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  1. #1
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    Arlington VA/ DC Anyone?

    Hello all.
    I'm living in the South Arlington area in Pentagon City. I can get into DC in a flash. Am looking for other riders who bike in the area.

    Paul

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    There are quite a few. I'm a commuter with plans to start venturing farther afield on a road bike. What kind of riding are you interested in?

  3. #3
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    Hey! I live in Arlington too, up on Columbia Pike actually. I commute, and have just started doing criterium racing. I've been looking for others to ride with as well. It's always more motivating when you're chasing someone!

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    I've got a new Cannondale cyclocross bike. Mainly into staying on the road though. I'd like to hit some of the trails around VA. At least from a car's vantage point the trails seem nice. Eventually I'll get into cyclocross racing, but ... must.... get... stronger...

    Hey DC Emily, what's criterion racing? (Ignorance shining through)

    Paul

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    So where do you DC/Arlingtonians like to ride? Have you got a favorite out the way spot, or in the way?

    Paul

  6. #6
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    see www.bikepptc.org for a variety of rides and a good way to meet folks and learn the roads.

    get a DC area bike map by ADC, available at most bike shops.

  7. #7
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    My neighbor and I usually hit the GW Parkway (the road itself) on the weekends. We're always looking for company.

  8. #8
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    I have planned for some time to do some rides with local clubs. Haven't gotten around to it yet, though. Anybody doing those?

    http://www.waba.org/new/clubs/index.php
    Five is right out!

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  9. #9
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    I do some Potomac Pedaler's rides. That's the website velogirl posted above. They have rides of varying skill levels. I usually do their C or CC rides.

    On my own, in Arlington, sometimes I do a 17-18 mile loop using Mt. Vernon trail, Custis trail, W & OD trail and the Four Mile Run Trail. This summer I plan to finally do the full length of the W & OD trail out to Purcellville, which will be a century roundtrip for me from my apartment in DC.

    I use the DC bike map a bit too. Last summer, I tried going out River Road into Maryland. But I had two flats and I had to call a cab before I could loop back. However, I did get far enough away from DC (~20 miles from downtown DC) to see that there are a few quiet rural roads that cyclists use a lot out there. So I'll be picking up the map a few times and trying to find some other nice rides out of the city and back.
    Last edited by Simplebiker; 03-25-05 at 11:27 AM.

  10. #10
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Hi cycloboy,
    I live in College Park, MD (right on the other side of DC) with a basement full o' bikes. I like road riding, light trails, and want to do some touring.
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  11. #11
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cycloboy
    I've got a new Cannondale cyclocross bike. Mainly into staying on the road though. I'd like to hit some of the trails around VA. At least from a car's vantage point the trails seem nice. Eventually I'll get into cyclocross racing, but ... must.... get... stronger...

    Hey DC Emily, what's criterion racing? (Ignorance shining through)

    Paul
    Criterium races are road races. Basically, they'll lay out a loop that's about 2 miles or so long, and you loop it, say 12 times. They're great, especially if you're into an audience. The crowd becomes really motivational.

    As far as ususal rides, I hit Mount Vernon, Four Mile Run, Crescent and Custis most often. There's also a Rockville trail that I recall being fantastic, although it's been a while since I've ventured through maryland.

    Haines Point is a great spot for 'training' rides. It's a three mile loop that's pretty much flat, surrounded by the Potomac, so you always get a good headwind on one side, and you're pretty much guaranteed a crosswind. There are groups that do regular rides at Haines Point at noon and 6pm. I think they do it on the weekends too, but I tend to sleep in and miss those!

  12. #12
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    Criterium races are road races. Basically, they'll lay out a loop that's about 2 miles or so long, and you loop it, say 12 times. They're great, especially if you're into an audience. The crowd becomes really motivational.
    Emily, do you know of any low-key criteriums in the DC area? I am hoping to get into road racing and thinking this would be a good way to start!

    How do you get to Haines Point, by the way? I've heard of it but not been there.
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  13. #13
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moxfyre
    Emily, do you know of any low-key criteriums in the DC area? I am hoping to get into road racing and thinking this would be a good way to start!

    How do you get to Haines Point, by the way? I've heard of it but not been there.
    well, my recommendation as far as the races go would be to 'get your feet wet' spinning around Haines Point some time. I just started this past fall and just look for local races, really. Starting off as a cat 4 (cat 5 for men, women only have 4 categories), you'll have a mix of people. And most times categories are combined. For men, it's usually a 4/5 race. take a look at bikereg.com. The've always got a great listing!

    To get to Haines Point, head down towards the Tidal Basin, and hang a left right before you hit the Jefferson Memorial. You'll see signs for it. It's actually referred to as West Potomac Park or something like that. There's a golf course there too, which may be indicated by the signs.

  14. #14
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by man910
    My neighbor and I usually hit the GW Parkway (the road itself) on the weekends. We're always looking for company.
    Really? Right down the parkway? that sounds awesome!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    Really? Right down the parkway? that sounds awesome!
    Weekends only. It's pretty dangerous during the week. The part down towards Mount Vernon is nice, but many drivers don't expect bikes, so just be aware of that. Potomac Pedalers rides are a great way to learn routes.

