dc pirate, 4evah.
I'm bike-only but I live and work in the city, so it's fairly easy.
I've lived in this town for 6 years, though, and there are still suburbs I've never seen/heard of. It's kind of odd since several of my coworkers drive in from just these suburbs every day, and look at me like I'm crazy when I say things like "where's linthicum?"
Anyway, now a coworker has invited me to an event at her house, a good 40 mi from here. I'm willing to ride it, but I get this terrible chill through my spine any time I ride outside the beltway, and I don't really trust suburban drivers-- they don't know how to deal with us.
Any of you all suburbanites? How do you do it? Tips?
I can see if you're going 40 miles in suburban Virginia, the roads are narrow, crooked, and twisted that's a true pain. Man, i'm not sure I'd do it.
Here it's flat, roads are straight, so as long as you have a bike lane, shoulder, or wide outside lane you generally do OK.
You just gotta have really bright clothing, rear blinky even during the day, mirror, and pull over once in a while to let traffic pass you.
Linthicum is where the BWI airport is. If you look at the bikewashington website, there is a nice cue sheet for DC-Baltimore. It goes past the airport by running partly on the BWI paved trail.
Its actually not bad at all. The roads on the cue sheet are pretty sedate. I especially like race road.