To some, bikes are a hobby, a pastime, a toy. To most of our members, bikes are simply their preferred mode of transportation. And then there’s local blogger, GirlonaBikeDC. For Kate, a passion for bicycles led her, quite literally, down the path to the most romantic bike love story of her lifetime. At last year’s BikeFest, Kate was the top bidder for our C&O Canal of Romance package, a plush bike trip including 2 nights in a historic lockhouse along the C&O Canal, plus some other special amenities.
Read GirlonaBikeDC’s bicycle engagement story below. And keep an eye out at this year’s BikeFest for the same package with some new additions, for all the bicycle lovers out there.
At last year’s BikeFest, one of the silent auction packages caught my eye. No, not the unicycle lesson, or the 50 States Preview Ride. It was the “Weekend Along the C&O Canal” package. My (then) boyfriend Jimmy was just starting to get into riding bikes with me. We often rode to & from work together, and would take short trips to the Mall & memorials. We were often on the look-out for any cheap weekend trip options; short nearby trips that would make us feel like we were on vacation but wouldn’t break the bank or use up our leave time. This “Weekend” package looked perfect: a 2 night stay at a “cozy” lock house that was within biking distance. I had no idea what a lock house was or what was considered “cozy”, but I didn’t care. I was going to win that auction.
Win I did, however we didn’t have an opportunity to go until September. The package also included a bottle of wine, chocolates & a front rack for a bicycle. How romantic (and useful)! I researched Lock House 6 and from the limited photos & description, it seemed interesting but I still had no clear idea of what we were getting into. It had been restored to the 1950’s era (each lock house that is renovated for rental is restored to a different time period in the canal’s history) and had full amenities including running water, heat/air conditioning, electricity & furnishings. We just had to supply the towels/linens & food. When it came time to leave, Jimmy was extremely skeptical about the whole affair. We’d have to pack & bring everything we needed with us…on our bicycles?! Jimmy thought this was impossible. But he tried it anyway. We packed what we thought we would need (we overpacked, actually) and set off.
The weather was perfect for the trip. An early fall day with clear skies & mild temperatures. Riding along the canal towpath felt like an adventure. Wildlife peeked out from everywhere, whether it was a heron at the canal’s edge or a fox watching us ride by. When we reached lock house 6 less than an hour later, it felt like we were in a fairy tale and had found a little cottage in the woods. We had a great time exploring the surrounding trails during the day & relaxing in the rocking chairs on the porch at night. It was a wonderful weekend we would never forget.
We’ve been back three times since, and can’t wait for our next trip. The C&O Canal and the lock houses are magical. Even though it was only a few minutes outside of DC, it felt like we were hundreds of miles away. It has become a very special place for us. In fact, lock house 10 is where Jimmy decided he wanted to ask me to marry him (I said yes, by the way). I can’t think of a better place for us to promise to share our lives with each other. And we have WABA to thank for providing the inspiration for what has become our own romantic ritual. “
Tickets are selling like hot cakes, get ’em before they’re gone!
BikeFest 2012Once again we’re hosting the biggest bike-themed party in the DC-metro region – and all the proceeds make their way back to you in the form of stronger advocacy and, ultimately, better bicycling. We’re planning now to make this year’s BikeFest our most lively and successful fundraiser to date. In order to celebrate a year as great for biking as 2011 and keep the advocacy strong through 2012 and beyond, we need your support.
Supporting BikeFest 2012Will you help WABA by connecting us to individuals or groups who may be able and willing to participate in this year’s BikeFest? We are in need of potential venues, sponsors, and in-kind donors. All it takes is a connection. Here’s how you can help: if you think your neighborhood baker, sports club, or favorite bike mechanic is able to help out, or maybe your company is interested in sponsorship opportunities, let us know. It only takes a minute. Just send me a quick email at email@example.com or give me a call at 202-518-0524 x202. And be sure to use the buttons at the bottom of this page to share this with your networks on Facebook or Twitter.
We’re on the lookout for:
A venue: An approximately 5,000 square feet space to accommodate the event.
Sponsors: Title sponsor and lead sponsors for financial support.
Silent Auction Items: Components of experiential bike-related silent auction packages.
Raffle Items: Desirable items for our raffle contests.
BikeBuild Participants: Four local bike shops to build and auction-off handcrafted bicycles.
Food and Drink: Local restaurants/caterers and liquor distributors to keep us happily satiated.
How and why your support mattersBikeFest is an opportunity to the region’s bicycling community to come together to celebrate the progress we’ve made in making the area more bike-friendly. It is also an opportunity for WABA to raise funds to be used in areas in which funding is hard to come by. Those parts of our region with the greatest need for better bicycling facilities and programming also tend to be the areas in which we have the fewest members and the least financial support. Thus, we need to raise funds at events like BikeFest to fund our overall mission and continue to work in underserved communities to get our message to those outside our core audience. We’re already looking forward to BikeFest 2012, and we have some big ideas in mind. But we need you to help us fill in the details with the types of people and things you want to see. Love that bike shop? Ask them to enter the bike build contest. Favorite restaurant? We’d love to feature their food. We just need your help to bring the right partners together.
- Our group of dedicated volunteers for contributing their time and creative energy to Bike Fest (and a personal shout out to the dedicated woman who traveled the farthest and worked the hardest. Thanks Mom!).
- ESP Sound for setting the stage and bringing the noise.
- Second String Band for an evening of local, world-class bluegrass.
- BaseCamp, the talented designers who created our “fresh and polished” poster artwork.
- Eco Print for allowing us to distribute our print materials.
- Scoops2U for providing frozen treats for all of our guests.
- Cranky Style‘s Jay Hudson for our Bike Fest mural and for sharing his custom bicycle art (with the help of BicycleSPACE) for the evening.
- Papillon Cycles, Oasis Bike Works, City Bikes for stepping up to participate in our first annual bike-build contest.
- Strosniders for supplying satiating snacks.
- As well as the generous individuals and organizations who donated to our silent auction and raffle: Revolution Cycles, Wheel Nuts, Numi Tea, Sticky Fingers Bakery, the Dupont Hotel, the Firefly Restaurant, The C & O Canal Trust, National Pedicab, The Washington Bach Consort Reinventing Reality and Eythink.
Fortunately the evening was documented from start to finish by filmmaker Edward Eastep and photographers Eric Brewer Immel, Patricia McDougall and Jason McCool. For more pictures check out our event slideshow. Once again, thank you to all those who attended, we hope you enjoyed the sites, sounds and activities of the evening and we look forward to seeing you all at next year’s Bike Fest!