Author Archives: Bike and Roll DC

Bike & Read: Our Most Bikeable Reading Spots in DC ft. She’s Full of Lit

Greetings, Rollers!

USE OFFER CODE “LIT” FOR $5 OFF A FULL DAY OR OVERNIGHT RENTAL!

As our peak season comes to a close and the leaves begin to change, we wanted to share a list of bikeable places to read a book! The temperatures are finally dropping, and the time to indulge in a day-rental with Bike and Roll is now! We offer several bikes and attachments to get you on your way. All rentals come with a free helmet and bike lock for safe riding, as well as a recovery service if you hit a bump in the road. For a more leisurely ride, rent an electric bike; all the fun with less pedaling!

Pack a thermos of apple cider, a blanket, your favorite book and ride through the fall foliage to a spot listed below. Are none of the books on your shelves yearning to be read? No worries! I’ve enlisted my longtime friend and voracious reader, Elizabeth, to give you some suggestions.

Elizabeth, take it away!

  • Meet Elizabeth from She's Full of Lit!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth, and I’m one of the three bloggers over at She’s Full of Lit; in addition to being a big reader, I’m also a consultant based in DC who enjoys a book outdoors, so I’m happy to provide some recommendations for all of you here. She’s Full of Lit is a joint effort with my friends Shannon and Moira (both based in New York), and we chat about our favorite and our least favorite books, share thoughts about everything from what wine goes best with that work of fiction to facemasks to make your nonfiction reads better, and just live our best basic bookworm lives. With three of us blogging and reviewing, we bring a variety of perspectives, and our individual tastes and preferences are pretty wide-ranging. We’d love for you to check out our daily book reviews (and other recommendations) either on the blog or on Instagram. Let me know if you read any of the below, too!

Malcolm X ParkMalcolm X Park is my go-to spot to read outside (I live just up the street), and I have spent a lot of time on a blanket on the grass underneath the statue of Joan of Arc. I think the best choice for a read here would be either “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood or “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead, as they seem in line with what Malcolm X stood for: fighting for equality (both subtly and not-so-subtly). “The Nickel Boys” is a hard-but-great portrayal of life in a reform school in Florida in the 1960s, written by the amazing Colson Whitehead, and “The Testaments” is the long-awaited follow-up to “The Handmaid’s Tale” that gives us an inside look at Gilead. Both will make you think, both will make you want to speak up and act out. Plus, if you visit on a Sunday, you’ll get the drum circles as a soundtrack! Always a plus.

Dumbarton Oaks Park – Dumbarton Oaks Park is one of my favorite places to go in DC to feel like I’m not in the middle of DC; it’s peaceful, it’s uncrowded, it’s full of trees and creeks. Bad segue (or should I say Segway?) here: “Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim is the book that I would recommend wholeheartedly for this woodsy location. This courtroom thriller, set in the suburbs of DC, is one of my favorite reads this year. It kept me guessing until the final chapter who actually committed the crime at the center of the novel: the explosion of a hyperbaric chamber that may cure a range of medical conditions, from autism to infertility. Plus, Angie Kim is from DC!

Constitution Gardens – I didn’t grow up in DC, and so most of my early impressions of the National Mall generally come from pop culture; mainly, Forrest Gump or pictures on the news. One that especially sticks out in my mind is the installation of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and so I feel compelled to recommend “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai, an incredibly insightful read about the impact of the AIDS epidemic, from the earliest days of the crisis to more current times. It begins at the outbreak of the virus in the 1980s, and it tells the story of a small Chicago community over the intervening three decades, as they are impacted by the disease in big and small ways. I used to work in HIV/AIDS, so I feel confident in saying this book is impeccably researched, but it’s not at all clinical – it’s an amazing story of human resilience.

National Portrait Gallery Bench – The atrium at the National Portrait Gallery is an amazing spot to sit and read, but also to people watch; it’s always been busy, but I feel like it’s been even more so since the portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama were installed. The Presidential Portrait Gallery has long been a favorite of mine, and so I would like to propose you read “Charlotte Walsh Likes to Win” by Jo Piazza after a stroll through there. It’s the story of an ambitious woman, Charlotte, running for Senate in Pennsylvania in the post-2016 era. Yes, there are parallels to that female candidate in 2016, but it’s so much more than that. It’s an insightful novel about gender politics, happiness, and the eternal question, “can you really have it all?”

Potomac Riverbank – I love that the flight path into DC from some directions comes down over the Potomac – it allows for such an amazing view of iconic Washington spots: the memorials, the Capitol, and the Pentagon. I didn’t live here during 9/11, but reading “The Only Plane in the Sky” by Garrett M. Graff certainly made me feel like I was here that day (it also made me feel like I was on Flight 93, and in the rubble of the World Trade Center, and in an eerily quiet New York City). Garrett Graff, another DC resident, constructed an incredible oral history of September 11, talking to over 200 individuals to create the story of the day as it was actually lived by those intimately involved. I think everyone needs to read this book – it’s an essential piece in understanding how we got where we are today, as a nation, but it’s also an amazing portrait of strength, resilience, and hope.

