The Cherry Blossom Cycling Tour

  • April 6, 2013 · 11:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Important Updates have been made to this event - Please Read Carefully

Everyone knows the largest group of cherry blossom trees are found around the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. However, there are several lesser known groves located around the city. This bike ride offers an opportunity to view some of these hidden blossoms and (hopefully) avoid the bus loads of tourists.

The Ride

Our route starts on the Virginia Shore across from the Tidal Basin and follows popular Rock Creek Park Trails and Capital Crescent Trail out to the Cherry Blossom grove located in the Kenwood neighborhood. From here, we'll take the back streets of Bethesda and Northwest Washington's exclusive neighborhoods over to Embassy Row. We'll ride past the Embassy of Japan, which has a small collection of trees, and then follow the Rock Creek Trail down to the main blossom grove located around the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park. We'll then cross back over the Potomac River for a final grand view of the blossoms from the Virginia Shore.

Ride Type: Casual

Distance: 30 - 25 miles (approx)

Route: Is being finalized now

Surface: Paved trails and city streets

Terrain: Flat to hilly

Avg Pace: 12 mph

Riding Time: 2.5 - 3 hours

Things to see: Cherry blossoms! Embassies

Hazards: Tourists

Bike Type: Any

 

 

 

Due to the (very) large turnout for this ride, a number of changes are being put into effect to make things more manageable, safe, and enjoyable.

1) We will devide into at least 6 (more if necessary) smaller groups, with approximately 16 - 18 cyclists per group.

2) Each group will have an assigned event host/ride leader as well as a ride sweeper.

3) Each group will start at a different time, starting at 11:30 am, with 3 - 5 minute intervals between each group.

4) Unlike previous rides, all groups are asked to ride at the same average pace (12 mph) so that members within a group may stay together and groups can maintain some separation.

 

 When & Where

Location: See link at top of the page

Arrival & Gear Up: 11:00 AM

Note: This is the LATEST you should arrive! Allow at least 15 minutes after arrival to gear up and prep your bike.  DO NOT ARRIVE AT 11:30 expecting people to wait for you.  You will be left behind!

Ride Briefing: 11:15 AM  This is when/where we will assemble in the grass field and you will be assigned to your ride group. 

Start Pedaling: 11:30 AM

We are implementing a staggered start for this ride where groups will leave with 3 - 5 minutes of separation between them.  The first group will roll out at 11:30.; the last group will leave at approximately 12 noon.  DO NOT USE THIS AS AN EXCUSE TO ARRIVE LATE!!!

What to Bring

  • Helmet - Mandatory!
  • Liquids - And plenty of them!
  • Photo ID
  • Money - Cash or credit card for food or emergency
  • Bicycle Emergency Kit - (cash, mini tool, inner tube, CO2 cartridge or hand pump, etc.)
  • Bike lock
  • Camera - It's always nice to have pictures to remind us of the fun we have!

 

After the Ride

Enjoy refreshing drinks, nourishment, and comaradarie at Rustico Restaurant in Alexandria.  Rustico is located 1.1 miles south of Washington Sailing Marina on Slaters Lane in Alexandria.  Plan on meeting in the bar/patio area between 3:30 - 4:00 pm. 

A Few Other Things

  • Please review the group's No Show Policy
  • If you RSVP "yes" and you are unable to attend due to unexpected circumstances, please call or text the event host.
  • If you are running late, please call or text the event hosts w/ your ETA!
  • No go if conditions are bad. This includes rain, wet roads, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, earthquakes, locusts, or cats & dogs falling out of the sky.

Contact(s)

As always, if you have any questions, you may email the organizer(s) for the event or post your question as a comment. The cell numbers for the event organizers will be emailed to you the day before the event.

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  • charlene w.

    Excellent

    2 · April 6, 2013

    • charlene w.

      Thanks again Sophie for sweeping you rock

      April 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great ride and a big thanks to the organizers.
    Awesome route and really enjoyed the ride.
    Thanks again

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • Clifton

    Lots of new faces and well managed ride.

