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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-26-06, 08:56 AM   #1
Little Darwin
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Business Trip Commuting in DC.

I am in the middle of my first week of commuting in the Wilkes-Barre area, and I was just told this morning that I might be in DC all of next week.

If one were to want to have an easy 5 - 10 mile flat commute into the district (L'Enfant Plaza) where would you get a business class hotel room? What paths would you take? I would always prefer downhill into the district, and slight uphill after work because I may need to wear a shirt and tie.

I need to check on the potential for bike parking, but would like any comments. I will be bringing my bike either way to do some after work rides, and would like to consider the bicycle option as an alternative to mass transit.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-06, 09:48 AM   #2
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You could probably find a good hotel in either Balston or Clarendon section of Arlington. You could then take the W&OD bike path to the 14th Street Bridge and then into the district. When I travel with my bike, it alsways goes into the hotel room at night.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:02 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibikefor2
When I travel with my bike, it alsways goes into the hotel room at night.
That would be my procedure at night, but I need a place to park and lock it at work too...

BTW - Thanks for the thoughts on the route and possible hotel location as well... I will explore those possibilities.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibikefor2
You could probably find a good hotel in either Balston or Clarendon section of Arlington. You could then take the W&OD to the Custis bike path to the 14th Street Bridge and then into the district. When I travel with my bike, it alsways goes into the hotel room at night.
+1 on this.

Ballston has a number of hotels and is about 4 miles outside of the District.
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Old 07-26-06, 10:36 AM   #5
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There are plenty of hotels IN DC, too. Many of them very nice. If you insist on Virginia, Crystal City may be another option.

Check with the building where you will be working. Many underground garages have a locked bicycle parking area (but bring a lock, too).
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Old 07-26-06, 10:48 AM   #6
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Thanks so far... I looked online and the number of bike trails and routes is amazing compared to where I live.

I think I'll be able to find something with a nice cycling commute. I have been there a few times, and saw some nice cycling areas, but never had the opportunity to ride...

Even if I don't have appropriate parking at the office, I will definitely be taking advantage of some of the network of trails after work!

What is the pedestrian situation on the MUPs in the DC area... Are they relatively adept at sharing the trails with casually paced cyclists? I know there are a lot of tourists, so I will assume nothing... but in general, is it hazardous or safe to cycle on the trails?

Any specific trail recommendations for evening rides for a visitor who is not necessarily interested in the mall area (been there, done that on foot a few times) but is interested in almost anything else. including natural beauty and/or historical/cultural sites.
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Old 07-26-06, 12:04 PM   #7
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Crystal City for hotel. Take the bike path to either Memorial Bridge or Key Bridge for your river crossing.
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Old 07-26-06, 01:31 PM   #8
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www.bikewashington.org
www.waba.org

to get you started.
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Old 07-26-06, 02:50 PM   #9
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You can also stay at the Sheraton Suites in Alexandria (801 N. St Asaph). It's not far from the Mt. Vernon trail bike path and would give you a decent 10 mile commute in. Plus it's pretty flat. You could also cycle south to G. Washington's home for fun since you mentioned pleasure riding as well. Be careful about the tie and shirt commute though. It's likely to be really muggy here next week.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgregory57
Are they relatively adept at sharing the trails with casually paced cyclists?

Any specific trail recommendations for evening rides for a visitor who is not necessarily interested in the mall area (been there, done that on foot a few times) but is interested in almost anything else. including natural beauty and/or historical/cultural sites.
re: pedestrians, the short answer is no. not to say there aren't plenty of courteous and aware peds, but in general you have to assume that they're completely clueless (i.e. when you say "passing on your left" someone might well jump to their left"). be very careful, pass slowly, warn audibly (twice isn't a bad idea) and be prepared to do it a lot.

re: trails. i like the capitol crescent up to bethesda a lot for road bikes. if you've got a mtb (or a road bike with solid tires/wheels) the c&o canal is also quite nice.
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Old 07-26-06, 03:37 PM   #11
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As mentioned earlier, lots of hotels in the Crystal City area, some with great views of DC axcross the river. The MUPs have the usual clueless peds. However, they are absent during morning and evening rush hour, so it may not matter. I live on the hilltop west of Crystal City, am a year-round, every day bike commuter, and think it is one of the best places to live for bike access to the area.

