Vintage Rally to Bloomsday 2015

A friend of the shop connected to the Irish Embassy has invited us to ride in the Embassy of Ireland Bloomsday-Yeatsday Celebration on 16 June. Embracing our adventurous spirit, we said yes to a daytime social in vintage costume, taking a huge leap of faith you'd come along for the ride.

Bloomsday pays tribute to Leopold Bloom, the central character in James Joyce's Ulysses. The annual celebration is big in Dublin, where thousands of people recreate Bloom's epic ramble through Dublin on June 16, 1904. Edwardian costumes are an essential component of the celebration.

Cities around the world hold Bloomsday celebrations.

The U.S. Embassy of Ireland is celebrating Bloomsday in Dupont Circle Park from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. All Washingtonians are invited to the free celebration of readings, music and more. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch to satisfy their literal and literary hunger.

We've been invited to partner for a Bloomsday bike rally to the picnic celebration. Here's the scheme:

  • Assemble at 11:30 a.m. at 440 K St NW
  • After short history talk by our local historian and Irishwoman friend of BicycleSPACE, ride departs at 11:45 a.m.
  • We parade through the central city in period costumes on as many vintage bikes as we can find/borrow/commandeer
  • Taking a relatively direct route, we arrive at Dupont Circle for the 12:30 celebration

Let's make this work, BicycleSPACE mates!

Telecommute, schedule a doctor's appointment, take flex time. Free yourself from your desk and travel back in time with us for one extended lunch break.

We have only one chance to make a good first impression on the Irish Embassy.

Also, we have to dress the part. Think of it as a Tweed Ride with an Irish accent. Not everyone has to be in full costume. A top hat and bow tie is sufficiently symbolic. Our expert historian is here to help us with our costumes. But, we do have to be properly outfitted in some way, shape or form.

The Dublin tradition is to dress in Edwardian costumes. Leaders of past D.C. Bloomsday events do not fixate on historical accuracy, but have found that a good impression of early 1900s Dublin can be made with the following tips:

For Gentlemen: Tweed, linen or white jackets, hats of some sort including caps or boaters, bow ties and suspenders. Bonus points for such additional accessories such as monocles, brass-tipped canes, lapel flowers, etc. Other looks of the time include bike delivery boy in a cap, black pants, white shirt, big apron and wicker basket on bike.

For Ladies: One style is a flouncy blouse beneath a modern-day full-length evening or bridesmaid dress with a brooch at the neck and wide belt/sash. Another look that works is white button-up blouse (with brooch), long skirt and straw hat. Bonuses for wicker baskets, up-dos, hair fascinators, dangling pearls and parasols.

Possible sources could include back of the closet, elderly relatives, local thrift store, or that pal who's really great at coming up with original Halloween outfits. 

Get in the spirit by watching this Dublin video and thanks in advance for agreeing to our madcap idea.

Bring your own bike -- ideally vintage* -- and picnic lunch.  Feel free to post your costume questions on our Facebook event page.

* Want to buy a head turner for the occasion? We suggest a classic Pashley Cycles jewel, such as the Countryman or Princess, available now at BicycleSPACE.

Tour de Fat on May 30

Who likes beer, bikes and bemusement?

Spend a seasonal Saturday down by the river side wearing a crazy costume, riding in a bike parade of colorful characters and drinking bicycle-friendly beer for a good cause. Cruel punishment, we know.

Three cheers for the Tour de Fat, New Belgium Brewing's celebration of beer-loving bicycle culture at its ... weirdest?

Are you ready for this -->

2015 DC Tour de Fat at a Glance

Date: Saturday, May 30, 2015
Time: Costumed bike parade at 11 a.m. Festival from 12 to 5 p.m.
Location: Yards Park, 355 Water St SE 
Admission: Free!
Beer: Cash bar (via tokens)
BicycleSPACE pre-festival ride: Pickups in Adams Morgan (9 a.m.) and Mt. Vernon Triangle (9:45 a.m.) to arrive in time to ride in the 11 a.m. costumed bike parade.

Proceeds from beer sales benefit D.C. bicycle non-profits such as the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) and Black Women Bike D.C. Translation: you drink beer. The money you pay for said beer supports local bike organizations that serve our community's interests. Cheers!

If you're overwhelmed by the Tour de Fat spirit, you can catch the pre-game action Wednesday-Friday, May 27-29.

Tour de Fat Trivia takes place at 8 p.m. on May 27 at Stoney’s L Street, 2101 L St NW. Play trivia to win fun prize packages and quench your thirst with $4 Fat Tires and $14 pitchers. 

