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Old 04-24-06, 06:54 PM   #1
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Hello from VA

Hi, I'm Jake and I'm currenlty a student in Charlottesville, but I'm moving to Alexandria in June and will (hopefully ) be one of those bike commuters. I have my dad's old specialized hardrock that's seen better days, and my roadbike, which I built by taking the stuff off of my 2-day old 1984 Panasonic DX4000 (really nice bike that buckled when hit by car) and put it on a free frame from community bikes. I got on the forum because I'm all excited about a fixed gear that I'm going to make, bottom budget beater, but I've got to get a good wheelset for this thing. Anyway, looking forward to the online biking community and hearing about all things 2 wheeled.
~~Jake~~
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Old 04-24-06, 07:30 PM   #2
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Welcome. Avoid Mt. Vernon unless absolutely necessary.

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Old 04-24-06, 08:12 PM   #3
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Hey Jake,

We've probably passed each other wheeling around Grounds. i work at UVA. Say hi if you ever see a guy old enough to be your father on an strange looking orange folding bicycle (Bike Friday). It's often parked outside the AFC.

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Old 04-24-06, 08:52 PM   #4
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Commuting in DC is pretty good. I work in Alexandria, and the Mount Vernon Trail does get busy in the nicer weather. The bad thing about it is that there are no alternatives without going way out of the way, but if you're patient, it's not so bad in the summer (okay, okay I strive for patience and understanding, but I'm not quite there yet).

I hope you do become one of those bike commuters. We're a pretty good bunch.
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Old 04-25-06, 09:19 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Welcome. Avoid Mt. Vernon unless absolutely necessary.
Ha! If your commute takes you on Mount Vernon after dark it is awesome. Especially if there's a good wind at your back like tonight! It was like gliding home on a rocket...um, to mix my metaphors.

When that same wind is in your face at 10 am heading in, however, it's a *****.

PS I'm a Hokie and a Wahoo. Sad, huh?
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Old 04-25-06, 09:37 PM   #6
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Hey, welcome to DC! I used to live in Alexandria and the Mt. Vernon trail definately gets packed, but at night there's nothing like looking over the calm waters of the Potomac in moonlight. If you're into fixies, the DC Pirates would be a great group to hang with. We've got people that go to the Alleycats in Chicago and NY all the time. Locally the speciality is bike polo at 14th and K and Track races at Cardozo High School at the bottom of the hill at 13th street. We alternate between the two each week on Wednesdays'. The thread's 105 pages and counting: DC Pirates' Pillages and Plunders
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Old 04-26-06, 01:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Welcome. Avoid Mt. Vernon unless absolutely necessary.

Koffee

Koffee-does that refer to Mount Vernon Avenue or the Mount Vernon neighborhood or Mount Vernon or GW's estate? And why?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theopowers
Ha! If your commute takes you on Mount Vernon after dark it is awesome. Especially if there's a good wind at your back like tonight! It was like gliding home on a rocket...um, to mix my metaphors.

When that same wind is in your face at 10 am heading in, however, it's a *****.

PS I'm a Hokie and a Wahoo. Sad, huh?

Theopowers-agree with you on the Mount Vernon Trail. The view of the river, the Mall, the parks, wildlife, it's a great trail.
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Old 04-26-06, 01:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocks in head
Hi, I'm Jake and I'm currenlty a student in Charlottesville, but I'm moving to Alexandria in June and will (hopefully ) be one of those bike commuters. I have my dad's old specialized hardrock that's seen better days, and my roadbike, which I built by taking the stuff off of my 2-day old 1984 Panasonic DX4000 (really nice bike that buckled when hit by car) and put it on a free frame from community bikes. I got on the forum because I'm all excited about a fixed gear that I'm going to make, bottom budget beater, but I've got to get a good wheelset for this thing. Anyway, looking forward to the online biking community and hearing about all things 2 wheeled.
~~Jake~~
Welcome. I work in Alexandria, live about 1 1/2 miles north of the Alexandria-Arlington County line.

June Charlottesville to Alexandria-is that graduation or a summer position. Given than specificity are you working in Alexandria or have you lined up housing there?
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Old 04-26-06, 06:08 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by meb
Koffee-does that refer to Mount Vernon Avenue or the Mount Vernon neighborhood or Mount Vernon or GW's estate? And why?




Theopowers-agree with you on the Mount Vernon Trail. The view of the river, the Mall, the parks, wildlife, it's a great trail.
Mt. Vernon at night is a whole different scene. Half my commute is done in the early morning (around 3:30am), and it's no problem- in fact, it's a pleasure. But my problem is the commute back. Rollerbladers, runners, walkers, kids on big wheels, kids on training wheels with dads/moms walking next to them, pregnant ladies doing walking groups, soccer moms with strollers doing stroller run classes, Gravelly Point with all that riff raff staring up at planes and walking right into your side of the path while looking upward, runners with dogs, etc... that is something I do NOT care for at all. It ruins the ride, and it makes me hate that path. If there was a way to get into DC on the highways, I'd prefer it.

