Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Back in Black (Spandex): The Homecoming

Greetings, loyal readers. The rumors (mostly started by me) are true: I'm heading home!

Many of you have been following the Bikeable Feast around the country as Ollie and I explored organic farms and community gardens, ranches and food co-ops, kitchens and edible schoolyards. We've met with farmers, educators, chefs, and policy makers as we worked, camped, and cooked our way around this big, beautiful country. Your help and encouragement, and in some cases donations, have helped us along. We may have been out on the road on our own, but we were not alone. In fact, we could never have done this alone.

We'll be rolling into the city soon and that means that it's time to celebrate. We've missed you! Ollie and I invite you to join us for the final ride into our beloved District of Columbia, and for some food and drink at one of our favorite local restaurants on Saturday, July 10th.

The plan
Meet along the Mt. Vernon bike trail at 3pm and bike into the city together. Enjoy food and drinks afterwards and have your picture taken with the famous J. Olympia Surly (or at least try not to spill beer on her... unless it's a local brew).

Info for cyclists
We'll meet up along the Mt. Vernon trail just north of Founders Park. Closest cross streets are Pendleton Street and N Union Street in Old Town, Alexandria. Closest metro stop is Braddock Road on the blue/yellow line. (Those arriving early will most likely find me scarfing a cone of Chunky Monkey at the nearby Ben & Jerry's.)

The route* (and approximate timing, allowing time for, um, well, a flat tire or two...)
3 pm Mt. Vernon Trail: Old Town Alexandria to the Key Bridge (8 miles)
4 pm Key Bridge to C&O Canal Towpath mile marker zero (where it all began! -- 0.5 miles)
5 pm A restaurant in Columbia Heights (location to be determined)
After 10 pm (and a couple of beers) I wouldn't be surprised if I talked a few folks into a little dancing at one of my favorite local hotspots....

For those who are not cyclists, or who for one reason or another prefer to meet up with us at the restaurant, I will be posting information on the venue soon.

There will be some ABF end-of-tour commemorative postcards for those who might want to contribute a few dollars -- with original Vincent artwork and recipes, as always. (Funds raised will go toward a plane ticket to Italy this October, where I have been invited to attend the prestigious Terra Madre conference.)

*The Mount Vernon trail is 18 miles long, but we will be cycling only the final 8 miles of it. It is a *bike trail* so aside from street crossings should be relatively car-free. (Watch out for folks with strollers. Oh, and joggers with headphones. And for heaven's sake, wear a bike helmet. I am not above lecturing friends and loved ones on the dangers of not wearing a bike helmet, even during the homecoming festivities.) The rest of the ride will be on streets, but midday on a Saturday in a group should be relatively safe. Still, please be careful! Also, I'd advise bringing sunscreen, water, and a snack or two. If you're coming to the restaurant, you'll want to bring some cash and a sturdy bike lock to keep your ride safe.


  1. I wish I had a bike! (as if that's my only obstacle in not attending your homecoming...)


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