It’s springtime and as an avid bicyclist, you know this is the time to get out and ride.

May is national bicycle safety month. As a bicyclist, it makes you aware of the people, places, and practices that we all rely on to stay safe. 

Recently, I spoke with John, a dear friend who just moved to our nation’s capital. I asked him how it was going. I’ve been curious how moving from Newport to DC had influenced his passion for riding.

Here’s what I found out.

The Cherries Are Blooming

In Washington, the blooming cherries are a major event. Everyone turns out to see the pink blossoms. The flowers seem to welcome people with open arms. You’ll see people walking, running, and bike riding just to get closer to the blooms.

Parks, Walkways, and Paths

From Rock Creek Parkway to the national monuments, there are miles of options for bike riding. Many bicyclists ride along the Potomac for exercise as well as for beauty.

Commuting By Bike Is Popular

Commuting by bicycle is much more popular than you might imagine. Many businesses encourage employees to use a bicycle to cut down on emissions. Cycling is a great way to achieve your fitness and health goals.

Bicyclists Watch Out For Each Other

Bicyclists are a certain kind of tribe. They tend to notice each other, watch out for each other, and share tips. If you’re new to an area, meet other riders. They will often give you tips such as traffic advisories, safety tips, and road suggestions.

Drivers Are On Alert

Washington DC drivers seem on high alert about bicyclist safety. They seem to be aware of safety protocols such as giving bicyclists room, respecting the right of way, and waiting for riders to pass before opening the driver’s door.

If you are new to an area, whether it is Washington DC or Newport Beach, get familiar with the local customs and practices.

Neighbors Have Great Tips

John is lucky to have neighbors and co-housing mates who have shared great tips. John explored the best options for living in Washington DC and picked co-housing. He chose this because of affordability, flexible lease, and location. 

In his new apartment, he’s found it easy to make friends, meet other cyclists, and learn local tips. When he first moved to DC, he met several cyclist enthusiasts in his building. He’s built a circle of friends in the cyclist community in record time.

If you’re looking to make a new home quickly, here are a few ideas to get started.

How To Make Yourself At Home 

Get familiar with local seasonal treats 

If it’s not Cherry trees blooming, maybe it’s something else. Check out local papers and ask people in your neighborhood for tips on the best events of the season.

Meet your local parks and walkways

Every neighborhood has a different flavor and some are filled with parks, monuments, and walkways. In DC, many of the museums and landmarks make for wonderful jump-off points.

Talk with your neighbors

Perhaps you’re in a co-housing building and if so, it’s easy to meet like-minded people. Making friends is as easy as walking down the hall or into the kitchen. Take advantage of this great opportunity to build a community—fast.

Ask fellow cyclists

There’s nothing like meeting members of your tribe to make you feel at home. Ask people for tips and suggestions. Find out favorite rides, best times, and traffic tips. People love to share their favorite rides. Take suggestions to heart and make your new townhome.

Celebrate bicycling

May 21, 2021, is National Bike-To-Work Day. If you love to ride, this is a great day to show your passion and bike to work. 

Check out meet-ups

If CDC guidelines allow, meet up with cyclists in person. If the protocols for social distancing are still in place, use this time to meet avid cyclists online and in virtual meetings. 

Prepare for weather

Washington DC is not Newport Beach. Be prepared for changes in the weather. At the very least, bring a jacket for the rain. Prepare for humidity with extra water. Bring snacks so you can stay nourished if you can’t get to a store.

Sum Up

If you enjoy riding your bike, you can make new friends, explore areas, and expand your passion for cycling. Whether you’re in Newport Beach, Washington DC, or another new home, you’ll be in good company—having the ride of your life.