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Old 04-26-06, 08:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by koffee brown
Half my commute is done in the early morning (around 3:30am)
That's sick.


I agree of course that Mt. Vernon sucks at rush hour and on nice weekends. And I just expect to slow down and still almost run over small children at Gravelly Point.

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Old 04-26-06, 08:40 AM   #11
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welcome jake.

glad to hear you'll be commuting, and glad to hear you're interested in building up a fix. i've had GREAT experiences with the deluxe wheelset from IRO:
http://www.irocycle.com/wheels.html

not bottom of the line, but completely worth the cash. those things are avian flu-proof. great customer service too (no, i'm not affiliated).

come on out and ride with the pirates when you get up here, fix or no fix. all bikes welcome.
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Old 04-26-06, 11:45 AM   #12
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f the 'burbs, man. come up to columbia heights, especially if you work in the city. you get to fly down 14th St in rush hour... invigorating, to say the least. i actually ran down a woman yesterday. she's ok. always use crosswalks. viva el Distrito!
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Old 05-07-06, 09:12 PM   #13
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thanks for the welocmes, everybody. I've been busy finishing school (still am, acutally) and trying to find a place to live. I posted about trying to find a bike friendly commute in the commuting forum and got a lot of tips too. I really can't wait... went up Saturday and was really impressed about the hundreds of bikes in Old Town near the water. Simply amazing! housing prices are also simply amazing, still reeling. Anyway, here's hoping that Thursday produces better housing options.
Thanks again for the welcomes!
I look forward to joining the pirates on scav hunts or haines point rides or whatever. yay!
~~Jake~~
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Old 05-08-06, 03:14 AM   #14
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Welcome man! I live in old town too and I ride quite a bit around here, and up into DC as well. Check out this thread too, you might find some useful / helpful stuff in here. Hit me up when you get up here adn we can fo for a ride/ beer if you like. Road rides in Washington DC area...
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Old 05-08-06, 03:26 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Mt. Vernon at night is a whole different scene. Half my commute is done in the early morning (around 3:30am), and it's no problem- in fact, it's a pleasure. But my problem is the commute back. Rollerbladers, runners, walkers, kids on big wheels, kids on training wheels with dads/moms walking next to them, pregnant ladies doing walking groups, soccer moms with strollers doing stroller run classes, Gravelly Point with all that riff raff staring up at planes and walking right into your side of the path while looking upward, runners with dogs, etc... that is something I do NOT care for at all. It ruins the ride, and it makes me hate that path. If there was a way to get into DC on the highways, I'd prefer it.

Koffee
Hey Koffee. Yeah I understand and feel ya. It can get pretty damn busy on that trail in spots on nice evenings / weekends. But I dont get the whole "hatred" of tha Mt Vernon. I personally love it, regardless of the annoyances at times. I rode it from Memorial Bridge (on my way back from gallery place/ Chinatown by way of Dupont then rock creek) back to my place in Old Town this past saturday, and while it was busy in spots, I still really enjoyed my ride. Maybe its just me / my style or wahtever, but people tend to get out of my way. I talk to everyone on the path, and quite loudly usually. Ill "female dog" at people for riding / walking 2 or 3 abrest,a nd while im not mean, im not "NICE" either. "Come on guys, if you see traffic quit blocking the trail and get SINGLE FILE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" is a common one. It usually works. Making noise tends to get peoples attention the most. I can really get LOUD when necessary, and it works for me. Ive made people jump OFF the path even though I was a good 30 feet beyind them, because my volume to them sounds like im right up on em. I dont rely on a bell, it just doesnt get attention enough.

Maybe its just me, but I dont let all the other nimrods, morons, and general idiot traffic runin any ride / trail for me. Maybe its just that I have way better than perfect vision, im athletically inclined and have super quick reflexes that help, who knows. I just cant let other dolts ruin a ride / trail for me just because they are there. Although, I do gotta admit, I LOVE a nice evening/ night ride on the Mt Vernon trail too, because its virtually devoid of the "tourist" type peeps on cycles, kids on training wheels, dogs, et al.

Only thing that annoys me at night, are the morons witH NO LIGHTS! Now THAT has almost caused a few crashes.
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Old 05-08-06, 04:09 AM   #16
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Well, I have quick reflexes, and I'm athletically inclined. I just don't feel that my ride should be punctuated with idiots jumping in front of me, walking while looking up and pointing/photographing planes, kids jumping out in the middle of the mix, pseudo-wannabees in full kits paceline riding at 20 miles per hour around blind spots, etc. I'd rather be in the streets. It's less hassle, more predictable, and safer. That makes street riding much much MUCH more enjoyable than getting on any path. Ever.

