Northeast - DC Night Rides; Haines Point?
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with two little kids I am having a hard time finding time during weekend days to ride. Is there anyplace that is good for riding at night, after 9:00pm on weekdays or weekends? I have seen a few postings about riding at Haines Point. Are there many cyclists there at night? How are the traffic conditions, bug conditions, lighting conditions. I'm thinking about going there tonight. any other recommendations for places in maryland to ride at night.
08-11-07, 06:15 PM
I've never cycled there at night, but I highly recommend some lights. If I'm correct, I think the street lighting is more aesthetic than day-time bright. I can't speak to the population at night so just be careful. It gets kind of desolate in parts.
08-11-07, 11:13 PM
I ride at night in Columbia during the late fall/winter. Anything to not have to ride a trainer. However, this year the trainer is going to figure into my regular schedule. I figure to do Wednesday night intensive endurance pace rides. Zone 2-3 stuff.
I went to Haines Point at 9:30 pm last saturday. The road was closed to cars and it was pretty dark. It looked a little sketchy for me . . . like no one will hear your screams . . . sketchy.
there are some office parks in Rockville. any luck riding around there?
08-13-07, 07:51 AM
I ride night laps at Haines Point 2-3 a week. I swear, it's a godsend for guys like us, as I also have a small child at home and don't want to split for a ride until he's in bed. Here's my perspective on a few things:
Lights -- I'm pretty lax when it comes to this kind of safety, so I have no lights on my bike. There are times when entire sections (spanning a mile or more) are dark because the lights are out, and that can make me a little nervous, mostly that I'll hit a runner or pedestrian (not that I'll get hit by a car, because they'll have their lights on and it's easy to make yourself visible -- just need to maintain a good hard speed to avoid being surprised from behind). The last few months, though, have been fine, and they've left all of their lights on at night, so visibility has been perfectly fine.
Sketchiness -- In the many years I've been riding, I've never had any kind of crime incident. Part of it is that when I get to the Point, I'm going fast and I don't stop going fast until I leave. If you're going slow, or stopping, that might increase the risk. I've also used the bathrooms there at midnight and felt perfectly fine.
Bugs -- Ahhhhh, now there's the rub. I have been struggling like a motherscratcher all summer with bugs, to the point now where I'm psyching myself out into thinking I've swallowed bugs when I really haven't. Some nights, I swear it's like riding in a hail storm. Other nights, the thought of bugs never crosses my mind because they just weren't there. So I don't know what to say on this. I've had 3-4 instances where I had to come to a screaming stop in order to puke my guts out, and that always sucks.
Overall -- A wonderful resource for bikers who want to do hard laps without worrying about traffic lights, wild traffic, stops/turns, etc. The lap is about 3.15 miles long, and the view at night is gorgeous.
Like I said, I go a few times a week, usually at/after 9:00 pm. I also try to get between 1 and 3 on Sundays, to get some friendly competition in. There are often a couple other bikers at the Point at night, but it's common that I'll see noone else over a span of 2 hours.
I tend to do between 35-45 miles, and try to keep it above 20 mph. If this is in line with your pace, let me know. I'm always up for meeting someone for friendly competition to inspire motivation.
08-13-07, 01:32 PM
hains point ;)
08-14-07, 06:46 AM
I make that mistake a lot. It really looks better as Haines. And in fact, that 'i' is superfluous, so I believe it should be called Hanes Point and be done with it.
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