I live in DC, which is a great place to live and visit. I try to make the most of it. However, I also love to leave my home and see what the world has to offer. Come and join me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dandies & Quaintrelles Full Moon Ride

Donna and Trena

I have been wanting to do an event with Dandies & Quaintrelles (also check out their Facebook page) forever. They, or really he--as it is one very dedicated guy who does most of the work (thank you!)--are the ones who organize the Tweed Ride (I have scoop that it will be mid-November this year) and the Seersucker Social (which I missed, but Cidell attended). Bicycles and dressing up? Truly, two of my very favorite things, and who would have thought the combine them? Brilliant!

Starting OffAnyway, I finally caught a break with the advent of the White Night/Full Moon Ride tradition! I didn't make the first one in July, but I was determined to go to the August ride. I emailed around and my friend Donna was game (thank you, Donna!). There is never a strict dress code for D&Q events, but there are suggestions. The style guide for Full Moon Rides calls for light colors, but beyond that it is your imagination. The white clothing is both stylish and practical for nighttime visibility.

I had actually completely forgotten about my McCall 5045 50s style dress until I went hunting in my costume/evening closet (not to be confused with my regular closet, my auxiliary summer dress hanging rod outside my regular closet, or my coat closet). It is white, retro, and definitely a full enough skirt to bike in--woo hoo! As you can see, there are all manner of interpretations of the dress code--some people went full retro, others were in t-shirts and shorts...and everyone had a great time regardless of what they were wearing.

Trumpet Call to Arms This ride was a joint venture with BicycleSpace, a great new bike shop that is really working to create a bike community. I've taken my bike there a couple times and had truly great service at a very reasonable price. We started off with a trumpet calling us to arms (or bikes, as the case may be), followed by a performance of "Night and Day." We were encouraged to sing along, but few of us knew the words so there was a lot of humming and ad lib. Then we were off!

There were somewhere between 50 and 75 people, I would guesstimate. The ride was well-organized, with both leaders at the front and sweepers behind to make sure nobody got lost. The leaders had whistles to make sure cars were aware of us.

The ride was, in a word, awesome. I have no idea how far we biked. Based on the amount of time were out and the landmarks I could recognize my guess is somewhere between 10 and 15 miles. I know that sounds like a lot if you're not big on biking, but I had taken a 40 mile ride earlier in the day out to Mt. Vernon so I was quite depleted. At our pace I did not even feel this ride.

In the middle of the ride we arrived at the Navy Yard area near the Nationals Stadium and took a break for Truckeroo, a monthly food truck gathering. What fun! There were at least a dozen trucks parked in a safely enclosed area with lots of people enjoying their wares. We had met for the ride at 8 so I was plenty ready for dinner. I got the very last portobello panini from Capitol Greenz. Bleu cheese, yum!

We resumed our ride and took a pause at the Capitol to ride around and around the roundabouts (more fun than it sounds), and did a stop at the White House to see the moon shining overhead.

Logan Circle "After Party" We ended our ride at Logan Circle, spreading out picnic blankets and being serenaded by our trumpet player and a guitar.

I cannot even tell you how much fun I had. My only hesitation about doing a D&Q event was I feared it would be snobby hipsters who would be too busy being cool to have fun and too afraid of losing hipster cred to talk to the likes of me, but I was completely wrong. It turned out that the participants were--wait for it--nerds. Yes. They are my people. Everyone was incredibly friendly. You could pull alongside anyone and start a conversation with them and nobody would miss a beat. I talked to at least a dozen people and didn't meet more only because the evening came to an end. If you're in DC and own a bike, there is literally no reason you should not be doing this. And if you don't own a bike, there are plenty of places to rent one!

Unfortunately, I didn't get a lot of photos because my camera does not take good pictures at night and I need both hands on the handlebars at all times. All my photos are here. There are photos from the previous Full Moon Ride here. It appears I'm the only one who's added photos to the Flickr pool from this ride. So it's hard to tempt you/make you jealous with pictures, but trust me you should be!