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Old 07-26-06, 04:59 PM   #12
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Forget about it man. Humidity in DC is high and unless you live here you shouldn't put up with washing up for business meetings. You can lodge well enough at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel 202-484-1000 and walk to your meetings. Take a ride before the business day if that suits you and freshen up before you go. Later, after you get back from all your meeting to your hotel room you change up, grab the bike and take in the local bike paths - Mt. Vernon, W&O, Capitol Crescent. Check out these bike paths and others at bikewashington.org. L'Enfant Plaza is a few blocks below the National Mall so you can ride along the monuments and museums. Late at night you can ride up to the fun night spots - Adams Morgan, Georgetown for ethnic cuisine or live music and your ride home at night will be mostly down hill. Please use a U lock for the back and a cable for the front if you value your bike!

Peace and blessings!

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Old 07-26-06, 05:14 PM   #13
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Thanks for more good input...

I have to use government rate for lodging, and bcause of the proximity, I usually have had problems getting government rate at L'Enfant Plaza... I have usually stayed in one of the hotels in Crystal City when I am in the area, maybe I should just do that, commute via Metro and save my riding for after hours when I don't have to worry about the humidity making me unpresentable, and can head straight to the pool.

I just thought that they are probably in the business casual season at the DC office, so I won't need a tie, but still not in good outfit for cycling. I have done OK with the temps here in the upper 80's as a high, but our humidity has been relatively low this week, even though we may match DC next week... Maybe 90 degrees and 90 percent humidity.

I will bring my Sedona with 1.5" semi-slicks (I need to post a pic in the pictures thread) so the C&O is a possibility.

Again, thanks for all of the good input.
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Old 07-26-06, 05:28 PM   #14
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Look also at hotels on Capitol Hill for government rates. L'Efant Plaza is super close to the Hill and with a quick search on the net with the words Capitol Hill, Hotel, government rate I found the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. I clicked for the dates of Monday through Friday next week for government rates and the hotel was not booked. You can follow up to see if they will meet your budget. This hotel by my estimation can't be more than a mile from L'Enfant Plaza. And you know I would still call the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel and see if they can meet your budget. Peace
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Old 07-26-06, 08:16 PM   #15
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Gotta agree with DC Wheels. Unless you can take a shower at your office, or at least clean up thoroughly, you'd be better off not commuting by bike, and just riding before or after work. You could pack your work clothes and then clean up and change at the office. That's what most of us do (except Paul H, I don't know how he stays so pristine (I think I've seen him on the MVT)).

I'm not trying to dissuade you, but you're talking August in DC. It was built in a swamp.
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Old 07-27-06, 07:02 AM   #16
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Stay in Crystal City. There is a plethora of hotels, and you can either jump the path into DC or just take the train.

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Old 07-27-06, 07:04 AM   #17
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P.S. For cleaning up, carry deoderant, soap and some wet wipes and a towel. You can sponge bath quickly in the washroom, then use wet wipes to top it off and apply the deoderant liberally.

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Old 07-27-06, 10:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
P.S. For cleaning up, carry deoderant, soap and some wet wipes and a towel. You can sponge bath quickly in the washroom, then use wet wipes to top it off and apply the deoderant liberally.
koffee, I imagine the man will be in a business suit. I cannot imagine cleaning up in a suit or changing into a suit in an office building restroom before going into an out-of-town business meeting over more pleasant options.
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Old 07-27-06, 10:17 AM   #19
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I don't own a suit... But, as it turns out, I now have more details.

I am not going to :'Enfant as I thought, and will be in Northern VA near the Key Bridge. I will be staying walking distance to the meeting location, and it is business casual, so no tie.

However, if I ever do need to commute into HQ while on a trip, now I have a resource in this thread, and I also have some nice ideas for after hours riding.

I also have some reminders of ideas I had read before for quick clean-up on my daily commute here as well.

Thanks to one and all...
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Old 07-27-06, 12:10 PM   #20
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1.5" semislicks sound perfect for the c&o. pm if you wanna go for a ride, i'm 5 min from the key bridge. cheers and welcome.
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