Best Local Bike Race

To the uninitiated, a bike race might evoke Alpine passes, pelotons, Lycra (always Lycra), and only the briefest flashes of interest or action. DCCX, a weekend of cyclocross races hosted by DCMTB and Crosshairs Cycling, is the polar opposite. As riders, from first-timers to pros (the elite men’s and women’s races have even drawn national champions), tackle grass, mud, barriers, steps, steep hills, and sharp turns, a dedicated community of fans and fellow racers swills beer and alternates earnest cowbell ringing with clever heckles. It’s unstuffy and exhilarating and a great entree into one of cycling’s most fun (but competitive) subcultures. Plus you get to stomp around the tucked-away grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, a rare treat as it’s normally closed to the public.