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Ben Folsom
Works at Bike Commuter Cabal
Attended University of Virginia
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Ben Folsom

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Riding a bike around town makes DC a different place.

Friday evening the missus and I hopped on bikes after work for a dinner date with folks from her office, knowing I wanted my bike for the long holiday weekend, I took the 85 Trek 620 and she took Capital Bikeshare.

We pedaled in a leisurely fashion from Union Station through Capitol Hill, where we saw setup happening for the big Memorial Day concert (this year's hosts were Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna and featured artists included Gloria Estefan, the National Symphony Orchestra and some guy from America's Got Talent), then on down to the Southwest Waterfront, near the baseball stadium, an area that is changing so rapidly we walked through an urban art space park that was not there the week before.

We took metro back and damn, getting on the subway with a bike is a hassle.
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Ben Folsom

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Bike to School Thursday ended with some dirt, grass and gravel on the way to grax quax some groceries for dinner. Young Master claimed he prefers pavement, his expression says otherwise.
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I sense there may be a mountain bike in this young man's future.
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Ben Folsom

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It's a Bike to School Thursday!

61F / 16C and light rain and Young Master and I are not deterred. Today's ride was a bit like the video game where no matter how slow you progress or how careful you are, obstacles are programmed to appear at the same spots in the environment:

* The difficult driver that seems shocked and impatient to encounter morning school congestion despite the school's physical presence since the 1950s (we take the lane and signal left to enter the school, we had to wait for an arriving cheese wagon in the oncoming direction before we could take the left, holding up the driver behind me that was signaling furiously for me to 'move over');

* The kiss-and-ride drivers whose concern for others dissipates into vacuum the moment her angel is out of the car (we cruise through the kiss-and-ride line, as the only other approach to the bike racks is against the flow of kiss-and-ride departures, a lady in a Honda minivan clearly saw me as I was passing her on the way to the rack, yet presumably because my presence was paradoxical to her, she did not react properly and began to move to the egress, only showing her the hand caused her to stop);

Bike to School aside: I am continually disappointed, though not surprised, to see people that live within a half mile of me in their cars in the kiss-and-ride line, there is a strange phenomenon around here where people do not want their kids on the bus for whatever reason but will not walk or carpool with others. Granted it was raining today, which seems to make people lose basic courage, but still. It's less than a mile, folks. End Bike to School aside.

* The county schools maintenance vehicles that casually dominate the parking lot after buses depart, seeming to block every way off school grounds (this was literally like a video game, with one van cruising to close a gap that I shot through while another was queuing to close the next gap);

* The driver on the way back who seemed perplexed by my left turn signal and was not sure if she was going to gun it and dart in front of me or be patient and get behind me (she ended up compromising by running up to the end of the through lane and angling her car sort of behind me in such a way as to block both the through lane and the left turn lane).

Culturally our community is still confused by bicycles, and that is part of why we ride, to get people used to seeing bicycles. In this sense, we are settlers of a wild west.

The best moment of the day was meeting a dad at the bike rack who was impressed by our escapades riding to school. I got his name and it will be only a matter of time before he and his son are part of the neighborhood bike cabal.
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Yes, no matter how long I have been cycling myself, I still find it quite strange when car riders often show no common courtesy toward cyclists.
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Alexandria +Raccoon Riders Youth Cycling Club ride yesterday was pretty epic. With lacrosse over for the season, Young Master and +Jenn Folsom joined me and the Twin Turbines, and the ride was moved back to our neighborhood.

We went out and found our friends the old fashioned way, by knocking on doors and asking if they could come out for a bike ride. To the family Folsom we added neighborhood kids Derek, Lia and Owen. Eight miles of leisurely riding, safety instruction and conversation over 90 minutes.

Next club ride scheduled for Thursday.
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Our kiddo is less than 2 weeks old yet I already look forward to when she's old enough to get on a bike!
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Ben Folsom
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Mandals and sculpted guns,
Zombie Raccoon on the loose in the US capital.

I love riding my bike to work.
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Here's hoping there's at least a mankini out of frame.
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Ben Folsom

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It's Bike to Work Day!

Or as I like to call it, Friday!

Because I ride my bike to work every day, get it? See what I did there?

Today was different because it included one +Jenn Folsom, in her new kit with commuting bag and everything.