WABA and New Belgium are hosting a pre-Tour party for volunteers and beer nerds on May 28 at Churchkey, 1337 14th St NW, from 6 to 9 p.m. Get lucky and you could win a 2015 Custom Cruiser in the raffle. Get hoppy and sip 15 New Belgium drafts, including six Lips of Faith beers and five New Belgium brews on cask. (Click here  to volunteer with WABA at the Tour de Fat.)

The Tour de Fat pre-show is May 29 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Yards Park. Musicians and performers will entertain you while New Belgium beers refresh you. This free show will set the mood for the big day Saturday.

Last but not least, congratulations to Instagram user @chipper_skipper, whose lovely photo won a BicycleSPACE tune-up in the Tour de Fat DC photo contest.

Bike to Work Day 2015: One for the history books

A record 17,500+ people joined in Bike to Work Day this year. You -- the new and longtime Washington Area bicyclists -- are proof that bicycle commuting is viable, efficient, enjoyable and increasingly mainstream. Thank you for bicycling on May 15 and sending this message just by being you.

All year around, bicyclists are the VIPs of our community. On the day when bicyclists are in the spotlight, we draw attention far and wide. A Cabinet Secretary wanted to join our movement, so we welcomed U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez to our upcoming Mt. Vernon Triangle shop at 440 K St NW. 

We learned Sec. Perez is a serious cyclist in real life. He didn't speak from the podium with the microphone, but he was most assuredly there with us. Dressed in cycling gear, the Secretary rolled his bike down the red carpet then spoke informally with bicyclists.   

We also received visits from Tommy Wells, Director of the District Department of the Environment; D.C. Councilmember David Grosso; and D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen.

We rolled out the red carpet for you and you looked mahvelous, dahling.

The photographic evidence:

440 K St NW was the place to see and be seen on the red carpet.

440 K St NW was the place to see and be seen on the red carpet.

More multimedia:

Facebook photo album

Instagram video from the red carpet

A time-lapse video of Sec. Perez's Bike to Work Day ride to us

Wouldn't it be great if there were more bike lanes and better bicycle infrastructure? We're working on it. Help show strength in numbers and advocate with us. 

For starters, please stay up to date with Washington Area Bicyclist Association campaigns and calls to action. Also, we encourage you to get involved in the D.C. Bicycle Advisory Council, a public agency comprised of bicyclists appointed by D.C. elected officials. The council's job is to advise policymakers on legislative matters of interest to bicyclists. The council issues advisory recommendations to improve the transportation system for bicyclists. BicycleSPACE co-owner Erik Kugler is a BAC member appointed by Councilmember Grosso. D.C. residents are invited to attend the council's public meetings and to serve on its committees. The council meets at 6 p.m. on the first Wednesday of the month at 441 4th St NW.

Bike to Work Day 2015

In this year of exciting growth to three BicycleSPACE shops, May 15 Bike to Work Day is especially meaningful to us. We're proud to sponsor this benchmark event that shows policymakers the quantifiable demand for better bicycle infrastructure. 

So, where's the party?

Our home base is the Mt. Vernon Triangle pit stop at 440 K St NW, site of our upcoming shop. We're literally rolling out the red carpet for you there.

This being a special occasion, prominent elected and appointed officials will join you -- our everyday VIPs -- at Mt. Vernon Triangle.

We're expecting visits from:

  • Hon. Tom Perez, U.S. Secretary of Labor
  • Hon. Tommy Wells, Director, District Department of the Environment
  • Hon. David Grosso, D.C. Councilmember
  • Hon. Charles Allen, D.C. Councilmember (pending confirmation)

As we grow to the largest bicycle retailer in D.C., we're adding 40 jobs to employ a total of 70+ people. We're proud to stand as a D.C.-based small business on the cusp of exponential growth and we're honored that Sec. Perez is literally standing with us. (Do you want in? Yes, we're hiring).

The Secretary will speak at approximately 8:30 a.m.

Let's amass our BicycleSPACE community spirit and show the power of our numbers during the Secretary's remarks. Please plan to stay for the Secretary's appearance to represent the best of Bike D.C. We'd be so grateful if you'd re-route yourself to come to 440 K St NW. 

What's more, our neighbors at Baked & Wired would love to see and feed you. The cafe isn't open yet, but Baked & Wired will be there with sample sizes of Hippie Crack Granola for you. Le Pain Quotidien and Safeway are also generously donating breakfast for you. BicycleSPACE thanks the Mt. Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District for our fruitful partnership.

While you fuel up, you can get to know Arc'teryx, a Canadian retailer of rugged, fashionable outerwear. The company recently opened its first D.C. shop and will be at the pit stop to exhibit its high-performance apparel.