  16. #16
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    DC Emily and Velogirl,

    There's a good way to get to Mt Vernon and stay off the Prakway for most of the route. I agree it's dangerous. The speed limit is 45, there's no shoulder, and cars do some crazy things because it's not divided. As you go south on the Parkway from Alexandria, take a right on Tulane Drive (first road) past Belle Haven. Follow that to the left and take the first left. Then you are parallel to the Parkway. There are some turns and changes but it's easy to figure out. There's a Potomace Pedaler cue sheet that shows the route. You can stay on it all the way to Stratford Landing maybe three miles from Mt Vernon. By then much of the taffic has either gotten off or slowed enough, it's safer.

  17. #17
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    Thanks StanSeven. I don't ride on the parkway, myself, since their is, in my opinion, a great bike trail that runs along side it. Riding on the Parkway itself seems to me dangerous no matter when, but people do it regardless.

  18. #18
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    So do the Potomac Pedalers have a regular schedule? Is it on the website? I'd love to do some training rides, but most of the ones I'm aware of, like the Greenbelt training rides, are at a time and place that's inconvenient. I'd love to find something that leaves from downtown around maybe 6-ish. And the season's coming up. Any recommendations?

  19. #19
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    So do the Potomac Pedalers have a regular schedule? Is it on the website? I'd love to do some training rides, but most of the ones I'm aware of, like the Greenbelt training rides, are at a time and place that's inconvenient. I'd love to find something that leaves from downtown around maybe 6-ish. And the season's coming up. Any recommendations?
    Here's their March Schedule: http://bikepptc.org/ride_schedule/pptc0503.html

    I'm in the same boat as you, I would like to do weekday evening rides rather than weekend rides because I'm very busy most weekends. I have been looking around but not found too much so far. The BikeWashingtonDC mailing list has been very helpful with good routes and advice!
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  20. #20
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    Of course, the Potomac Pedalers April schedule should appear online in a few days. But I got the April Potomac Pedaler's "Pedal Patter" (monthly periodical) in the mail a few days ago. There are a few weekly weekday evening rides leaving from downtown DC and from some areas in VA and MD in April. Some may continue throughout the warm months. So look for the new schedule online and check the ride category C/CC/B/BB/A to determine whether they will be riding at a speed suitable for your training, recreation or whatever. I usually ride the C or CC rides. BB is to fast for me right now, but I'm not sure if it is fast enough for someone doing serious training. Maybe, maybe not? If you happen to be in a bike shop this weekend, you might see a paper copy of the Pedal Patter. I've seen copies once or twice in bike shops. Otherwise, the April schedule should appear online in a few days.

  21. #21
    Headed to the Library... DC_Emily's Avatar
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    awesome....I'll keep an eye open for the April issue and calendar!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DC_Emily
    So do the Potomac Pedalers have a regular schedule? Is it on the website? I'd love to do some training rides, but most of the ones I'm aware of, like the Greenbelt training rides, are at a time and place that's inconvenient. I'd love to find something that leaves from downtown around maybe 6-ish. And the season's coming up. Any recommendations?
    I didn't see these rides on the schedule yet but there are two weeknight ones you might be interested in. They are on Tuesday and Thursday and begin on 6:30 (6:15 the first few weeks). One begins at the park/swim pool on Eisenhower Ave and the other at Belle Haven marina.

  23. #23
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven
    I didn't see these rides on the schedule yet but there are two weeknight ones you might be interested in. They are on Tuesday and Thursday and begin on 6:30 (6:15 the first few weeks). One begins at the park/swim pool on Eisenhower Ave and the other at Belle Haven marina.
    So a ride will take place at 6:15 tomorrow? Can you tell me which starting location it is, and what difficulty level? I didn't see these on the web site but would definitely like to do them!
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  24. #24
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    Make that "early" weekends. I've never personally gone alone by myself because I'm too wimpy. Yes, there is a trail parallel to it but it has its own hazards (e.g., walkers, windy and narrow path, blind spots, etc.) for road cycling. Plus, the open road is a lot more smoother and is easier on your body. I do feel a lot more safer when there are multiple bikers in the group.

    Quote Originally Posted by velogirl
    Weekends only. It's pretty dangerous during the week. The part down towards Mount Vernon is nice, but many drivers don't expect bikes, so just be aware of that. Potomac Pedalers rides are a great way to learn routes.

  25. #25
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    Last summer/fall I did some of the Belle Haven and Cameron Run rides. Both were great in my opinion. The pack split up into several groups based on ability. For either ride I'd strongly recommend staying with at least one person that knows the route... my first time on the Belle Haven ride I was in a group of three riders where nobody had been on the ride more than once. After a couple of lucky guesses, we caught the group ahead of us at a light. I took a GPS with me on each ride and will try to post the map and profile tonight.

    Oh well, off for a couple of laps around Hains Point. I work on the north side of Old Town and try to get rides in around here after work each night if anyone is interested.

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