And there was bike congestion on the roads and trail. That is a pretty high-toned problem I would like to see more of.
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Yep, I would respectfully follow this bike .... about 4 feet behind the behind!  
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Have him in circles
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Ben Folsom
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Heatmometer said 46F / 8C at departure, that triggers the 52-degree rule. Base layer and arm warmers activated. I then went hunting for big game, and I found it in the form of many overdressed non-commuting roadies on morning rec rides. Only one took the bait and when I let him lead, clearly he was done so I bid him adieu.

I got up close to one guy at the end of the 14th Street Bridge into DC. This guy was a whippet in an all-black team kit and white helmet, he veered left to ride laps around Hains Point while I went right into town. I am confident he would have me for breakfast.

I love riding my bike to work. 
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Funny, today was my first no-glove, no-ear warmer ride of the year.  Long sleeve jersey though, my thinnest one.  Got way too sweaty under the hi-vis vest yesterday, so the time has come for just 1 layer.
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+Raccoon Riders Youth Cycling Club Thursday ride is canceled on a count of rain. I am going to put the little buggers to work in the kitchen making dinner.
 
It there being rain so far all day and for the continued, ever, Raccoon Riders Thursday club ride is CANCELED. Help your mom out instead.

See you Tuesday.
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I know that raccoon's faking the 'cute,' just to get close enough to eat my brain.  Stupid raccoon doesn't realize I don't have one!  Jokes on you... wait.
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How bout that. The Washington, DC metropolitan area is the fittest place in the country.

As a daily bike commuter and husband and father to an active family, these are statistics I am proud to be a part of. And a little bit smug.

Full report is here:
http://americanfitnessindex.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/acsm_afireport_2015.pdf
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We're Not Last! We're Not Last! We're Not Last! We're Not Last!
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+Raccoon Riders Youth Cycling Club are off on a neighborhood ride. We are taking this one seriously.
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Two hard men of the road
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+Raccoon Riders Youth Cycling Club Alexandria Chapter Tuesday Ride is ON. We move from Waynewood / Stratford back to Bucknell Manor this week.

Details at the link.
 
It's another great spring day, so let's get the kids on the road, Alexandria Raccoon Riders Tuesday Club Ride is ON.

Time: 6-7:30 PM

Meetup: Corner of Swarthmore and Dartmouth in Bucknell Manor, map: http://goo.gl/maps/cf2bm

What to bring: Your bike, a helmet, a water bottle and a snack or some cash money for one. There may be a CVS or 7-11 stop.

Agenda: 5-10 miles of neighborhood riding with lessons on skills and safety and some good conversation.

Get your bike out and ride. See you there.
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It's a Bike to School Monday!

Hot and muggy, the Young Master has finally convinced me to carry his backpack on the rear rack of my bike so he is unencumbered. The ride puts him in a good head space for his day, and for me it is special time together.
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I got out early..its gonna be 81 and muggy..and thunderstorms later...
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Have him in circles
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Johnathan Clark's profile photo
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  • Bike Commuter Cabal
    Bike Commuter, 2009 - present
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Relationship
Married
Story
Tagline
Rules 5 and 9
Introduction
Bike commuter with a wide range of interests, including riding, fixing and restoring bicycles.
Education
  • University of Virginia
    Anthropology, Italian, 1987 - 1992
  • American University
    MBA, 1998 - 2000
Links
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Ben Folsom's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Flash (TV Den)
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The official Google+ for COSMOS.

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The World's First Weather Website

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BikemanforU
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Never Fear BikemanforU Is Here

Bike touring for the first time -- 2009 Finger Lakes Tour
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On this cold winter day, I can very well use some warm memories of the past, in this case from my first "real" bike tour. "Real" because whe

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www.3LC.tv -Cycling Training Workout DVDs & Video Downloads with Mark Cavendish & Pete Kennaugh

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VeloInk decals make your bike happy :)

Cycling Nirvana/BRIEFS
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There are many styles of bikes, types of cycling and reasons to ride... and they're all good!

I Wear Spandex
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Trying to fit into my cycling spandex. Losing weight with cycling, low carb, paleo, and anything else that works. Does beer work? Sharing it all on the blog.

Capital Weather Gang
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The inside scope on weather in the D.C. area and beyond

Grateful Dead Listening Guide
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Help navigating choices in the sea of Grateful Dead shows.