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Old 08-21-08, 12:38 PM   #1
novacommuter
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DC Area Riders: Suggestions for a ~40 miler on Saturday?

Hey all,

I used to be an active rider, but lost interest in my younger years after getting a driver's license. Due to an expanding waistline and a shrinking wallet due to gas prices, I got a decent road bike, and I've been bike commuting from Ballston to Capitol Hill 5 days a week for 5 weeks now (18 mile RT).

I'm really enjoying riding again, and I'm looking to do a nice 40-50 miler on Saturday for the first time. I was thinking about doing one of the following:

1) Ride the Custis to the Mount Vernon Trail, and do the entire down-and-back, and then ride home. (Approx. 44 miles)

2) Take the Custis to the W&OD and ride to Reston and back. (Approx. 42 miles)

Just wondering about summer Saturday crowds of morons on each of the trails, and if anyone has a better suggestion, or knows of a good loop rather than a simple out-and-back.

Thanks!
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Old 08-21-08, 01:01 PM   #2
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Mount Vernon Trail will probably be pretty crowded. If you want to avoid the worst of it, take the W&OD to Shirlington, cross the pedestrian bridge to the 4 Mile Run trail. At route 1 cross over to the south side of 4MR and take Commonwealth to Old Town, then cut over to the river and continue with the MVT. If traffic is not bad you could ride the parkway instead of the trail, or south of ****'s Marsh cross to the other side and take the residential streets as far as Fort Hunt.

W&OD to Reston would be easy. Maybe too easy. If you are early enough, make a detour to Falls Church farmer's market. (One of the better ones in the area. I picked up some great apples there last weekend)

Or Custis into DC and C&O out to Great Falls and MacArthur back to DC. Makes a nice loop.

Or go into Georgetown, ride up Wisconsin Ave all the way to Bethesda, switch to the Georgetown Branch and Jones Mill / Beach Drive as far as you fell like going. Could also use the CCT instead of Wisconsin but the crowds will be heavy. Maybe CCT up and Wisconsin back. Or back on Beach Drive thru Rock Creek and take one of the many roads out of the valley.



For me...I'm headed for Loudoun County this weekend. Find me some hills.

Last edited by cc_rider; 08-22-08 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 08-22-08, 07:17 AM   #3
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I have a few cue-sheets for some rides around there. One in the hilly-ish Mclean area and a couple that go up through rock creek park (all 40- 50 miles). Also, a few friends and I will be riding at the weekend if you want company (details TBD). I'm in Ballston too. PM me your email address and I'll send the cue-sheets if you want them, and let me know whether you'd like to join us.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:23 AM   #4
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Those MUP's are too crowded for my tastes.

I do a Ballston to Potomac ride via Wilson Blvd/Key Bridge/MacArthur Blvd on the weekends. Its about 35-40 miles depending on how many detours you take. If you go early enough its a light traffic route and there are a lot of cyclists.

Squadra Coppi has a cue sheet on their website that has a 40ish loop through Rock Creek to Potomac and back through MacArthur.
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Old 08-23-08, 08:12 PM   #5
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Post ride report:

Went to Mount Vernon via the trail.

Entirely too crowded. Too many stoplights in Alexandria. Too many pointless little twists and turns the rest of the way. Will definitely be looking for a better ride next weekend.
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Old 08-25-08, 05:43 AM   #6
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Everyone and their brother rides that trail on the weekends. There are waaaay too many good rides in DC to focus on the W&OD.
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Old 08-25-08, 12:25 PM   #7
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My standard weekend ride is a loop that involves RC Park, MacArthur, Bradley, and then Beach back into the Park. Can be tailored to be anywhere from roughly 30-50 miles. Shouldn't be too hard for you to get to from Ballston. And definitely better than the trails, as you discovered.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:19 PM   #8
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I don't live far from Ballston (Lee Highway and Spout Run), but here's my favorite route. If you go early enough, you can just go out Glebe Road to Old Glebe to Chain Bridge, a fabulous ride when there's not a lot of traffic. From Chain Bridge, take towpath toward D.C. until it hits Capital Crescent Trail. Follow that (true, it does get very crowded) to Bethesda and Georgetown Branch trail. End up on Rock Creek's Beach Drive, ride into Georgetown and take several possible routes to Ballston.
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Old 08-27-08, 06:25 PM   #9
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If you go early enough, you can just go out Glebe Road to Old Glebe to Chain Bridge, a fabulous ride when there's not a lot of traffic.
I usually prefer Military Road. Wide, less traffic any time of day and a few fun hills. Nice in combination with Williamsburg Road or Old Chesterbrook/ Kirby Road.
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Old 09-03-08, 08:19 AM   #10
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I usually prefer Military Road. Wide, less traffic any time of day and a few fun hills. Nice in combination with Williamsburg Road or Old Chesterbrook/ Kirby Road.
I looked at Conte Bike Shop's cuesheets for their Tuesday "Military Misery" training ride, and drove the route to see how "miserable" it would be. I concluded that the route (Military Rd. From Nelly Custis to Old Glebe and back again) would be quite miserable, and definitely would be a good training ride.

I'm thinking of doing the ride to Bethesda via Wisconsin or CC trail on Saturday.
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Old 09-03-08, 05:57 PM   #11
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To confess, I don't ride Military in the summer. Usually wait for the fall when I'm in shape for the hills and I don't get wiped out by the heat.

On weekend mornings Wisconsin is a nice ride. Even climbing up from Georgetown isn't bad.

Have fun.
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Old 09-04-08, 06:02 AM   #12
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I looked at Conte Bike Shop's cuesheets for their Tuesday "Military Misery" training ride, and drove the route to see how "miserable" it would be. I concluded that the route (Military Rd. From Nelly Custis to Old Glebe and back again) would be quite miserable, and definitely would be a good training ride.

I'm thinking of doing the ride to Bethesda via Wisconsin or CC trail on Saturday.
The Conte ride is challenging but kind of short for the OP. If you really want to suffer, the ncvc tuesday hill ride is even longer. here's the link:

http://www.ncvc.net/modules.php?name...showpage&pid=4
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Old 09-10-08, 08:45 AM   #13
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Here's my normal weekend ride, it's 40.5 mi and goes up MacArthur, Falls into Potomac and then goes back down Beach Driver. Lots of fun. PM me if anyone's interested... my riding partner just moved to New York. We average 14-16 mi/h overall.

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...gton/685940924
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Old 09-10-08, 12:36 PM   #14
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Here's my normal weekend ride, it's 40.5 mi and goes up MacArthur, Falls into Potomac and then goes back down Beach Driver. Lots of fun. PM me if anyone's interested... my riding partner just moved to New York. We average 14-16 mi/h overall.

http://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...gton/685940924
How are the sections along Montrose and Randolph? Seems like an area with very heavy traffic.
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Old 09-10-08, 12:54 PM   #15
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Ack, I forgot, we changed this route because Montrose was too difficult and scary on bike. I forgot to modify the mapmyride. We changed it to Falls => Democracy => Old Georgetown => Grosvenor => Beach... made a world of difference. Democracy has a wide shoulder in case you need to get over.
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Old 09-11-08, 12:04 PM   #16
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yeah, tuckerman might work as well.
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