As I explain in the acknowledgement section of the book I could not have completed it without the help of many people. Throughout the book I have placed a “you may run into” sidebar highlighting an individual who has not only made a contribution to my cycling experience, but who has also impacted the community around them in one way or another through their involvement in the sport.

One such person is my buddy Pete Beers; Pete is a local legend in the Arlington and Falls Church areas; He rides his bike virtually everywhere; to work, to the store, to group rides. He’s out to prove that you can leave your car at home and is a devoted advocate for cycling in the region.

His joy for cycling – and the amount of riding he puts in on a daily basis – has prompted Pete to venture into territory very few cyclists experience: endurance racing. This week (Saturday June 1st to be precise) Pete will be competing in the Dirty Kanza 200 (DK200) in support of World Bicycle Relief, a nonprofit organization that aims to transform individuals and communities through the power of bicycles. The DK200 is a solo, self-supported, non-stop, 200-mile-long bicycling endurance challenge on the gravel and dirt roads of the Flint Hills region in east-central Kansas.

The DK200 is the mother of all Gravel Grinders. What’s most interesting about the DK200 is that riders don’t quite know where they are headed until they reach designated check-points. At each of these the rider is handed a map and the location of the next checkpoint. It is up to the rider to then navigate to the subsequent checkpoints to receive further instructions until they finally complete the loop and the 200 mile distance.

As part of his participating in the event Pete has received a set of “rider trading cards,” seen here.

The image Pete chose to grace his is quite unique, and tied to Best Bike Rides DC for a couple of reasons. The first, yours truly is photo bombing Pete’s trademark “Danger Panda” maneuver. Pete never rides without his camera and often yanks it out mid-ride, while rolling, to take a series of self portraits. See slideshow above…

The second, is because the image was taken during a scouting ride for one of the rides in the book; Sadly the ride we headed out to map that day didn’t make it. Still, joy was had in copious amounts and that ride remains as one of my favorites.

I’m flattered that I am also on the “Pete Beers DK200 trading card,” and that in a tiny way, am part of his experience and efforts to support World Bicycle Relief.

So, please join me in wishing Pete, the rest of his team, and the other competitors of the DK200 the best of luck and a safe 200 miles.

If you do get a chance, please stop by his team’s page and make a small donation in support of their effort.