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  1. #1
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I'm moving to Laurel, MD...

    My wife just completed her masters and took a job with the government so we are moving from Knoxville, TN to Laurel, MD at the end of this month. I'm excited to learn a new area but it'll be hard leaving my family and friends here. I'm also making the transition from driving a car everywhere to living car-light since I got rid of my vehicle and don't plan to buy a new one.

    I'm primarily a casual/recreational cyclist but I do some longer charity rides a few times a year. I've got a hardtail mountain bike [Felt Q720], a commuter/hybrid bike [Raleigh Detour Deluxe], and a fixed gear [Motobecane Messenger]. I'm excited about learning the new roads/trails around the area. While I was in town shopping for a place to live I stopped by a bike shop in Beltsville/College Park area (I can't remember the name but they had a bunch of cool bikes like a lawn-mower bike, a highwheel, and a hand-cycle) [anyway] the people at the shop were super-nice and when funds allow I would very much like to purchase a Kona Ute from them!

    If anyone lives in/near the area and wants to meet up for a ride sometime after July first feel free to hit me up on the PM's or post here. Any information locals care to share about great rides, bike shops, cyclo-advocacy groups I could become involved with, or delicious food/beer in the area is also appreciated.

    Thanks,
    -Ryan

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Cool, I've stopped by Laurel Bicycling center a few times and went around town just a little. Traffics can be a little more dangerous than usual for a cyclist from what I've seen the few times I went there despite seeing more "share the road" street sign than I have seen anywhere else. I'm looking to ride my bikes around more and would like to meet the local cyclist here too since I'm new around here too (I've moved to Ft. Meade last Nov.) Unfortunately, I've gotten slightly out of shape and my bike is not as great as I would like it to be so I'll probably get dropped more often than usual here lol.

    Hopes the move goes smoothly for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    While I was in town shopping for a place to live I stopped by a bike shop in Beltsville/College Park area (I can't remember the name but they had a bunch of cool bikes like a lawn-mower bike, a highwheel, and a hand-cycle) [anyway] the people at the shop were super-nice and when funds allow I would very much like to purchase a Kona Ute from them!
    That must have been Proteus Bicycles, www.proteusbicycles.com, in College Park. They have a funky lawn-mower bike on display and carry Kona bikes, among others. I'd agree the staff there is very friendly and helpful. I bought my Jamis Commuter there last year.

    My favorite riding in the area is around the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. You don't get much open farmland this close to the D.C. Beltway.
    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  5. #5
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    That must have been Proteus Bicycles, www.proteusbicycles.com, in College Park.
    Yes! That's the one.

    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    My favorite riding in the area is around the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. You don't get much open farmland this close to the D.C. Beltway.
    My wife will be working at the Ag Research Center so I'm sure we'll be down that way a lot. We drove through part of it and there seemed to be nice roads with a wide shoulder.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    The wide shoulder would be Powder Mill Road. For an even more bucolic atmosphere try Beaverdam Road. Very little traffic, no shoulder, one lane bridge, potholes and rough patches to avoid.

    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  7. #7
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Cool, Landkurt. I had no idea that there was some pretty good scenic roads around there now I'm looking forward to scheduling for a couple weekends with my family cycling around there. They have new bikes but I'm trying to encourage them to really ride a long way like that to see the joy of scenic routes

    P.S. Any particularly good hilly area around here? I've moved here from Colorado Springs, right on the continental divide, so I likes to abuse myself on the hills sometimes when the mood hit me

    P.S.S. hopes I'm not derailing the thread but I'm thinking that HandsomeRyan might like to find out these thing too