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Old 05-08-06, 04:37 AM   #17
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Well, I have quick reflexes, and I'm athletically inclined. I just don't feel that my ride should be punctuated with idiots jumping in front of me, walking while looking up and pointing/photographing planes, kids jumping out in the middle of the mix, pseudo-wannabees in full kits paceline riding at 20 miles per hour around blind spots, etc. I'd rather be in the streets. It's less hassle, more predictable, and safer. That makes street riding much much MUCH more enjoyable than getting on any path. Ever.

Koffee
Gotcha. Was just curious. Havent come across the large groups of paceline riders yet, though I have come across a few nutty bent riders who seem to really like to fly and weave in and out. I have to say though, I do agree, that all the idiots not respecting the trail for what it is mainly for, biking, does get on my nerves too.
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Old 05-08-06, 05:46 AM   #18
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I love the Mount Vernon trail too but I only ride it on weekdays or winter weekends and only when I intend to ride nice and slow. No one has any business going fast on that trail, for their own safety and especially for the safety of others. I've seen way too many accidents there to go fast. As scenic as it is, I usually ride the roads that parallel the trail from Bell Haven to near Mt Vernon. Otherwise I ride the parkway.
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Old 05-08-06, 09:41 PM   #19
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I love the Mount Vernon trail too but I only ride it on weekdays or winter weekends and only when I intend to ride nice and slow. No one has any business going fast on that trail, for their own safety and especially for the safety of others. I've seen way too many accidents there to go fast. As scenic as it is, I usually ride the roads that parallel the trail from Bell Haven to near Mt Vernon. Otherwise I ride the parkway.
yeah, I agree w/ the speed thing. However I have to admit, I get up to some pretty high speeds on that trail, but only when I can see that its clear for a long ways in front of me.

The weaver on the bent I was referring to a few posts back was FLYING through LOTS of traffic, and just missed a head on w/ me by about 3 feet. I was passing foot pedestrians, and he was passing other cyclists, but man he was flying through there. It was right on the kinda straight stretch just after the Mt Vernon intersects w/ the 4 mile run trail (another one I like) He was heading south, I was heading north, and it was a fairly high traffic, nice evening around 6pm. If im comin up on traffic, I slow WAY down.
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Old 05-11-06, 01:46 PM   #20
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The Mt. Vernon trail traffic depends on the time of day. It's great riding the trail as the sun comes up. No rollerbladers at that time of day.
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Old 05-12-06, 10:21 PM   #21
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Hey everybody!!!
I finished my last exam... time to kick back and... well, I've still got a sh*t-ton of stuff to be doing. I lined myself up some housing at some apartments on N. Jordan and Duke streets. It's about 2 miles from the patent offices, so it should be a nice easy (downhill) commute in the mornings and maybe a little bit harder on the way back. I'm a little sketched about riding down Duke, but I'm sure I can find some alternate routes if that turns out to be horrible. I think it'll probably be a get-out-and see kind of thing.

Also I looked at some stuff just south of Huntington, and drove next to Mt. Vernon path for a while. It looks like fun for a slower ride, but I can see how it could get congested when there aren't tornado warnings for the area

I'm up here permanently, so hopefully I'll be able to ride plenty. My fiancee doesn't really like riding much, so I might be doing marathon training instead for some of the time, but at least I still get to bike to work! What days do people to Haynes point and how serious of a ride is that?

Thanks for some of the suggestions about locations... in the end it was kind-of the free shuttle that I can take when I want to wuss out that decided me on the place.
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Old 05-14-06, 10:02 AM   #22
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At N. Jordan and Duke you are right next to the Holmes Run Trail. Cuts under Duke Street at the stream between Cameron Station and Fox Chase. I think you can take Jordan to the south end and get to it from that little piece of Holmes Run Parkway. Less than 1/2 mile gets you to Eisenhower Avenue.

I was on the MVT yesterday, from Key bridge to Mount Venron and back to the airport. The usual slow downs at Roosevelt Island, Gravely Point, Old Town, but the trail traffic wasn't bad for a Saturday mid-day.
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Old 05-15-06, 09:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
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. It's about 2 miles from the patent offices, so it should be a nice easy (downhill) commute in the mornings and maybe a little bit harder on the way back.

What days do people to Haynes point and how serious of a ride is that?
First, a little indoctrination to your job. It's the Patent and Trademark Office There are lots of Trademark lawyers and those in management that get upset calling it just the patent office.

You'll get a good group of fast paced noontime intervals around Haines Point but that's mostly just work days. It's usually just a series of three mile intervals that go fast for two thirds of the loop with gradually increasing speed. Then there's a mile recovery.
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