GW University Yard “The Other’s Gold” by Elizabeth Ames is one of my favorite recent reads set in and around a college. It’s the story of four women that begins the day that their friendship did: the first day of college. They have an immediate connection (always good with randomly assigned suitemates!), and the book follows them even as they scatter post-college. The book is divided into four parts, one for each of the women, centering on the “big mistake” that defines their lives. I don’t want to spoil anything, but this is a great novel about the power of forgiveness, friendship, and college fun.

Honestly, this was the hardest category for me to narrow down, so I’m providing a few more “school-ish” books for consideration. If you like spooky secret societies, “Ninth House” by Leigh Bardugo is a great treat. If you like snarky social commentary, go with “The Gifted School” by Bruce Holsinger. For a modern classic, you can’t do any better than “The Secret History” by Donna Tartt.

Eastern Market I used to live in Southeast, and one of my favorite Saturday morning activities was to wander around Eastern Market with a cup of coffee and a breakfast sandwich; it’s actually something I would consider hopping on a bike for, tbh! There are so many inspiring food and grocery vendors at the market that make me want to go home and whip up a fancy meal, and so “Save Me the Plums” by Ruth Reichl seems like the obvious choice for a book recommendation here. Ruth Reichl is a food writer and critic (and prolific author), and this memoir tells the story of her days at the helm of Gourmet magazine. It’s a fascinating inside look at not only food culture, but also magazine publishing at its heyday. This is a quick and fun read that is only made better by a great snack

Thanks, Elizabeth! Be sure to give She’s Full of Lit a follow on their Instagram page (@shesfulloflit) for recommendations to stockpile your cozy reading nook with. Our staff at Bike and Roll has been reading this summer and have recommendations for you as well!

Georgia, Assistant Tour Manager: “The Sound and the Fury” by William Faulkner

Oshaine, Operations Manager: “Destiny” by T.D. Jakes

Rachel, Rentals Manager: “The Goose Girl” by Shannon Hale

Robert, Assistant Tour Manager: “Red Mars” by Kim Stanley Robinson

I have been reading “The Summons” by John Grisham. I found this book in a “Little Book Library” in my old neighborhood, Eckington. I was drawn to take this book home with me because it takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia and Washington D.C. As a recent D.C. transplant from The University of Virginia, I was thrilled to stumble upon a book that is split between my two homes. The book focuses on the sons of a powerful judge who dies suddenly after issuing a summons to visit and review the plans for his estate. What the two brothers discover in the wake of his passing forces them to question their father’s character, and later, their own.  “The Summons” proves once again, you can’t go wrong with Grisham.

  • “Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson

Now that you have some books and quintessentially DC spots to explore, what’s holding you back? Visit our rentals page or call to inquire about renting a bike from us today!

USE OFFER CODE “LIT” FOR $5 OFF A FULL DAY OR OVERNIGHT RENTAL!

Yes! We sell bikes!

Are you looking to buy a bike? Our bikes have been carefully looked after by our rentals and mechanic staff and are a great, affordable option. When you buy from Bike and Roll, you can be assured that your used bike will be in pristine condition. Interested? Email Rudy at bikesale@bikeandrolldc.com.

Cherry Blossoms 2019!

In honor of Women’s History Month and the release of the Peak Bloom dates for the Cherry Blossom Festival, here is a #tbt to the ladies who started it all.

After arriving back to Washington, DC from her first visit to Japan, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (first female board member of the National Geographic Society) was so enamored by the Cherry Blossom trees there that she suggested that some be planted along the reclaimed land by the Potomac River.  It took her 24 years before the idea finally took root. In 1909, Scidmore decided to raise money to buy some cherry trees and donate them to the District. Mainly out of formality, Scidmore wrote a letter to First Lady Helen Herron Taft and she enthusiastically responded back taking up the task of acquiring the trees.  On August 30, 1909, the Embassy of Japan informed the U.S. State Department that on behalf of Mayor Yukio Ozaki, the city of Tokyo intended to donate 2000 cherry trees to the U.S. to be planted along the Potomac as a symbol of the growing and continued friendship between the U.S. and Japan. Unfortunately, when they arrived the trees were infested with insects and nematodes, so they sadly had to be burned.  Another donation of 3,020 trees were shipped over on February 14, 1912. On March 27th, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. These two trees still stand today at the end of 17th Street SW! 

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore

Helen Herron Taft, 1909.

Helen Herron Taft, 1909.

 

You can see these breathtaking trees in full bloom on our Blossoms by Bike tour! The National Park Service projects Cherry Blossom 2019 peak bloom dates to be April 3rd to April 6th. Book now to take in the beauty of the blossoms and more on our two-hour tour, the official bike tour of the National Cherry Blossom Festival!
This special ride showcases the famous Japanese cherry trees, their history and the amazing sea of pink and white blossoms. Book now for the best dates! http://bit.ly/BlossomsByBike

Cherry Blossoms in Full Bloom

Tour Guide Connor’s Christmas on Wheels Favorites

We asked our awesome tour guides what their favorite Christmas on Wheels tour stops were.  They were super enthusiastic with their responses because, well, they just love Christmas in D.C.!