    :EDIT: HandsomeRyan, if you like to commute around quite a bit and would like to go to DC often, I would recommend studying up on DC metro's route. By learning how the metro works, I was better able to get around than many of the students that had lived there for years lol. and also because you will be living in Laurel, there is a Marc train station right in town that you can take to get to either Baltimore or DC, however, the Marc doesn't allow bikes (with the exception for folding bikes). I'm still studying up more on the public transportation alternatives around here but there is quite a number of options if you want or need to get around that way
    Last edited by Curiouswill; 06-16-09 at 10:53 AM. Reason: added more info to avoid doubleposting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    I don't know that what we have in P.G. and Anne Arundel counties count as hills from a Colorado Springs perspective. I do nearly all my cycling between the elevations of 100 and 300 feet above sea level. A 120 foot high hill is about the extent of things around here. That's generally about my limit anyway. You can head northwest into Montgomery and Howard counties to get a little more relief, but I don't know that much about that area. I've been meaning to spend more time up that way.

    I did get out to my parents place in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia a week ago. I headed toward the West Virginia border in order to experience some real hills. I felt accomplished by climbing from 1300 feet to 2400 feet in the hills. Someday maybe I can make it all the way up to the border at 3700 feet. That's about a three hour drive from this area, by the way.
    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  9. #9
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HandsomeRyan View Post
    Yes! That's the one.



    My wife will be working at the Ag Research Center so I'm sure we'll be down that way a lot. We drove through part of it and there seemed to be nice roads with a wide shoulder.
    Proteus has nice folks working there. I tend to repair my own bike but usually buy stuff there.
    I also work at Ag center. Great riding here, not too hilly but beautiful as others have said. I bike commute these roads daily.

  10. #10
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    The wide shoulder would be Powder Mill Road. For an even more bucolic atmosphere try Beaverdam Road. Very little traffic, no shoulder, one lane bridge, potholes and rough patches to avoid.

    This picture is .5 miles from my lab. Great road, rode it yesterday for a nooner ride.

  11. #11
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curiouswill View Post
    Cool, Landkurt. I had no idea that there was some pretty good scenic roads around there now I'm looking forward to scheduling for a couple weekends with my family cycling around there. They have new bikes but I'm trying to encourage them to really ride a long way like that to see the joy of scenic routes

    P.S. Any particularly good hilly area around here? I've moved here from Colorado Springs, right on the continental divide, so I likes to abuse myself on the hills sometimes when the mood hit me
    you want hills, 30-60 min bike ride to there from Ft Meade
    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/hills-catonsville
    Make sure to go UP Illchester, 18% grade
    You can plan it to eat in Historic Ellicott city

    If any of you guys are interested join our local forum in the post" where are the maryland folks" or something like that. We ride together sometimes. These rides are generally all pace but rather long.

  12. #12
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
    you want hills, 30-60 min bike ride to there from Ft Meade
    http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/hills-catonsville
    Make sure to go UP Illchester, 18% grade
    You can plan it to eat in Historic Ellicott city
    That sounds like quite the hill, the topo map puts it at about 300 foot high. Don't know if I could handle an 18% grade, but I would definitely try going up it. I found in the Shenandoah that I can climb hills that I'm almost too terrified to go back down. Which is more shameful, walking your bike up a hill or walking down it?

    I work on BARC myself, off of RT 1. I've occasionally commuted to work by bike as it's only 6.3 miles for me. I'm too lazy to make it a regular thing though. Or maybe just too much of a fair weather cyclist to commit to afternoon thunderstorm roulette.
    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  13. #13
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    T
    I work on BARC myself, off of RT 1. I've occasionally commuted to work by bike as it's only 6.3 miles for me. I'm too lazy to make it a regular thing though. Or maybe just too much of a fair weather cyclist to commit to afternoon thunderstorm roulette.
    look for a PM

  14. #14
    hamster with funny pants Kuma's Avatar
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    Welcome to the area, OP. You'll find there are lots of cycling enthusiasts around here, and a lot of good rides for people of all levels.

    One good resource you'll probably find helpful is the website of the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club (http://bikepptc.org/). The PPTC are nice people, who organize a lot of group rides all over the DC area every week. Even if you don't participate in many of their group rides, they have a really great library of cue sheets on the website. I don't know the area around Laurel all that well, but I think they have some rides out that way.

