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Old 07-28-13, 04:44 PM   #1
Badger6
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40-50 mile loops, NoVA

Lately, I primarily commute to work. Being back in DC, it is again a possibility, and a reality. But, the same 8.25 mile route in and back 4-5 days a week gets boring, so I've started making time for some quality "me" time on the weekends.

I've strung together one good loop, so far. 42 miles and some change, starting at Bluemont Park (Wilson and W&OD Trail, in Arlington), head north to Custis Trail and head east to the MV Trail, go out to Mount Vernon, turn around and ride back north to 4 Mile Run, and take it back to Bluemont. Pretty decent ride. I'll do it again for sure. I know to add more distance, I should push up the W&OD and come back to the Custis Trail, easily can stretch this ride out to pretty near a century, if I wanted, and that's all fine, but I'm always interested in new scenery too.

Any suggestions? Thinking of stuff within a 15-20 minute drive at 6 am on a Saturday. Shenendoah won't get it done, for that, but I am always interested in any good loops out there, or closer in Loudon County too. Fire away, please.
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Old 08-06-13, 01:53 PM   #2
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Badger,

I live in Arlington and have found there are plenty of great "loop" rides in the area. The loop of Custis-WOD-4-Mile-Mt.Vern that essentially circles Arlington is about 17 miles. To add distance, I will go to Mt. Vernon via the MtV trail, head up the Capital Crescent from Georgetown towards Bethesda, head up Rock Creek Park / Beech Rd, or head west on the W&OD.

Whats your pace?

There are some great hilly routes out in Loudon
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Old 08-12-13, 03:37 AM   #3
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Hokie, thanks. My pace is about 16 mph average, in the flatter stuff I can get up to 18-20 and hold it for miles if the up/down is minimal, my hill climbing sucks...so I should probably climb more hills.

When I was getting ready for my ride on Saturday, I toyed with going up into DC and MD, looping that back and then rejoining the MV Trail. I never mind the new, but am cautious riding in places I've never been where I don't know the turns or the roads (traffic).

I'm guessing I should also sign up with one of the area clubs and get in on some group rides, to get a real variety in my routes going.
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Old 08-12-13, 03:51 AM   #4
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Look up the Potomac Pedalers group. They have (or at least used to have) all / most of their routes published on their website.
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Old 08-13-13, 08:27 PM   #5
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I have taken a look there, very impressed it is a well developed club. I remember them from the last time we lived her, and the LBS continually recommends joining up with them. Guess I knew that...
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Old 08-13-13, 08:49 PM   #6
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Badger,

I live in Arlington and have found there are plenty of great "loop" rides in the area. The loop of Custis-WOD-4-Mile-Mt.Vern that essentially circles Arlington is about 17 miles. To add distance, I will go to Mt. Vernon via the MtV trail, head up the Capital Crescent from Georgetown towards Bethesda, head up Rock Creek Park / Beech Rd, or head west on the W&OD.

Whats your pace?

There are some great hilly routes out in Loudon
I just started doing this loop, starting at National Harbor and coming over the bridge. I can get 29 miles out of the loop, having to go thru Old Town back to the bridge and NH. The only downfall is the number of stops. There is challenging hill on a street crossing W&OD going thru Arlington (can't remember the street name) that you have to be really ready to do. I might take the W&OD out further towards Leesburg one of these days.
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Old 08-14-13, 09:35 AM   #7
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I've crossed the WW Bridge a few times, just adding on a few extra miles, but the joints on the decking (the spots painted yellow) are brutal on a road bike (23s just don't eat very much). As for the hill you describe, is it on a street that crosses the W&OD that you turn onto? I think pretty much any road or trail that goes away from the W&OD will be steep because in that part of the trail, it is in the low ground next to the 4 Mile Run creek.

What's your pace?
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Old 08-14-13, 10:49 AM   #8
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I've crossed the WW Bridge a few times, just adding on a few extra miles, but the joints on the decking (the spots painted yellow) are brutal on a road bike (23s just don't eat very much). As for the hill you describe, is it on a street that crosses the W&OD that you turn onto? I think pretty much any road or trail that goes away from the W&OD will be steep because in that part of the trail, it is in the low ground next to the 4 Mile Run creek.

What's your pace?
The hill is very noticable where the foot of it intersects with the trail. It stands out. Yeah, the joints on the bridge crossing are a drag, but I do short, quick bunny hops over them without issue. My pace is 18-21.
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Old 08-14-13, 07:38 PM   #9
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The hill is very noticable where the foot of it intersects with the trail. It stands out. Yeah, the joints on the bridge crossing are a drag, but I do short, quick bunny hops over them without issue. My pace is 18-21.
Well, I can hang with that pace, I average 16 mph, but 18-21 is the range I am in for the flat stuff, sometimes quicker but never sustained for miles and miles. I'd be willing to link up this weekend and take a ride toward Leesburg. As for the hill you describe, best I can figure is that you are describe either S George Mason or S Walter Reed in Arlington. I've never decided to ride up either one, but I am sure it would be an emotional experience!

Last edited by Badger6; 08-14-13 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 08-15-13, 10:29 AM   #10
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Well, I can hang with that pace, I average 16 mph, but 18-21 is the range I am in for the flat stuff, sometimes quicker but never sustained for miles and miles. I'd be willing to link up this weekend and take a ride toward Leesburg. As for the hill you describe, best I can figure is that you are describe either S George Mason or S Walter Reed in Arlington. I've never decided to ride up either one, but I am sure it would be an emotional experience!
Would bet the reference is to Walter Reed since George Mason is more gradual. If you want a climb, you can also loop up West Glebe from the 4 Mile Run Trail and take Valley Dr or Martha Custis up to Fern St. Then cross through Fairlington back to George Mason and then up Dinwiddie St past Wakefield High School.

If you are looking for cycling groups in the DMV area, there are now several on Meetup.com (including Potomac Pedalers) and don't forget the Oxon Hill Bike and Trail Club.
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Old 08-15-13, 03:33 PM   #11
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The hill is very noticable where the foot of it intersects with the trail. It stands out. Yeah, the joints on the bridge crossing are a drag, but I do short, quick bunny hops over them without issue. My pace is 18-21.
I received your message, but cannot reply...I need 50 posts, and I am at 23 with this one. Go ahead and let me know. I'm going to also take the advice of CR, and check out meetup.com.
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