On the Road: Summer of the Spokes Person

By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Two Washington groups, two road trips, and only one thing in common: Two wheels.

Ride 1 : The 5,000-mile trip by the District Hogs, a group of 10 chefs and foodies including DC Coast's David Guas , Vidalia's R.J. Cooper , Old Ebbitt Grill's Robert McGowan, TenPenh's Cliff Wharton and Marcel's Robert Wiedmaier. The group traded their white chef's coats for biker gear and roared out of Washington Aug. 2 headed for South Dakota and the 65th annual Harley rally at Sturgis with 600,000 bikers. They return this weekend -- just in time for Restaurant Week.

"We've been planning the trip for a year," said Guas, who checked in yesterday from the road. "It's insane. It's like Jazz Fest and Mardi Gras combined."

This the longest trip ever for the chefs, who turned it into a Katrina fundraiser with Share Our Strength (customers are pledging per-mile donations.) The group has a helmet-cam to capture every scruffy, sunburned, windblown minute. And yes, they're still cooking: Last night Guas made bacon mushroom burgers with campfire-style potatoes. "We're having a blast," he said.

Ride 2: Local rookie filmmakers Gillian Klempner and Meghan Shea are re-creating the first leg of the 1895 round-the-world bicycle trip by Annie "Londonderry" Kopchovsky. The two women are making a documentary about the 23-year-old Boston housewife who became an international celebrity during the year-long journey. (The April, 14, 1895, edition of The Washington Post ran an article headlined: "A Girl Globe-Trotter.")

"She was an incredibly interesting woman who was ahead of her time," said Klempner. "She completely reinvented herself."

The group of six riders, which includes Kopchovsky's great-grandnephew and a 71-year-old on an old big-wheel bike, leaves Saturday for the 270-mile, eight-day trip from Boston's State House to Washington Square Park in New York.

And yes, they're wearing bloomers -- black with magenta piping and rhinestones, to be exact. "We wanted to look traditional and modern."

Love, Etc.

· Locked Out: Police were called to Paul McCartney's London home Monday after he changed the locks on the gates to keep soon-to-be-ex Heather Mills out. McCartney has also frozen a joint bank account and sent a letter to Mills complaining that she took three bottles of cleaning fluid from his Sussex home to clean her nearby office. This is going to be a long divorce.

· Legal: Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock are now officially married. The elaborate July 29 ceremony in Saint-Tropez (the bride wore a white bikini with "Just Married" on the tush) is not legal under French law because there was no civil ceremony beforehand. People magazine reports the couple finally made it official last Thursday at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. The magazine also said reality show sweethearts Travis Barker and Shanna Moakler are calling it quits. The Blink-182 drummer filed for divorce after almost two years of marriage, making this the third MTV marriage ( Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey , Carmen Electra and Dave Navarro ) to tank.

· De-jeweled: Actress Ellen Barkin , who received a reported $20 million divorce settlement from cosmetics billionaire Ron Perelman , is auctioning off her fab jewels at Christie's in October. The collection of more than 100 antique, Art Deco and rare contemporary pieces -- acquired during her five-year marriage to Perelman -- is expected to sell for $10 million or more. "For other people, they're pieces of jewelry -- for me, they have history," she told Vogue magazine. "I'll take a break from the jeweled trophy-wife look."

Surreal Estate

Buyer: Nicolas Cage

Price: $2.3 million

Details: America's half-Italian, half-German actor has purchased a 500-year-old Bavarian castle not far from the U.S. Army base in Vilseck, his publicist confirmed yesterday. The star of "World Trade Center" lives in a faux castle in Los Angeles and wants to use the 28-room, 400-acre European estate as a retreat -- after he repairs the leaky roof and bad wiring. There are no announced plans for a visit to the troops, although Cage played military men in "Windtalkers" and "Captain Corelli's Mandolin." Perfect for a USO party, doncha think?


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