Every year at Capital Pride, the LGBT sports teams of Washington take over a section of the Sunday Pride Festival to promote their clubs. A common question over the years has been, “Why aren’t there more options for cycling?”
A few clubs such as Adventuring have offered recreational biking as an offshoot of their other activities, but none have focused solely on cycling. Last month, the OutRiders Arlington emerged as a new club to fill the cycling void. The group was founded by Scott Binde and Lee Mitchell and both are avid cyclists with a long history of leading bike rides.
“Both of us have a passion for cycling,” Binde says. “We have been plugged into the D.C. cycling community for years and even our vacations include cycling.”
There are no fees to ride with the cyclists and the group meets every Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. at the Clarendon Metro Station. There have only been two rides so far and the group is already attracting a diverse base of about 15 cyclists.
“We are looking to draw LGBT bike enthusiasts along with their straight allies,” Binde says.
The rides vary in difficulty and range from 12-25 miles. They utilize multi-use trails in the Arlington area, connecting one trail to the next and also venturing into bike-friendly residential areas. Depending on the amount of sunlight available, the treks last at least 90 minutes and all rides are pre-ridden by the leaders of the group.
The OutRiders will continue the bike series through August, and possibly longer based on interest. They are considering the possibility of weekend rides.
“Cycling is so accessible and most everyone knows how to bike,” Binde says. “We wanted to create something informal versus a highly structured sporting club.”
The next ride is Tuesday and the route is an 18-mile, moderately hilly loop which will pass by Ford Ward, an earthen Civil War era fort, and utilize the scenic Holmes Run Trail.
The wooded (yet paved) trail includes a forded stream crossing where sand and gravel can sometimes accumulate. Riders may want to leave their skinny tire bicycle at home or just walk their bike over the few feet of this section.
The group will convene by 6:15 p.m. at the Clarendon Metro station elevator entrance (Wilson Blvd. and Hudson St.), and the ride starts promptly at 6:30 p.m. Bring helmet and water. Free on-street parking is available.
After completing the ride each week, the cyclists get together for optional socializing at spandex-friendly restaurants in the Clarendon area.
Contact the ride leader for additional information at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also RSVP at their meetup site by searching OutRiders Arlington.
Show your pride, take a ride.