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  1. #1
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    best route to DC from Ft. Meade?

    I'm currently trying to find the best way to get to DC from Ft. Meade without taking too long to get there or having to leave my bike somewhere (like a bike locker at a station). I can't ride my bike very fast since it is a heavier hybrid than I'm used to (I prefer light road bike but just do not have the money to get one right now). I can only get around 15 miles before I feel I would have to turn back. So I'm really trying to find some alternative way to get to DC or at least the greenbelt metro while taking my bike with me. The Marc Train and Commuter bus does not accept bikes (except for a folding one). I do not know of any other rides I can take to get to DC this way. I want to be able to get to DC with my bike so I can be much more productive with errands and getting to appointments. Hopefully someone here could help me out with this since I'm still new around here. I moved here in Nov and spent the spring semester in DC so I'm still not familiar with the Ft. Meade and surrounding location.

    :EDIT: This is the best route I can find but it is still a bit too long of a ride for everyday commuting unfortunately. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&sour...,0.054932&z=14
    Last edited by Curiouswill; 06-15-09 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    Route 1 is a pit to ride.

    As I remember, and it's been a few years, Fort Meade road has a shoulder. I didn't notice how bikeable it was but I don't think you have any other way. Once past the parkway, take the neighborhood streets over to Brock Bridge. Cross 197 to Montpelier, Cedarbrook, Odell, Edmonston and Cherrywood to the Greenbelt Metro.

    Only 13 some miles and couple of hills. I haven't biked it except Edmonston and Cherrywood, so I'm mostly going by the maps.

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2920684

    Good luck

    added - another possibility is to turn off Odell into the USDA research facility. I don't know if the north-south roads are open, but it looks like it can get you close to Cherrywood and avoid traffic on Edmonston. The back roads there can be a little rough (like Beaver Dam) but it is pretty and quiet (except for the shotgun blasts )
    Last edited by cc_rider; 06-15-09 at 07:32 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Yeah I know what you mean about route 1. I've gotten almost more close call there during 1 trip than my last 2 years at colorado springs combined! Laurel have these "share the road" sign comparatively all over the place but the way the road is set up and how the traffic is, It is not good cycling route.

    I'm a bit nervous about going along the back road too much since I don't have any map of the area. I will try to get to a printer to print out the route though. I'm planning to attempt the best route there this Wednesday. Let hope that this route is successful since I like parks and I can see that I would go along one partway on this route

    P.S. Ft. Meade is kinda pleasant until you get further into Laurel. Only 2 larger hills than usual and one slightly too long extra narrow section (2 bridges right in front of each other) but otherwise, I love riding under the trees along this road.

  4. #4
    Calamari to go cc_rider's Avatar
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    I was doing some work on the Fort Meade base a few years ago and used to drive back using Fort Meade Road. I remember it being pretty and rural.

    Here's a map with the route through the USDA.
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2920789
    It's a pretty place to ride. Although you might want to avoid the compost testing facility on hot days.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    That look easier to me. more options along the same general direction is always better. and my nose is usually half-dead anyway lol.

  6. #6
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
    Here's a map with the route through the USDA.
    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2920789
    That route won't quite work. You cant use Poultry Road to enter BARC/USDA anymore because the gate from Odell Road is always locked now. Just continue down Odell to Edmonston (using Old Baltimore Pike to cut the corner). Edmonston Road has a good shoulder from Old Baltimore Pike down to Cherrywood Lane. It should be no problem even in heavy traffic.

    BARC is great to ride through, I do it all the time for recreation. But it is not good as a north/south route. I completely agree with using Brock Bridge, Montpelier, and Odell to get from Laurel to Beltsville. Just come down Edmonston to get to Greenbelt.
    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  7. #7
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    That route won't quite work. You cant use Poultry Road to enter BARC/USDA anymore because the gate from Odell Road is always locked now. Just continue down Odell to Edmonston (using Old Baltimore Pike to cut the corner). Edmonston Road has a good shoulder from Old Baltimore Pike down to Cherrywood Lane. It should be no problem even in heavy traffic.

