March may have roared in like a lion in the Washington, D.C. area this week, but it will be leaving like a lamb with the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival scheduled to begin on March 28, 2009 and run through April 12, 2009. The two-week long Festival is jam packed with events, including several bike riding tour opportunities for those wishing to pedal around Washington, D.C. instead of enjoying the cherry blossoms on foot or by water. Blossoms by Bike and National Park Service Ranger-led bicycle tours scheduled during the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival offer festival goers the opportunity to see the cherry blossoms in bloom, take in the sights and get a little exercise all at the same time. According to the National Cherry Blossom Festival website, the peak bloom period for this year’s cherry blossoms is expected between April 3, 2009 and April 9, 2009.
First bike riding event during the 2009 National Cherry Blossom Festival: Blossoms by Bike
Offered by Bike and Roll, Blossoms by Bike is the first bike riding tour scheduled this year. Blossoms by Bike is not a cheap date; it will cost adults $32 and children 12 and under $22 for a two hour bike ride. This pricing includes a bicycle rental, helmet, water bottle and snack. Reservations are not required, but are highly recommended as the Bike and Roll site has posted a note that the Blossoms by Bike tour is likely to sell out soon. Tours run the length of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, including weekday tours beginning at 3:00 P.M. and weekend tours running at 9:30 A.M., 12:00 noon and 3:00 P.M. Riders need to meet at the Bike and Roll kiosk at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. If you are unable to make it during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, you can still enjoy a guided bicycle tour around Washington sites at another time. Bike and Roll offers bicycle tours rolling past the monuments and capital sites which run on a regular basis from Mid-March through the end of November.
National Park Ranger-led Bicycle tours at National Cherry Blossom Festival: Bring your own bike, helmet and water
If you are feeling a bit more energetic and up for a longer bike ride, the National Park Service (NPS) offers several Park Ranger-led bicycle tours during the Festival this year. Those up to a 3 hour bike tour will need to provide their own bicycle, helmet and water to drink, but can leave their money at home since the ranger-led bicycle tours at the National Cherry Blossom Festival are free. The Ranger-led tour schedule is as follows: March 28 and March 29, April 4, April 5 and April 11 from 1:00 P.M – 4:00 P.M. with riders meeting for the three hour bike riding tour at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Information regarding the nearest parking and Metro rails to take is included in the NPS link listed below. One very nice thing about the NPS ranger-led biking activity is that advance reservations are not needed. If the weather is not cooperative, simply choose an alternate day to enjoy the blossom tour. The ranger-led bicycle tour season begins during the National Cherry Blossom Festival and runs through the end of November.
Blossoms by Bike: http://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/events/eng/event_display.php3?event_id=297
NPS Park Ranger-led tours: http://nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/events/eng/event_display.php3?event_id=328