Buying a bike can be a fun and rewarding experience. It can also be a bit intimidating because you may not know enough about the products you’re looking at, and feel overwhelmed by all of the choices. Once you know the basics, you’ll have enough knowledge and ammunition to zero-in on exactly what’s best for you.

Hybrid Bikes

Anyone who hasn’t ridden in a while (years), and begins looking for a new bike, is going to automatically run to the nearest shop and get a hybrid. Why, because they look more comfortable than a road bike. You can sit up straight and hold your arms out in front of you. A road bike looks too difficult to use because you’re all hunched over and “racing”.

After they buy their hybrid they’ll find out that it’s great for riding around town; traveling bike paths; going to the store; and any number of other short distance rides. Once they become a stronger rider, their 10 mile ride will turn into 15 mile trips. And a month later they’ll be riding 20 miles because of the challenge. It’s at this point they begin to realize that everyone on a road bike is passing them by. Why? Because road bikes are faster, lighter, and have a better riding position.

Now that same person goes on a 30 mile ride and finds out how hard it is to pedal their bike this distance. Their wrists are sore, their posterior and other body parts hurt, and they don’t know why. The answer is – it’s because they’re riding a hybrid bike. These are great for short rides, but not a good choice for long ones.

After a few months of riding that “perfect” hybrid bike, they’re back at the shop looking at road bikes.

So before you go out and get a hybrid, be absolutely sure you don’t plan on riding long distances. Although you can certainly do long rides on hybrids, they’re not as comfortable or efficient as a road bike.

Choosing a hybrid bike is pretty simple. You’ll want lots of gears (triple chainring), perhaps some shock absorption, an aluminum frame, and not spend a lot of money. You can go into any bike shop, close your eyes and point. Right in front of you will be a hybrid that meets these qualifications. It’s simply a matter of how much you want to spend. More expensive bikes have better shifters, better braking and lighter frames. Take some for a test ride and choose your winner.

Potomac Pedalers is a non-profit educational, recreational and social organization for bicycling enthusiasts. We are one of the largest bicycle clubs in the United States, and the largest in the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area. Potomac Pedalers is affiliated with the League of American Bicyclists.

Our energies are directed primarily toward providing a weekend ride schedule to accommodate the experience and ability of each member, whether novice or veteran.

Saturday and Sunday rides number more than 1,000 each year, comprehensively covering the variable terrain of the National Capital metropolitan area and the surrounding countryside. Distances typically range from 10 miles to 75 miles, and average speeds range from 8 to more than 20 miles per hour.

After-work rides are offered each weekday evening during the summer, and on or or two weekday evenings during the off-season. We also sponsor several overnight, out-of-town special weekend events and an annual Back Roads Century (with ride distances up to 100 miles).

The purpose and organization of Potomac Pedalers are described in our Bylaws. The Club is governed by an Executive Committee. Its nine members are elected to one- or two-year terms at the Annual Meeting, held each January. The Executive Committee meets monthly at the time and place published in each issue of our newsletter, the Pedal Patter. Members are welcome to attend these meetings.

Washington Area Bicyclists in Tandem Society

The Washington Area Bicyclists in Tandem Society (WABITS) are a group of tandem bicyclists from the Metro DC Area. We are affiliated with Potomac Pedalers, one of the largest cycling clubs in the country.
WABITS has tandem-only rides and events throughout the year.

We encourage tandemmers to join Potomac Pedalers in order to access our tandem ride schedule and club events.

Please email them your ride date and description.  Remember, this is a volunteer group and we depend on you to volunteer to lead a ride.