    4 · April 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for helping me out there :D

      April 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks for 'sweeping' us, Clifton!

      1 · April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Huge shout out to group 4!! Y'all were a great group to ride with today. Thank you for being such great sports!!!! My 1st and 2nd sweepers did an excellent job!! Thank you for help with today's ride!!! Looking forward to riding with everyone on future rides!!!!!

    2 · April 6, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks Marcelo!!!

      April 7, 2013

    • Will

      Busted!

      2 · April 7, 2013

  • Sam M

    Great ride. Thanks to all.

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • John (.

    Thanks to all who participated for making this a memorable ride.

    1 · April 7, 2013

  • John

    Thanks everyone for participating. It was a beautiful day for a ride and we actually saw some cherry blossoms! Thanks also to all of you who have contributed photos.

    2 · April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I always enjoy bike riding in DC and trails around it and this was no exception. Perfect day and group to do it with. Met lots of nice people. Hope to do it again.

    April 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Nice to get a massive pack of cyclists together to tour around DC.

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good to meet everyone today. Lots of friendly faces. Not too many bloomed trees. But the best part were the friggin' french fries. Holy smokes... stuff that good should be illegal.

    1 · April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you for making my first meetup such a great experience. I'd say Group 1 rocked!

    1 · April 6, 2013

    • Danielle

      Yay group 1 was awesome!

      1 · April 6, 2013

  • Sophie

    Great route and ride! Thanks, Regina, for leading Group 4. Too bad we didn't see a lot of cherry blossoms. It was still an awesome day for bike riding.

    2 · April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Extremely well organized and a nice crowd to ride with!

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time with great views. Too bad the Cherry Blossoms were not in full bloom. See you next time.

    1 · April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Only found 2 trees with Cherry Blossoms...otherwise very good day

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great ride, well organised. Thanks. Shame the cherry blossoms need a few more days

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you for organizing the ride today John. It was a great ride even if the blossoms were not at their peak.

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    lots of fun

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It was a wonderful ride....great group, thank you for organizing

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    At Misha's coffee if anyone is coming up from Old Town Alexandria.

    April 6, 2013

  • joe

    At the Afterdeck Cafe at the marina if anyone wants to join us for a pre-ride coffee.

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, cant make it. Sprained my ankle while playing soccer last evening.

    April 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is the Gravely Point parking area the one where the porta potties are located just before you get to the airport if you are coming from DC (across 14th Street bridge) and going South?

    April 4, 2013

    • John

      Please note the meet location/start point for this ride has been moved south about 2.5 miles to the Washington Sailing Marina.

      April 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thanks

      April 6, 2013

  • Clifton

    Thanks for the updated route map. Now let's see if I can get it loaded in the ole GPS.

    April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sick with a bug!!

    April 6, 2013

  • Heidi

    Does anybody know what the parking is like at and around the Marina?

    April 5, 2013

    • Laura R

      Parking @ the restaurant or to the right after you cross the trail. Not to worry.

      April 5, 2013

    • Clifton

      There is a great deal of parking, but I would get there early.

      April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm completely new to the area so hopefully I'll be able to find the start location. My cell phone is[masked]

    April 5, 2013

  • Linda

    Request to be in one of the earliest groups. I have early evening commitments with my niece.

    April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Might have to work Sat. I'm trying my best to make it.

    April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just me myself and I!

    April 4, 2013

    • John

      Should that be counted as a +2?

      2 · April 4, 2013

    • Danielle

      I think that is 3? Regina at least you never ride alone :)

      April 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Ugh I'm so bummed, I can't come after all! Happy riding, everyone!

    April 5, 2013

  • joe

    Making a request to be in one of the early groups. I am biking to an event in DC in the afternoon and not rolling out until noon might make that a tight fit timewise. Much appreciated!

    April 5, 2013

    • John

      Should not be a problem.

      April 5, 2013

  • Danielle

    Peak is Saturday! This is going to be great and my first ride of the season! Looking forward to this and meeting new friends!

    1 · April 5, 2013

  • Michael

    Anybody leaving from Ashburn? Ride together?

