I have recently become a biker and I am obsessed. No I don’t ride a ten-speed. I have no idea what a fixed gear is. I don’t even have a lock because I share my bike with 5,000 people and it is constantly “stolen”. I am a Capital Bikeshare member, and I am addicted.
Bikes docked at a station
Capital Bikeshare is relatively new to the district, although similar systems are thriving in Paris and London. You can become a yearly or monthly member, or temporarily rent bikes for 1 day or 5 days. The system is simple – you take out a bike at a station, and return it to any other station across the city. The first 30 minutes are free after that there are incremental costs over time.
The best part of Capital Bikeshare is that there are docks all over the city and it is so easy to hop on and off and pop into a restaurant, meet a friend for drinks, or go for a scenic ride through Rock Creek Park.
Station map of all the bike docks. Click the map to see real time updates on number of bikes and docks available at each station.
Capital Bikeshare is a fantastic way to explore the city and take a little mini-vacation in your own backyard. Here is a suggested weekend itinerary for DC residents, or for tourists seeking sites and activities while crusin on bikes.
Morning – Bike over to Eastern Market – station is at 7th and Pennsylvania SE. Have brunch at Ted’s Bulletin if you can stand the wait and are craving homemade poptarts. If not, make a reservation ahead of time at Belga Cafe and get the green eggs. After brunch, walk over to Eastern Market and check out the crafts and antiques and various stalls across the street, make sure to check out the mirrors from Olde Goode Things.
Afternoon – From Eastern Market, walk on over to Capitol Hill and pick up a bike at 3rd and D SE. Bike past the Capitol, Library of Congress and down the National Mall towards Dupont Circle. Cut through Pennsylvania Ave at 15th street so you can bike past the White House. Wave to Barack and Michelle if you are skilled enough to bike one-handed (I’m getting there).
Dock your bike at the Dupont Circle station at Massachusetts Ave and Dupont Circle. Browse the shops in Dupont and pick up a late lunch at Sweetgreen and some reading material at Books-A-Million and relax in the park. You’ll need to rest up for more biking!
Evening – Bike over to the station at 14th and R NW and grab a table at Standard beer garden. Enjoy a delicious beer or maybe a soft pretzel with house mustard, but don’t fill up too much because dinner is just around the corner (literally). Head over to Estadio for delicious tapas and refreshing cocktails. I strongly recommend the shrimp, roasted mushrooms, spicy kale and the house signature drink the Porron. For late night festivities, walk over to Cafe St. Ex, Patty Boom Boom or U Street Music Hall
Morning – Back at Dupont Circle, grab a croissant and some fresh fruit at the Dupont Farmer’s Market. If you need a little more than that after last night’s festivities, grab an empanada or go all out and have brunch at Cafe Dupont. With your energy restored hop on a bike and head towards H street NE. This is going to be the longest haul yet but if you pedal fast you can make it in 30 minutes and avoid extra charges.
Afternoon – Dock your bike at 13th and H NE and walk over to H Street Country Club for some mini golf and other games. After you are finished playing putt-putt, grab a beer at Biergarten Haus and take in the outdoor space. Sober up before your next ride and grab some mussels at Granville Moore’s which also has a great beer selection but make sure you don’t go overboard or you could go over the handle bars on the ride back.
Evening – Walk on over to Dangerously Delicious Pies and get a to-go order of keylime pie, trust me. Then head back to the H Street station and bike towards Gallery Place for a Sunday night movie. Dock your bike at 7th and F and from there either go mainstream at the Regal or indie at E Street Cinema. Make sure you sneak your pie in for a mid-flick snack.
Obviously my bike tour is heavily focused on food and drink, but you are burning so many calories who cares how many beers you drink or slices of pie you consume (4)!
I hope that this itinerary inspires you to hop on a bike and experience DC in a fun and unique way. Don’t forget to follow road signs and ride safe!