    If you're looking for hills, there are also lots of hilly rides listed there. Just about any ride that starts from Monocacy Middle School ("MMS") or Thurmont Community Park ("TCP") will be hilly. These will be to the west of you -- closer to Frederick and Thurmont, MD. These rides go up and through the Catoctin mountains, which are going to probably be closer to what you're used to in Tennessee than what you were used to in Colorado -- shorter b/c the mountains aren't as large, and perhaps steeper because the roads were built longer ago. (If you're a Civil War buff, there's even a really cool hilly ride called the "Antietam Scout" that goes through both the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields.) In any event, you should be able to find something to satisfy your climbing jones.

    On shops, I've never been to Proteus Bikes, but I've heard they're a good shop. If you're out and about, there's a really good shop in Damascus, MD called All American Bikes. They're a little bit to the NW of Laurel, but that's good cycling country around there, so you may find yourself out that way. Another recommended shop, which happens to be the one use most often, is The Bicycle Place in Silver Spring, MD. There must also be good shops in Baltimore, but I'm just not familiar with that area.

    I enjoy the climbing rides myself, so drop me a note when you get to the area, and if you promise not to put me to shame, I can show you around some.

  15. #15
    hamster with funny pants Kuma's Avatar
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    Just looked back and noticed that the person looking for hills was not the OP, but Curiouswill. Guess that'll teach me to read more carefully. In any event, the information stands -- hope it's helpful.

  16. #16
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the help. My wife and I got moved in and so far I've had nice weather to go exploring. I found a bike friendly route to get down to Beltsville/College Park area and from there I guess the subway can take me anywhere I'd want to go!

    Still figuring out the bus system but I'm sure I'll get it. (I've never ridden a bus before becasue Knoxville's didn't run out to the 'burbs' where I lived before)

    If anybody in the area wants to go for a ride soemtime let me know. I'm still hoping to pick up a road/cyclocross bike soon because my 40lb Raleigh is a bit heavy for longer rides and my fixed gear isn't much of a long distance bike either.

  17. #17
    Senior Member kissTheApex's Avatar
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    Check Arrow Bicycles (www.arrowbicycle.com) at Hyattsville (a couple of miles south of College Park). They also have sunday morning rides. 34 mile ride around College Park/Hyattsville. Cool bunch of guys. No drop ride, slow sub-group averages 16 mph pace, I don't know the pace of the faster group as I have never been able to keep up with them. I'm not going to be able to make it next week, but if you decide to join let me know week after the next.

    And welcome to the area.
    Ihsan

  18. #18
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ihsan Gin View Post
    Check Arrow Bicycles (www.arrowbicycle.com) at Hyattsville (a couple of miles south of College Park). They also have sunday morning rides. 34 mile ride around College Park/Hyattsville. Cool bunch of guys. No drop ride, slow sub-group averages 16 mph pace, I don't know the pace of the faster group as I have never been able to keep up with them. I'm not going to be able to make it next week, but if you decide to join let me know week after the next.

    And welcome to the area.
    Ihsan
    Thanks. I'm working on getting a propper road bike as my current ride choices are a 40lb commuter/hybrid bike, a fixed gear running about 70+ gear inches, or a hardtail mountain bike w/ knobby tires. I need a real road bike!

    Maybe I'll throw the SRAM S7 IGH wheel back on my FG and rock that for a while...?

  19. #19
    Senior Member angelo's Avatar
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    Curiouswill and hansomeryan,

    Another place for great riding is in Northern Baltimore County. You can drive up Oregon Ridge Park parking lot and its a great starting point for all kinds of rides-- it is even possible to go into PA. The traffic is acclimated to cyclists and has a lot of farmland with lots and lots of rollers.

    Here's one I did yesterday, 38miles, 3000+ feet of climbing:
    bikely link.

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