    April 4, 2013

    • Danielle

      Sounds good I will email you my cell #

      April 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Right on... I should be at Misha's by 10. Enjoy your Friday!

      April 5, 2013

  • Susan

    I will likely not be able to attend - but will try.

    April 4, 2013

  • John

    For those who want to view the route map or create a GPS file...
    http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2309576

    Note: The "official" cue sheet, which I have created manually and is somewhat less confusing, will be handed out the morning of the ride.

    April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is pedaling time of 11:30 firm? Planning on parking in Old Towne and would like to give myself plenty of time to ride out to Gravelly Point.

    April 2, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      John... thx for the tip. We'll be there by 11. See you as well.

      April 4, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ok with 11:15 and the start moved south 10:00 at Misha's seems good.

      April 4, 2013

  • John (.

    BLOSSOM WATCH: The National Park Service now estimates peak bloom (70% of blossoms open) will occur between April 6 to April 8. You can track the progress and make you own predictions at:
    http://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/about/bloom-watch/

    April 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So I'm not familar with the area and I saw some chatter about parking. Does anyone know where good parking is and if it costs? I don't want to drive all the way out there and not find a place to park.

    April 1, 2013

    • Mark H.

      There are about 80 parking spaces at Gravelly Point Park, plus another section where boat trailers are typically parked. It does tend to get crowded there, but I would bet that there should be spaces at 11AM. There are a number of other options nearby, including Columbia Island Marina and Washington Sailing Marina or in a pinch perhaps Reagan Airport which is right next door. The park is right on the Mount Vernon trail, so it is very accessible by bicycle if you were to choose to park somewhere nearby. There is a small lot for Roosevelt Island along GW Parkway just south of the Key Bridge, which would be a short bike ride away also along the Mt. Vernon trail. Oh, and that's another reason not to be late. :-)

      April 1, 2013

    • John

      The meet location / start point has been moved to the Washington Sailing Marina. There should be plenty of parking.

      April 4, 2013

  • charlene w.

    First sping ride

    April 3, 2013

    • John

      Should be a nice one!

      April 4, 2013

  • Sophie

    Can I get to the starting point via Metro? Looks like Crystal City may be the closest station??

    April 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Google directions will give you the route with the bicycle option for navigation. It has the trip listed as needing 8 minutes.

      April 4, 2013

    • John

      Metro stop at Regan is your best bet. From their go south on Mt Vernon Trail to the Washington Sailing Marina.

      1 · April 4, 2013

  • Byron S.

    Family plans changed. Have fun.

    April 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, I need to back out.

    April 2, 2013

  • Corbin

    Can't make the new date.

    April 2, 2013

  • John

    I appreciate everyone's questions and replys. Be on the lookout in the next day or so for an important email with additional details about how the ride will be managed.

    April 2, 2013

  • John (.

    The combination of warm temperatures and peak blossoms means the trails will be crowded. We've chosen to ride to some "off the beaten path" areas to minimize congestion and give our members a unique experience. That said, realize we live in a tourist area and cherry blossom time is one of the region's most popular attractions. Carpool if possible (make a new friend!), have some alternate parking in mind (Washington Sailing Marina, Shirlington, Old Town). Also, you can take Metro to the National Airport station - from there it is a quick 5 to 10 minute ride to Gravelly Point (Metro allows bikes in the train cars on weekends).

    April 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Just a heads up. I rode the route yesterday (March 30). The tree at Kenwood are behind those around the Tidal Basin and at East Potomac Park. There were only a few trees at EPP even showing any white. Nothing to see at the Japanese Embassy,

    1 · March 31, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I noticed the same on March 31st. :-(

      April 1, 2013

  • Barbara

    Sorry, I can't go on Saturday. Have fun!

    April 1, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Unfortunately can't make the new date. See you next time....

    April 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Rich, too bad. Just joined, get in touch!

      April 1, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Rich cool. I go on most of these. Birthday next week so IMA gonna be gone but let's definitely hook up soon.

      April 1, 2013

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