Capital Bikeshare Celebrates One Year

The city’s first bike sharing program turned one this past week. Capital Bikeshare, which started last September,  is not only celebrating its first birthday, but also its millionth ride.

Residents from the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia came out to take part in the celebration, which was held at Yards Park in Southeast Washington.

Participants danced to tunes of The Reflex, ate Dip n’ Dots and tried out various activities, including a paperboy race.

D.C. resident Hillary March participated in the race, which involved riding a paper route and tossing papers into a bin at each of the marked locations. The paperboy route was fun, March said, but it was much harder than she thought it would be. She threw none of her five papers into the bins.

The celebration also included hula-hooping lessons by HooperNATURAL and moonbounces where the children and even some adults got the chance to race against each other on the bungee run.

Two things residents spoke of the most were the free Capital Bikeshare helmets and birthday bash T-shirts for coming out to the event.

The bikesharing program now has 114 docking stations split between the District of Columbia, and Arlington, Va., for 1,110 bicycles.

“Based on the program’s success and popularity, Capital Bikeshare will expand with additional stations in the fall of this year,” said Josh Moskowitz, one of the project managers. “The District and Arlington have plans to expand the system by at least 60 stations, with 34 new stations being installed in the District.”

The celebration also supported Car Free Day, which encourages the public to go car free or “car light” by bicycling, using public transportation, walking or carpooling.  

Jessica Pan of Charlottesville, Va., wore a sign on her back that read, “honk (ironically) for car free day.” Pan said her sign drew a lot of attention, and she was happy to support biking, which  considers a silver bullet.

“People complain about gas prices, car prices, insurance, obesity and exercise,” she said. “Biking is a solution to all of those.”