If another pit stop is more convenient to you, please join us at Freedom Plaza or Adams Morgan. The parties will be large and lively at both places.

You can also find us at these pit stops:

*For those who just can't get enough of the fun, come to the Bike from Work pit stop in Columbia Heights from 4 to 7 p.m. We'll be there to let the good times roll, BicycleSPACE style.  

Please be sure to register. Signing up really does count as meaningful data that helps improve bicycling facilities.

See you and your bike in the Bike to Work Day spotlight Friday! 


Public service announcement: One of the best kept transportation secrets is a program called Guaranteed Ride Home. It serves bicyclists, transit riders and others who live car-free or car-lite. If you need to get home in an emergency, unexpected or unscheduled situation, your ride is guaranteed for free.

Dear Mt. Vernon Triangle: Hello, again

Co-owner Phil Koopman (left), co-owner Erik Kugler and General Manager David Dorn outside the soon-to-be BicycleSPACE shop at 440 K St NW.

Co-owner Phil Koopman (left), co-owner Erik Kugler and General Manager David Dorn outside the soon-to-be BicycleSPACE shop at 440 K St NW.

In anticipation of opening our brick-and-mortar shop this spring at 440 K St NW, BicycleSPACE is saying "hello, again" to Mt. Vernon Triangle.

Co-owner Erik Kugler will speak about the shop at the May 5 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6E. The meeting takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Shaw library.

Likening the Lyric Building shop to a "dream come true," Kugler said, "it's exactly the kind of space we've been working for since our inception."

Recalling BicycleSPACE's first temporary shop in Mt. Vernon Triangle in 2010, Kugler said, "no matter how big our company gets, we will always remember the early support of the Mt. Vernon Triangle community and consider Mt. Vernon Triangle to be our home."

BicycleSPACE will also be in the neighborhood for these mid-month events:

5/15 Bike to Work Day. We'll host a pit stop outside our shop from 7 to 9 a.m. Pre-register to be counted as a regional bicycle commuter and to reserve a coveted t-shirt. 

5/16 Spring Fest. Hurray for spring and opening day of the Triangle's FRESHFARM Market. This creates a fine occasion to come together, celebrate the season and prepare for the opening of our shop. We'll have a table on the plaza from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to share bikelove and community pride with our neighbors. Visit us and shop the market to nourish mind, body and  spirit.

Please visit our Facebook events page to view the May activities we're organizing from our temporary shop in Chinatown at 700 5th St NW. Please subscribe to our newsletter to tune into BicycleSPACE community events. Take a two-wheeled spring fling with us!

Bicycling in D.C.: Part I

BicycleSPACE is proud to sponsor Bike to Work Day on May 15. It’s thrilling to see as many as 18,000 Washingtonians illustrating the power of the bicycle as everyday transportation. In this three-part series, BicycleSPACE co-owner Erik Kugler takes a long view of bicycle commuting, sharing navigation strategies gleaned over more than 20 years. Parts II and III will publish on May 8 and 11.

As an introduction, I’m Erik Kugler and I’ve been riding bicycles in the Washington, D.C. region for more than 20 years.  I have never once been involved in an accident.
I’ve followed with great interest the media debate about cycling scofflaws. As more and more people start using bicycles as transportation, it’s apparent that our traffic laws and infrastructure willfully ignore the safety needs of people riding bicycles.
I was asked in my City Paper interview whether I wear a helmet and whether I run red lights. That question has caused me to circle back and re-examine the expectations of the general public and even bicycle advocacy organizations and to compare that with what is actually the best for people who get around by bicycle.
Overall, the primary concern for me while I’m out on a bicycle is to get to my destination as safely as possible, intact to carry on living and ride another day. This is the guiding frame of reference for the advice I’m about to give.  

Unfortunately, the people who design and implement our bicycle infrastructure do not have the same priorities. Often, the main criterion for infrastructure designers and traffic-flow experts is getting as many cars moving as swiftly as possible, not protecting the lives of bicyclists and pedestrians and our most vulnerable – the young, the old and the sick.
We in D.C. are projected to have a population increase of 20,000 per year for each of the next 10 years. If you’ve been downtown – or even uptown – during rush hour, you’ll see that we’re already at maximum car capacity.

With more and more people moving into the city and the roads already at capacity, many are turning to the bicycle as transportation. This is happening and will continue to happen, whether our Department of Transportation (DDOT) likes it or not.  

