Bike commuters race, and racers bike commute.* Bike commuters advocate, and racers… well, ahem, they… race.** That appears to be changing somewhat, and the overflow crowd at last week’s National Bike Summit is evidence of a culture change in the racing community. Nearly everyone in the room was a licensed racer or licensed triathlete.
The National Bike Summit is a relatively safe place to make such a call to action; advocating for it on the pages of Velonews–as Nick Legan does–is a bit more daring. Check out his opinion piece and follow his column (Ask Nick) for excellent mechanical advice.
* I mean this first part literally: the real races in DC don’t happen on the weekend in a suburban office park, they happen between 7-9 am and 5-7 pm on the W&OD, Capital Crescent, and Mt. Vernon trails. For instructions on becoming a bike commuter racer, turn to this authoritative guide. FYI: I don’t support this sort of behavior because it too often involves running over other trail users and flagrant violations of traffic law.
** Unless they happen to be mountain bikers, who often revisit the trails after their event to perform maintenance and repair any damage. For an excellent example of racing+advocacy look no further than the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition in Harrisionburg VA: http://www.svbcoalition.org/