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Old 01-11-11, 04:43 PM   #1
Demens
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Moving to DC

I'm about to move to DC from central Texas for a little over a month. I will be there from the end of February through April.

How is the weather and cycling? I don't plan on taking a car, and I was wondering about just shipping a bike up there to use. Sound feasible?

Thanks for any input!
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Old 01-11-11, 06:08 PM   #2
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Depending on where you need to go, you may be able to get by on rail. Additionally, if you're only up here for a month, you may be able to rent a bike; there is a public bike share program. It would probably be cheaper than shipping your bike for a month. I'm here in DC on business right now, and the bikeshare lots seem to be everywhere.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 01-12-11, 09:36 AM   #3
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Bring your cold weather gear. Weather turns nicer around mid-March, although we usually have a few good riding days before that.
If you are staying someplace near Metro, getting around will be easy. The trains and buses cover a pretty good area.
The bikeshare program started last year,there are lots of stations located around the city. Seems to be popular (saw some in use this past weekend)
http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/
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Old 01-12-11, 04:12 PM   #4
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Depends where in "DC". Much of the city and close-in suburbs are well-connected by Metrorail (subway) and bus systems (Metro and various county-run systems). All (or almost all) the bus systems have bike racks. Metrorail bans conventional bikes during rush hour, folders in a bag (I think) are allowed. All the systems have web sites with detailed route maps. DC has been expanding their on street bike lanes as well as the bike-share program.

Relying solely on a bike in the 'burbs depends on which 'burb. It gets harder (with some localized exceptions) the further out you get. Arlington has an excellent bike route system, Fairfax County not so much. I don't live in MD so can't comment on their situation. I lived in Fairfax City and worked in Crystal City (Arlington near Pentagon) when I first moved here and could get to work entirely by bus + subway (apartment was on a bus line) and there was a large strip mall with most services I needed down the street. Car sat in the lot most of the week. There are a few places in the suburbs where you can be car-less but you're at the mercy of the bus system.

Good local bike info: WABA (waba.org), bikewashington.org. Lots of clubs and shop rides if you are interested in weekend riding.

What cc said about weather.
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Old 01-14-11, 01:18 AM   #5
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lots of really good info... I want to stress the cold wx gear, especially coming from CenTex. Plus... while the area around the monuments is very flat you have some fairly hilly parts of town that you might not be used to.

Where will you be staying?
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Old 01-19-11, 09:36 AM   #6
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Getting around the city by bicycle is very easy. I do it almost every day, even in winter. Capital Bikeshare, the largest bikesharing program in the country, is very popular and will be cheaper than shipping a bike if you're interested mostly in commuting. It's $75 for a year's membership, and trips under 30 minutes are free. There are stations pretty much everywhere in DC you'll want to go. I wouldn't plan on long rides on CaBi, though. They're not designed for speed.

We've had some wicked cold snaps. I bike to work in tights, wool socks, a wool base layer, a windbreaker, gloves and a balaclava. My fingers and toes get real cold by the end of my trip, but it's fine. I see lots of people wearing less.

Where are you staying? That will make a big difference in what kind of biking you can do easily. The city is great, Arlington, Alexandria, Bethesda and Silver Spring are very bike friendly and have easy access to downtown. Once you get further out it's hit or miss.
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