Bike to Happy Hour Day
Mirroring the after work, bike-commuter social scene, this year's Bike To Work Day will include five evening “pit stops,” with food, drink and other amusements. According to Douglas Franklin of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, “this year we have expanded the afternoon pit stops from two to [five]! Small number of events but I like the percentage increase!” Official afternoon pit stops are at East Falls Church, Silver Spring, College Park, Columbia Heights and the Georgetown Waterfront. Most afternoon stops open at 4 pm. See www.biketoworkmetrodc.org for details.
In Washington DC, we are very enthusiastic about biking to work. MWCOG surveys of bicycling commonly show our commute mode share to be about twice our daily mode share (all trips). Fortunately for us, coffee-shop, happy hour and other bike-commuter gatherings offer a break from this work-related routine. If you've got to be a biketoworkoholic, you ought to have fun.
Beginners can get a taste of the pre- and post-work social scene on Bike to Work Day, which features coffee and snack-fueled pit stops all over the DC area. While not as cozy as a coffee shop full of friends, BTWD can be a nice little break from the usual commute. This year's expanded number of afternoon pit stops adds Bike To Happy Hour Day festivities to the mix.
An unofficial happy hour at Teaism in Old Town Alexandria, sponsored by the Alexandria SpokesWomen (Men are welcome too!) will add to the BTHHD fun. Another unofficial site for BTHHD will be the Westover Beer garden in Arlington. Both events begin at about 6 pm.
For many, biking to work begins with a coffee meeting with other cyclists. M. E. Swings in the district is the site of a first-Friday gathering and the Java Shack in Arlington is the place to go on the second Friday each month. A newcomer to this scene is the Tuesday coffee club at Kaldi's in Silver Spring. A third Thursday happy hour takes place each month at the Capital City Brewing Company in Shirlington. VeloCity Bike Cooperative also holds a Thursday happy hour.
The above list only scratches the surface and a complete guide is hard to come by, but the information can be found. Many of these meetings are announced on the Washington Area Bike Forum, bikearlingtonforum.com, a place where witty commentary on one's daily commute seems to be a way of life. Local Coffee clubs and happy hours are also advertised via Twitter (search for “coffee #bikedc”). Whatever your choice, please have fun and stay safe on the road. Please don't even think about riding straight from a Thursday happy hour to a Friday coffee club. That's not why they are set up that way.