|My team (and interloper SteveO) at the kickoff happy hour|
Last year I showed up at the opening happy hour knowing only four people: two friends from the kayaking world, and two neighbors. Fast-forward a year and - based on my participation in the morning "coffee clubs" as well as the online forums - there were so many people there I knew that I barely had time to talk with everyone. That was quite nice.
One of the neat things is that in addition to the official scoring (you get points both for the number of days you ride and for mileage), participants are free to create their own prizes. There are prizes for the people who crash the most, for the most rides involving beer, most states ridden in during the competition (I thought I had that one sewn up last year because my travel schedule gave me a chance to ride in nine states, but someone beat me by four!), etc., etc. One of the new ones this year is the "Warming Climate" prize, given to the person who does the most (wintertime!) rides wearing just their bathing suit. Well, winter in DC has its warm breaks, and when the weather hit seventy last Thursday I went out for a bike ride, including around one block (that's the specified minimum distance) in just my quick-dry kayaking shorts (which often double as a bathing suit).
|Danger! Possible eye damage!|
My work situation has changed since last year. Last year I was biking to work a lot. This year I either work at home or commute to an office way too far away to reach by bicycle. It's going to take more determination to keep riding through the winter this year. But hey, I'm almost a fifth of the way through it already, and so far I've ridden 10 out of 14 days!