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  1. #1
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    DC - tired of Hains Point? Old Grand Prix course at RFK

    One of my coworkers took me out for a ride a few weeks ago, and we went to the parking lots to the northeast of RFK Stadium.

    Now, it wasn't a complete surprise to me -- I was down here way back in '02 on a jog a day or two before the race itself. But, the 1.68-mile course is still marked even though the grandstands are long gone. It makes for a somewhat entertaining bike ride with a variety of corners, decently long straights, and remarkably consistent pavement quality (as it should be, since it's still used for parking and hasn't been completely abandoned).

    I may take some pics someday, but there really isn't very much to see on course. The curbing is still there on some of the corners, too.

    Site:
    http://www.roadracetracks.com/CGI/tr...gi?track=MDRFK

    Spectator video (amateurish, but you get the idea):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FH6_RfzUzqw

    Google Maps (complete with a six-car Metro train on the bridge and the not-yet-worn Cadillac script on the southernmost turn ):
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...18754&t=h&z=16

    Anyway, thought some of you might find it interesting.
    Last edited by BarracksSi; 08-21-08 at 11:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    cool. is the parking lot always open - just wondering if its easy to get in there.

    wonder why they aren't still racing there...

  3. #3
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    It's "open enough", meaning that you can just walk around the gates and go ride. I think that they use it for DC United games and concerts, so while it gets cleaned up, there might be broken bottle glass here and there, too.

    I went there a few days ago, and they had put barriers curving from underneath the Metro track going across the exit from Turn 3, possibly to prevent people at the baseball field/training pitch from driving onto the rest of the lot. The barriers were spaced apart with gaps of about one to two yards, though, so they didn't block bike access entirely; you'd just have to be careful with your line.

    I saw a couple security vehicles driving around, too, but neither of them stopped to talk to me or ask me anything. I figure that they're cool with cyclists -- although I've never seen other riders besides me and my coworker.

    As far as why they haven't kept racing there, I don't know for sure. I think it was a conflict between the race organizers, sponsors, and/or IMSA (assuming that it was an ALMS event).

  4. #4
    Senior Member buddyp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    As far as why they haven't kept racing there, I don't know for sure. I think it was a conflict between the race organizers, sponsors, and/or IMSA (assuming that it was an ALMS event).
    Nope, the neighbors killed it.

    Some people lost a ton of money on that deal, and I'd guess that a fair amount was tax dollars. Bill Scott bought the soft walls for pennies on the dollar and moved them to Summit Point for his new track there.

  5. #5
    Senior Member joshdcu's Avatar
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    That course is the site of the City Bikes Criterium every year. It's pretty nice.

  6. #6
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Cool, so I can go "practice", then if I ever enter the race, I can find out how slow I really am.

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    kind of a weird idea, but maybe we should all meet up there and try to make a weekly or biweekly ride? i'm not trying to be weird or anything, but there seems like a few of us on this thread. I've been riding on my own for a while and wouldn't mind getting in some group rides. anyways, just an idea. if the weather breaks this weekend i might go up and check it out, but like i said a weekly evening ride might be cool too.

    matt

  8. #8
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I ride by there now and then and have noticed the DC Police doing motorcycle training in that lot. Maybe they are using the course and want to maintain it.
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  9. #9
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Is hains point pretty flat? I think its out past poolsville right?
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    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Hains Point is flat as a pancake; the stretch on the north edge of the golf course has the only "slope" and probably only rises & falls five or six feet. It's the wind off the water that'll aggravate you.

    The RFK course is basically flat, too, and pretty exposed to the wind as well.

  11. #11
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Oh wait Hains Point is in DC not MD, wow I had a brain fart their. I though the area around RFK is not the best place to be? or has it gotten better over the years?

    I just might have to go visit both this up coming weekend. Would anyone be interested in meeting up and doing a couple laps?
    Last edited by J.Lockdown; 09-21-08 at 07:49 PM.
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  12. #12
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    I'm going to be out of town this coming weekend.

    And, no, it's not the best neighborhood, I'd say. You can go straight to RFK via East Capitol; if you drive there, you can probably park by the practice soccer field next to Oklahoma Ave NE. When I go there, I actually come up from the south, riding the access road right next to the Anacostia, after riding eastward on M St SE underneath the Penn Ave. bridge and walking across the railroad tracks near Barney Circle.

    Confused? I am; here it is:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=e...,0.004689&z=18

    (trivia -- John Philip Sousa is buried in the nearby Congressional Cemetery)

    *add-on edit* It's fairly simple (simpler than it appears, anyway) to get to RFK from Hains Point by bike. Cross the river towards DC, go past the fish market and make your way to the waterfront/Maine Ave., then get on M St and take that straight past the Navy Yard and to the crossing in the link above.
    Last edited by BarracksSi; 09-21-08 at 09:27 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post

    *add-on edit* It's fairly simple (simpler than it appears, anyway) to get to RFK from Hains Point by bike. Cross the river towards DC, go past the fish market and make your way to the waterfront/Maine Ave., then get on M St and take that straight past the Navy Yard and to the crossing in the link above.
    That route will allow you to see the new Nationals stadium, one block south on N. Alternatively, you can take a nice tour of the Mall. When you come out of Hains Point stay left instead of turning onto M. Then take the next right onto 15th street and follow it up to the Mall. Take the road on the south side of the Mall up to the Capitol enjoying the museums and tourists as you pass. When that road ends, jog left past the National Botanical Gardens and then take the inner road up Capitol Hill. Turn left at the top and ride by the Library of Congress, stop for a second to look up the steps of the Supreme Court and then proceed east to RFK on East Capitol. I do that ride or the one that passes by the new stadium once or twice a week -- only I don't head all the way out to RFK.

