Reston families celebrate with a Thanksgiving bike ride

Families in Reston gather together for a Thanksgiving morning ride Thursday. The ride has become as much a tradition as the pumpking pie and green bean casserole for these families. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

RESTON, Va. – For some families, the holiday weekend got off on a roll with a community bike ride.

“It’s just basically a part of Thanksgiving,” says Steve Gurney, one of the founders of the ride that draws together families from four different neighborhoods near Reston Town Center.

The now annual ride started about six years ago, says Jim Curren, whose wife came up with the idea.

“We had twins that were either a year or two years old, and we wanted to get out,” he says.

Curren says the ride, from Reston to Vienna, has grown. Thursday morning, with the freezing temps, attendance was a little light.

“The oldest community, Lake Anne, they had two riders, North Point had one rider, and well, Hunter’s Woods, they failed to show,” says Curren, who then added, “But that’s to be expected,” with temperatures hovering around freezing.

The two dozen riders included a number of kids, who remarked on the cold, but didn’t complain. Last year, 12-year-old Eva Leary told WTOP she’d bundled up with two jackets. This year, the strategy was the same.

“Two jackets again!” she laughed, cradling a warm drink in her hands. The stop at Starbucks in Reston Town Center was a welcome stop.

“I’ve never been a fan of Thanksgiving turkey,” says eight-year-old Connor Pierce. But he did enjoy the bike ride.

Asa Gurney says he looks forward to the ride, “Every year we get together. It’s really cool.”

There was another group of riders stopping for coffee. Chris Burgess, the newly-minted president of the Reston Bike Club explained “It’s a little bit of a new tradition> We go out for a ‘Cranksgiving’ Day ride, try and burn off some calories before we sit down for a big meal later on.”

Burgess says they would ride about 35 to 40 miles. He was waiting for some other cyclists before bundling up to hit the road.

“The tough thing is trying to stay warm. When you get that wind chill, it can really bite into you,” he says.

Bruce Wright, with Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling, said the group’s rides, both community and club rides, have been growing in recent years. He credits some of the development around Metro’s Silver Line.

“People are realizing that they can get to the (Metro) stations by bike. For short trips, it’s the best way to get around.”

WTOP’s Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow @kateryanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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