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From Our Editors
Branching off from a popular bike-tour company in New York City, Bike the Big Capital enlists DC native and seasoned guide Pat to marshal riders through the hallowed streets and monuments of the capital city. Bringing together self-propelled transportation and the history of the city's monuments and people, each tour weaves through neighborhoods as groups discover areas that harbor hidden treasures out in the open. While riding through changing landscapes, tours delve beneath the surface of each popular and little-known site visited, and historical information makes way for modern marvels as asphalt winds toward blooming green spaces.
When guiding cyclists around town, Pat teams up with a fellow history buff for the company's six-hour tours, each delving into a different facet of American history. The 10-mile National Mall Cherry Blossom Tour departs only during March and April, when the two cherry trees planted by first lady Taft and their blushing peers bloom like adolescents on an all-weeds diet.
Tour A, the American Identities Tour, leads pedalers through 14 miles of tree-fringed streets while guides narrate the backstory of passing monuments and the infamous Ford Theater, where John Wilkes Booth made his escape from unreasonably high ticket prices. During the evening, Tour B shows off 14 miles of DC in the moonlight across the historical Potomac River bridges, toward a nature preserve, and with a stop at the spooky outdoor staircase made famous by The Exorcist.