    BarracksSi - you sound knowledgeable about this area. I have been watching work near the railroad crossing you mentioned by Barney Circle. It looks like the intent is to make a crossing for the Anacostia River Trail there. Workers cleared some trees and brush to ready a path on the side away from the river but then stopped. Do you have any idea when they will finish that section?
    Last edited by donheff; 09-22-08 at 06:42 AM.
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  14. #14
    Mmmmm Donuts! FatguyRacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    Cool, so I can go "practice", then if I ever enter the race, I can find out how slow I really am.
    No you probably cant. Rumor is that this year was the last year for the RFK crit. Developers bought the lot. You can still ride there, but there may not be a race in '09.

    FWIW, I attended the one and only GP of DC. It was a great time. I had VIP all access passes for all 3 days of practice/qualifiing and 2 days of racing. Some where I have a picture of William Shatner in a racing suit with VPL. He and other celebs were there for the celibritiy race. The race never got run because Shatner's driving partner, some actress who's name I cant recall, wrecked the car. The cleanup from the wreck took so long they ran outta time before they had to stop for the day.

    Aside from the neighbors, Caddilac pulled out and the event lost it's biggest major sponsor.
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  15. #15
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    BarracksSi - you sound knowledgeable about this area. I have been watching work near the railroad crossing you mentioned by Barney Circle. It looks like the intent is to make a crossing for the Anacostia River Trail there. Workers cleared some trees and brush to ready a path on the side away from the river but then stopped. Do you have any idea when they will finish that section?
    I've been through there more often on foot than I have by bike; we often go for runs from the Barracks down "off the beaten path" on that stretch of M St by the yacht club. I haven't got the slightest idea when, or if, they'll ever finish everything for the trail.

    Since that satellite photo was taken, though, they've paved a trail alongside the access road all the way from Barney Circle to the race course, with a wooden fence separating the road from the path. It continues all the way to the East Capitol bridge, then kind of loses its way; I think it reappears to cross with Benning Rd. There appears to be an open foot bridge with an entrance by the pit "straight" of the race course, but I haven't crossed it yet.

    The pavement quality is pretty good, but there's patches of mud runoff here and there. So if you want to keep grit out of your drivetrain, it's better to just stick to the road.

    Quote Originally Posted by FatguyRacer View Post
    Aside from the neighbors, Cadillac pulled out and the event lost it's biggest major sponsor.
    Ironically, the "Cadillac" script logo at the Turn 1 hairpin is the only untouched painted evidence that there ever was a race on the property.
    Last edited by BarracksSi; 09-22-08 at 09:18 AM.

  16. #16
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    It looks like this weekend would not have worked out anyway. Its funny were talking about this race track, cause my friend invited me to the VW TDI Cup event in Jersey which he is racing in. So that is going to take up most of the weekend.

    Anyway I might have to do some biking in DC sometime soon. The routes out here are fun and all but I have never been riding in DC before.

    They also need to bring racing to DC such as the Molson is in Toronto. It would be so cool to see a race threw the streets like around the mall would be cool.
    Last edited by J.Lockdown; 09-22-08 at 12:40 PM.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lockdown View Post
    They also need to bring racing to DC such as the Molson is in Toronto. It would be so cool to see a race threw the streets like around the mall would be cool.
    Are you talking car racing or bike racing? The ING Direct Capitol Criterium bike race was yesterday on Pennsylvania Ave. $50K prize.
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  18. #18
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    He's talking about car racing; I would've liked to have known about that bike race yesterday, though.

    I don't know how well a car race would fly in downtown DC, honestly. Most of the streets really suck (Penn. Ave recently got repaved as you can see in the pics of the ING crit, but that's an exception), and I can't imagine that the residents & workers would go for shutting down any of the roads that a motor race would have to use. It's a LOT more work than a marathon race, for example.

  19. #19
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Are you talking car racing or bike racing? The ING Direct Capitol Criterium bike race was yesterday on Pennsylvania Ave. $50K prize.
    Yeah car racing, Molson is F1 racing to be exact. But anyway I wanted to go watch the ING race but I got called into work and it was right between the time the race was going on. I did however get to see the CSC invite earlier this year, I want to try and enter next year for that but I got a lot of work to do ha.

    That said it would be cool to see a bike race down around the mall, but it would probally have to be during the winter months cause all the traffic during the summer would be nuts.

    That is true being pretty hard to do a race in DC now that you mention that. Like for the molson its prefectly flat roads and they weld down all the man hole covers cause they would fly up from the down fource of the cars. It would be cool though u have to admit.
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  20. #20
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.Lockdown View Post
    It would be cool though u have to admit.
    Oh, definitely. I can imagine (and have imagined ) shrieking F1 cars tearing down Penn Ave faster than a presidential motorcade, shooting across in front of the Capitol around the little traffic circles, then jinking through a chicane right in front of the Smithsonian Castle.

  21. #21
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    I think having a race, like f1 or CART or any open wheel type, would be that they would have to shut down the city for three days, two for practice and 1 for the race and the city would not or could not do that. Then there is the parking issue. Also I believe that the city does not have the fan support of that type of racing to be honest, I could be wrong though but most residents of DC imo are not F1 fans.
    I for one would love to have a F1 race in the DC area though!

  22. #22
    Cat 4 J.Lockdown's Avatar
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    Yeah the logistics of doing that type of event would be very hard. Its not impossible but with DC being busy almost year around it would definitely not be easy. The streets would be closed down for a lot long then 3 days cause all the setup they need to do. Also all manhole covers need to be welded down, walls need to be put up, streets cleaned and leveled. But still would be cool and I would pay a decent penny to see it to.
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  23. #23
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    I would go as well. F1 in DC? how cool would that be? Can you imagine the sound?

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