    BARC is great to ride through, I do it all the time for recreation. But it is not good as a north/south route. I completely agree with using Brock Bridge, Montpelier, and Odell to get from Laurel to Beltsville. Just come down Edmonston to get to Greenbelt.
    like this?

    http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2922461

    Thanks for pointing that out. That helps!

  8. #8
    Senior Member LandKurt's Avatar
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    Yes, that's the route I meant.

    If you like hills the climb from Edmonston to Odell is for you. It's only 80 feet high or so, but it's a bit steep for a block or two. Here's a bonus photo I took of Odell on Sunday morning when it was damp and misty, yet sunny.

    The upside of hills is the downside

    Novara Randonee

  9. #9
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    Awesome pics. that is exactly what I love to ride through thanks!

    just looked up the elevation on gmap and indeed, there is a steep incline there Thanks for giving all of these good info on this and other threads

  10. #10
    Senior Member balto charlie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LandKurt View Post
    That route won't quite work. You cant use Poultry Road to enter BARC/USDA anymore because the gate from Odell Road is always locked now. Just continue down Odell to Edmonston (using Old Baltimore Pike to cut the corner). Edmonston Road has a good shoulder from Old Baltimore Pike down to Cherrywood Lane. It should be no problem even in heavy traffic.

    BARC is great to ride through, I do it all the time for recreation. But it is not good as a north/south route. I completely agree with using Brock Bridge, Montpelier, and Odell to get from Laurel to Beltsville. Just come down Edmonston to get to Greenbelt.
    +1 this is the route. I use to use poultry rd until 9/11 then many of our gates were locked.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    went on this route yesterday on the way to greenbelt, http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2922461

    I like it! however, it became very obvious after a while that my bike need a true tune-up (whatever I'm doing isn't good enough) so I may not be able to do the route until I can get it tuned up. Unfortunately, I'm a student on a shoe-string budget (the bike almost put me into the red though) so I'll have to limit the riding for a while until I can get some help with this :-/

    The brake is rubbing against the rim, the rear wheel axel is slightly bent but just enough to interfere with the shifting. I've also not been able to figure out what I'm doing wrong with adjusting the derauiller. The seatpost is also just an inch or so too short so I'll have to get a new seatpost (looking into one with shocks). Longer seat post mean I'll need the handlebar raised a bit too. So overall, there is too much of a drags on the bike to ride uphill comfortably. :'( I was hoping to be able to fix what I could but yesterday ride showed me otherwise.

    So once I do have the bike fixed up, I'll guarantee that I'll be going along this route a whole lot more since it was exactly what I wanted

    One thing I did find out for the first time yesterday was that the metro don't allow bikes from 4-7. This pissed me off because I knew that I wasn't in shape enough to be able to get home before dark. And i actually got lost on the way to greenbelt. I ended up having to txt my mom to pick me up from the greenbelt station cause what was supposed to be a 8 mile route to greenbelt turned into 14.6 miles cause I missed my turn somewhere.

    I can kinda understand why the metro forbid bikes during the peak hour but I had gone to the station at 3:30 and it was only going to take about a half hour to arrive to greenbelt and they still refused to let me through with the bike.

    Sorry for the whining/rant lol. Yesterday was messed up big time cause of these 2 problems.

  12. #12
    Pants are for suckaz HandsomeRyan's Avatar
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    I went to Ft. Meade for the fireworks last night. Beautiful weather and lots of fun.

    I have found what I consider to be a slightly bike-friendlier route than what is listed in your first post to get down to the greenbelt metro. It would make you ride a little further west but the roads are more bike friendly.

    • Ft. Meade Rd left onto Rt 1 then almost intermediately right to Montgomery St.
    • Montgomery becomes Brooklyn Bridge
    • Left onto Bond Mill
    • Bond Mill becomes Old Gunpowder
    • Old Gunpowder becomes Powder Mill
    • Left onto Rhode Island Ave. (use caution when crossing Rt 1 to stay on Rhode Island as it is kind of a weird intersection)
    • That gets you pretty close.

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