There’s lots of grumbling in DC these days. Let me briefly touch on three topics:
1. Bike DC. There have been a few follow up articles on the cancellation of DC’s only open streets ride, Bike DC. It seems ride organizers were unable to navigate the complicated and ever-changing bureaucratic requirements of five different agencies. The two culprits most-often mentioned are DC Mayor’s Special Events Task Force and the National Park Service. Many cities have open street rides, including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Miami, Boston, New York City, and many other places. Not DC.
There was a 2nd-order effect to cancelling the ride. The Washington Area Bicyclists Association (WABA) is now in a difficult financial situation. Bike DC is historically WABA’s biggest fundraising event of the year. It also generates more new members at Bike DC than at any other event on their calendar. This has caused WABA to scramble for new funds, including an email drive for donations which hit my inbox last night. WABA is DC’s major cycling advocacy group and is largely responsible for the successful bike lanes and bike share programs in the District, along with many other smaller programs and events.
So thanks again, DC. Well done.
2. Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Registration. Yesterday, tens of thousands of people attempted to register for the MCM and Active.Com was not able to handle the load. The result was chaos, with Facebook and Twitter sites lighting up with horror stories of people trying to log on for over two hours, only to learn the race had sold out. Most frustrating was the fact that the system would let you fill out all your personal information, to include credit card data, only to crash at the very end. Some people report their card being charged two or three times. To their credit, MCM immediately acknowledged the huge problem and issued a statement saying the experience was not up to their high standards and they would completely reassess the registration process for next year.
An inauspicious start to this year’s event, which I am certain they will overcome. As for myself, I was very happy to have been preregistered with my completion of last weekend’s 17.75K run.
3. Spring. The weather is getting ridiculous. I have seen several wanted posters of Punxsutawny Phil (aka the Groundhog from Groundhog Day) for the crime of fraud. I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Last night’s television weather forecaster grimly informed us that the day’s high of 49 degrees was actually spot on the seasonal average high for the end of February. Wonderful. It does appear that Spring-like weather will make a brief appearance this weekend before darting away again. Hopefully, I will make the best of it.