When it comes to holiday shopping, most of us travel in a heated car, then sprint from the parking lot to the mall, heading straight for the Starbucks to warm up with a coffee.
But 17 people made the trek the highlight of holiday shopping this weekend. Area bike riders rode more than 30 miles from Proteus Bicycles in College Park to Washington, D.C. markets, then carted the presents back on their bikes.
The first stop was Eastern Market in Northeast D.C. for lunch, and some riders also picked up some gifts and food.
"But the best shopping was after lunch at the Downtown Holiday Market [in the Chinatown area]. Nice antiques, jewelry and crafts," Jeff Lemieux, one of the event organizers, wrote in an e-mail.
Even though it was about 40 degrees on Saturday — cold enough to make others want to stay at home — some riders even took the long way back to Proteus, gliding through the University of Maryland campus and golf course along the Paint Branch Trail.
This wasn't the first time the riders planned such an event. A similar, shorter ride happened back in November, stopping at shopping spots in College Park and Greenbelt. (A video and photos from that ride can be found here.)
Lemieux said he was thinking about organizing another ride between Christmas and New Year's Eve. The route would go past the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center to the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, but he hasn’t set a date yet.