If they do not build a safe bicycle infrastructure, we will experience more and more chaos on the roads, characterized by hot tempers and confrontation. And it won’t take much for it to spiral out of control. The moveDC plan is a great step forward. If it is not implemented rapidly and the situation descends into more consistent chaos, then it will be the leaders at DDOT and those who give their marching orders who are responsible. I would hope that no one would want to be responsible for creating a violent dynamic, even if it meant that there were vocal complainers, led by people like Courtland Milloy and his employer, the Washington Post.
Until we get a safe, connected bicycle transportation system, we all need to use what I’ve learned over the past 20 years to stay safe and avoid confrontation.
Most of riding safely is knowing the danger points and avoiding them either altogether or before they become an issue. As corny as it sounds, I use the I.P.D.E. method which I was taught in high school drivers ed. Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute. That would be the one sentence which sums this all up.
What are the major danger points, the potentially dangerous situations to avoid? 
First, identify the flashpoints.

1. Taxis. The problem with taxis is that they are unpredictable. They are more concerned about their next fare than road safety. This is ironic because they use a public resource (our roads) for their personal gain, so one would think that they’d be held to a higher standard. Expect that when you’re near a taxi, it will suddenly stop, make a U-turn, open doors into your path or even honk at you. They are a complete wildcard. Expect erratic behavior and you’ll be prepared. Nine times out of 10, nothing will happen. That one time eventually will happen, so expect it and you’ll never have any trouble.

2. Slow or erratic cars. Chances are that they will randomly exhibit behavior similar to taxi drivers. They are either lost, texting, drunk, angry or otherwise distracted. Look for the warning signs and either stay behind or pass with a very wide berth.

3. Tourists. In the spring and summer – and really almost any time of the year – our District is loaded with tourists. I love tourists and all they bring to and take away from our city. But, they’re a hazard and should be avoided just like other hazards. Why? Well, they’re not used to bicycles being a form of transportation and they’re so absorbed in seeing new things and pointing them out to others that they are not so aware of their surroundings. Tourists are in the habit of backing up randomly to get a better view. They may be walking in a very seemingly predictable way and all of a sudden their kid runs out at a 90-degree angle from their path. Or, even as commonly, the one on your side as you pass swings an arm out, fully extended to point at something. Or they stop and back up randomly as they try to perfectly frame their photo.

4. Joggers with or without headphones or anyone with headphones. They have the habit of stopping suddenly or making a U-turn, especially when you are passing on a bike path. I always slow down to just a tiny bit faster than the walker or jogger in confined areas and only speed up again when I’m sure they’ve seen me or are aware that I’m there.

5. Right turn on red. When drivers pull up to a red light and are looking to turn right, they usually only look left to make sure they’re not in personal danger of pulling out in front of another motor vehicle. They are not looking to their right. Don’t be there.

6. Trucks and buses. God bless them, they are supplying our city with everything we need to live well. But, their visibility is very limited. Don’t ride near a moving truck or bus and expect that they will turn in front of you because they don’t see you.

7. Rush-hour commuters and speeding drivers. They just want to get home or to their meetings and they have a horrible attitude. Avoid the roads that commuters use. Avoid riding on busy roads. Don’t do it. Sidewalks are a better alternative if they exist, even if the law says you can’t use them. For example, take the south side of Massachusetts Avenue NW. It’s nice and wide, it’s grade separated and it’s much safer than riding on the road, even if the laws don’t permit it. Your responsibility is to live another day, not to act like you’re a car, which you’re not. Many cyclists study maps to find alternative, safer routes, even if it means going a block or two out of your way. Talk with others to see what they do. Connect with people like those at Friday Coffee Club or join our Nice & Easy rides and we’ll show you safer ways to go.

8. Oncoming drivers turning in front of you. They don’t see you. Watch the front wheels of cars showing suspicious behavior for clues that they’re going to turn in front of you and make sure you have an out if you need it.

Next steps:

  • Register for May 15 Bike to Work Day. Bicyclists pre-registered by May 8 get a status-symbol t-shirt.

Welcome to bicycling

Yes, you can.

You can bicycle to work, play, errands and otherwise meet life's demands.

Here are just a few of our favorite resources to get started.

Please join our Nice & Easy beginner rides every Saturday and Sunday at 10 am. If you don't have your own bike, you can test ride one of ours or use a Capital Bikeshare trial membership. 

We encourage you to bicycle because it's an addictively joyful way to get around. Just ask the experts. Science has proven a link between bicycling and happiness, as reported here and here.

We're at your service to answer your questions and help you give bicycling a whirl.

Speak up for trails

March 20 update: We'll lead a ride along the Metropolitan Branch Trail on Saturday, March 21. After taking a look at the trail, we'll attend the 1 pm meeting on completing the northern end. The ride departs from our shop at 700 5th St NW at 11:30 am.   