Next up is Tour Guide Connor!

 

Q: How long have you been a guide at Bike and Roll?

A: I’ve been a tour guide with Bike and Roll since August 2018. 

Q: What is your favorite stop on the Christmas tour and why?

A: The Willard! The tree in the lobby and the gingerbread sculpture always put me in the Christmas spirit, and the hot chocolate is the best I’ve ever had. 

Q: Why do love being a tour guide here?

A: I meet people from all over the world and show them the amazing city I get to call home. Plus, riding Segways is really fun. 

Pictures courtesy of Willard InterContinental DC Instagram 

Tour Guide Rebecca’s Christmas on Wheels Favorites

We asked our awesome tour guides what their favorite Christmas on Wheels tour stops were.  They were super enthusiastic with their responses because, well, they just love Christmas in D.C.!

Next up is Tour Guide Rebecca!

Q: How long have you been a guide at Bike and Roll?

A: I have been a tour guide with Bike and Roll since March and I love it! 

Q: What is your favorite stop on the Christmas tour and why?

A: My absolute favorite stop on the Christmas tour is the Willard Hotel for hot chocolate! It is the perfect Christmas snack to help stay warm on the tour!  

Q: Why do love being a tour guide here?

A: I love being a Bike and Roll guide because I get to meet so many fun people from around the country and world on my tours! I love asking my riders what else they are doing on their trip to DC and offering suggestions for places to eat or things to visit. 

Tour Guide Bill’s Christmas on Wheels Favorites

We asked our awesome tour guides what their favorite Christmas on Wheels tour stops were.  They were super enthusiastic with their responses because, well, they just love Christmas in D.C.!

We start with Tour Guide Bill!

Q: How long have you been a guide at Bike and Roll?

A: I’ve been a tour guide with Bike and Roll for 5 years. 

Q: What is your favorite stop on the Christmas tour and why?

A: I love seeing the Capitol Tree brought in each year, it’s just a majestic setting for a tree.  You also can’t beat the holiday decorations at the Willard. 

Q: Why do love being a tour guide here?

A: After 5 years of Segway tours, it’s still fun meeting great people and sharing tidbits about things here in the Nation’s Capital. 

Willard Christmas Decorations

Capitol Christmas Tree “DUSK” By: S N LONG

Check back for our next Tour Guide installment!

The Best Last Minute Holiday Gift!

Every kid asks for a bike for Christmas, and so should every adult! Looking for a last minute Christmas gift to give to that energetic outdoor loving person in your life? Well look no further because we have that gift for you!

Give the gift of a Trek Verve 3 Hybrid bike. We’re selling our Trek Verve 3 bikes ranging in sizes from 13” to 25”.  These bicycles are perfect for commuting and city riding and would look great under your Christmas tree!

 

Our expertly maintained fleet has been sustained by professional mechanics and tuned up for the sale.  Our mechanics take pride in their work, ensuring all bikes are up to standard.

Email us at bikesale@bikeandrolldc.com to set up your bike sale appointment or if you have any questions.

 

Christmas on Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue gets all dressed up for Christmas and it’s truly a sight to be seen.  That’s why it’s another one of our favorite Christmas on Wheels tour highlights.

Pennsylvania Avenue is a street that connects the White House and the Capitol Building and is referred to as “America’s Main Street”.  You will find the Canadian Embassy, National Archives Building, Old Post Office Pavilion, and more.

During the Christmas season, Pennsylvania Avenue is festive and cheerful with outdoor markets and Christmas lights.

Don’t miss out on experiencing Washington, DC at its most magical.  Book a Christmas on Wheels tour with us now!

 

 

 

Commuting by Bicycle

Here at Bike and Roll DC, our favorite way to commute to work is by bicycle. Our bikes get us where we need to go quickly and also give us a great workout.

Don’t you just hate all the traffic during the morning commute? Do you find yourself constantly stuck on the metro running late for work? Are you looking for an economical way to get to work?  

Get yourself a bike at our bike sale! We’re selling our Trek Verve 3 bikes ranging in sizes from 13” to 25”. No matter your height or your budget, we have the bike for you!

Our expertly maintained fleet has been sustained by professional mechanics and tuned up for the sale.  Our mechanics take pride in their work, ensuring all bikes are up to standard.

Email us at bikesale@bikeandrolldc.com to set up your bike sale appointment or if you have any questions.

 

 

The Capitol Christmas Tree

Bike and Roll DC’s “Christmas on Wheels” Bicycle and Segway Tours begin December 5th and we can hardly wait! 

One of our favorite stops on the tour is the Capitol Christmas tree.  This year, the Capitol Christmas tree is a Noble fir from Willamette National Forest in Oregon.

The 75-foot-tall tree will be lit on December 5th at 5 p.m. by the speaker of the House and will be decorated with handmade ornaments from people who live in Oregon.

“DUSK” By: S N LONG

 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and our tour guides are looking forward to spending the holiday season with you! Make your reservations now for our Christmas on Wheels tour to experience the Capitol Christmas Tree and so much more.