Published July 18, 2017
Like many D.C. transplants, when Lia Seremetis moved to the District seven years ago she sought out a community that would make her feel at home. As a biker, she missed a massive monthly group ride that had begun in her hometown of San Jose, California. It boasted thousands of attendees and had spread to other cities around the globe. Even though D.C. ranks as among the best cities in the country for cyclists, there was no Bike Party. So she decided to start one.
DC Bike Party is a volunteer-organized event bringing bike enthusiasts together en masse to pedal around the city, music pumping. When Seremetis first put up flyers for the first ride, about 25 people came. Then more showed, and more—reaching a zenith a few years ago of more than 800 bikers, according to a city traffic-counter who regularly pedaled along at the time. Now the monthly ride is celebrating its fifth anniversary with a few hundred bikers and perhaps twice that many beers on Friday. After meandering together along a new route, the destination is always a bar with lots of seating.
“It’s a rolling party, going down the streets. People come out to watch us roll by, and we get a lot of attention.” says Paul Lagoy, a volunteer who has been helping out with the D.C. Bike Party for about four years. He helps marshal and lead the pack of bikers, speeding ahead to make sure the route is clear and standing like a sentinel in front of cars so the group can pass through intersections quickly and safely. “It’s a stress-free ride.”
D.C. Bike Party usually meets every second Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Dupont Circle fountain. There’s a laisse-faire vibe. No one is required to wear a helmet or sport lights, unlike other organized rides, and there’s a defiant edge to the cheer. The golden rule is “don’t be a jerk,” and most seemed to abide by it when I tagged along. Pedestrians waved and took photos of the cheerful pack, although a few drivers flipped us the bird…read the rest here.