There are several upcoming opportunities to take action to help improve regional trails. You don't have to be a trailblazer to attend a meeting, write a letter, drink a beer or go to a festival in support of better trails.

Thursday, 3/19

To prepare for a public meeting Saturday, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is having a working happy hour at 6 pm at Simple Bar in Brightwood. Get up to speed on issues related to the northern parts of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, the subject of a meeting D.C. officials are holding on March 21. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

Saturday, 3/21

The District Department of Transportation and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B will hold a public meeting on the preliminary design of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Brookland to Takoma Park. The meeting takes place from 1 pm to 4 pm at the 4th District Police Headquarters, 6001 Georgia Ave NW. Click here for more information.

Saturday, 3/28

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is throwing a national party to celebrate "Opening Day for Trails." Motivated by the simple reason that "it's time to get out and play," the local festivities are taking place from 10 am to 2 pm along the Custis Trail in Rosslyn, directly across Lee Highway from Gateway Park. Click here for more information.  

The D.C. mayor's office is seeking to appoint new members to the Recreational Trails Advisory Committee. The committee makes advisory recommendations as to how the District should spend federal funds for trails. Click here for more information.

Time to be artsy and literary

Bikes, art and literature intersect at several upcoming events. 

Tuesday, March 17
Bikes vs. Cars film. It's the opening night of the Environmental Film Festival and the D.C. premiere of the Swedish film "Bikes vs. Cars." The event takes place at 7 pm at the Carnegie Institution, 1530 P St NW. The $25 ticket includes a post-film discussion and reception. Two Wheel Valet will park your bike and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association will have a literature table. Click here for more information and tickets.

Sunday, March 22
Join BicycleSPACE on a tour of D.C. murals, departing from our shop at 700 5th St NW at 11:30 am. Learn more on our Facebook event page.

Thursday, March 26
Former Stanford climate change researcher David Kroodsma will give a presentation on his world travels by bicycle. Hear his experiences interviewing laypeople and experts about climate change across three continents, as reported in his new book, "The Bicycle Diaries." The slideshow and presentation takes place at 7:30 pm at our shop at 700 5th St NW.

Through Tuesday, March 31
A public art exhibit called Las Bicicletas is on display at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center through March 31. The exhibit is composed of 83 bicycle sculptures by Mexican abstract expressionist Gilberto Aceves Navarro. To achieve its objective that "bicycles are universally recognized as vehicles of happiness and health," Las Bicicletas seeks to "promote through art the use of bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation [and] to develop better living conditions for all people in friendlier cities." The largest public art exhibit by a single artist, Las Bicicletas is outdoors on the plaza at 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW.

Winter accessories sale and gloves report


On our cold, snowy Thursday and Friday this week, we urged our community to think warm thoughts. You must be powerful because it worked. The collective good vibes have warmed the temperature and reassured us spring is coming. 

This means we need to make room on the sales floor for new merchandise and clear out the winter goods. Please take winter hats, caps, gloves and helmet liners off our shelves and into your home. Please take 25% off these items to hasten their departure from our stock.

In summary:

BicycleSPACE Winter Accessories Sale

Take 25% off hats, caps, gloves and helmet liners


You can stop reading here and hop to the shop like the Easter Bunny. Or you can take a moment to review our gloves report that follows. 



Your hands are the farthest forward part of your body on a bike. This means they are first to hit the wind and feel the chill.

Besides just looking cool and keeping your fingers warm, gloves also protect your hands from road vibrations or the road itself. A little bit of padding on the glove can make long rides more comfortable. While we all do our best not to fall, sometimes it happens and you’d rather tear up a glove than the palm of your hand. 

Knit gloves

Perfect for brisk weather, these knit gloves are thin enough to let you dig a phone out of your pocket, but thick enough to take the bite out of the wind. Depending on how good your circulation is, these will keep your fingers toasty down to about 40 degrees. 


Wind stopper


Between 30 and 40 degrees is where a little insulation and wind-proofing makes a huge difference. The Castelli Chiro gloves have some of both. The thin insulation gives you the dexterity to operate shifters and press buttons on your lights.



Lobster-claw gloves are like mittens, except that your pinky and ring fingers go in one space, and pointer and middle in another. These gloves have warmed their way into the hearts of many a cold-weather cyclist since they give you the best of both mittens and gloves. You get the warmth of a mitten and dexterity of a glove.

The Giro 100 Proof gloves have warm insulation and windproof and waterproof treatments. They even feature a little tiny pocket in which you can insert a chemical hand warmer.