit woman can complete the race and experience the thrill of personal victory. Skills clinics the Saturday preceding the race will give you the knowledge and confidence you need to blaze through the course with ease and provide even more opportunities to socialize with other active females.” Obviously, I won’t be doing this one, but I am hoping train with and support a team that will. More info here.
Booth’s Escape – Saturday in October?
Washington, DC to Waldorf, MD
I’d really wanted to do this last year, but I ended up out of town the weekend it was run. Or something that I felt was a good excuse at the time. I don’t know much about the actual ride, but this is the description at the WABA (Washington Area Bicyclists Association) site- “Step back into time to retrace the route of John Wilkes Booth daring escape after his assassination of President Lincoln…by bicycle!” How could this not be fun? I’m pretty sure Booth ended up down in Waldorf, MD, so it will be a longish ride. The upside is that it can’t be that hard, right? I mean, you’re following the path of a guy who got shot . . . No idea what the registration is, but I suspect it’s cheap.
Tour de Vin – late October weekend
Powhatan County, VA
A single day ride, with century (english and metric) and short ride options, it coincides with the Powhatan County Festival of the Grape. As part of my occasional efforts to overcome my utter disdain for Virginia wines, I might take a crack at this. More info here (currently gives info about last year’s event).