More than 14,000 bicyclists—including a few lawyers—saddled up for Washington's annual bike to work day.
The event is meant to encourage cyclists of all skill levels to commute by bike and raise awareness about biking. There are more than 70 pit stops, scattered across D.C., Maryland and Virginia, for the riders.
T. Scott Thompson, a communications partner at Davis Wright Tremaine, has been commuting to work via bicycle from Arlington, Va. for the past 12 years. Thompson, who was a competitive cyclist in college, said a couple of co-workers spurred him to start commuting by bike in 2001. After about a month, he was hooked.
Thompson rides year-round. But he skips riding in poor weather—for instance, cold and rainy. Often, he will get in a few 3-mile loops around Hains Point—near the Jefferson Memorial—to add to his 14-mile roundtrip commute.
"Even 15 years ago, D.C. was a reasonably OK place to ride your bike, particularly downtown," Thompson said. "I perceive that there are a lot more people commuting by bike in the last five to seven years. I know that come springtime, when I ride to work, the trail becomes busier and busier."
Friday was the first ride to work of the season for Jonathan Aronie, co-managing partner of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton's Washington office. Aronie, who says he tries to ride a couple of days a week—when it’s warm—travels 10.5 miles from Glenn Echo, Md. down either the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal or Capital Crescent trail.
Aronie said that he uses the ride as a way to add variety to his daily workout regimen and temporary respite from the demands of work.
"I like having time to think with no phone calls, no iPhone, no computer, and I love that feeling of smug self-righteousness as you zoom by the people stuck in traffic," Aronie said. "It doesn't matter whether it has a basket with a flower or a racing bike, we're all doing the same thing."
Photos courtesy of Thompson and Aronie. Top photo by Matthew Huisman.