Riding in DC
My wife and I are joining her family on vacation in DC this coming week a dim taking a bike along for some me time. I'm most likely taking my 77 Centurion semi-pro s/s. DC looks s/s friendly but I have other bikes if you think they'd might be more appropriate. Any route suggestions/places to avoid/places to go etc? We are staying on 13th st in Columbia heights if that helps. I've never been to DC for any extended period of time and I'm looking forward to this!
I'm surprised that no one has chimed in
DC has lots of trails and paths that are nominally referred to as bike paths, but which are really mixed use trails. They can be good fun but you need to watch out for other users, who range from racer posers to little old ladies with leashed dogs to families with small children walking all over the place.
For specific trails, I suggest looking at Bike Washington .
I've recently been on the following:
Mt. Vernon, from Roosevelt Island to the Estate. In my experience, this trail more than others is subject to my earlier traffic warning.
Rock Creek Park - Capital Crescent. A nice loop, with some low traffic spots allowing for faster travel.
C&O Towpath - The first 25 miles are nice, particularly the 15 miles west of the beltway where the trail is a mixture of dirt & crushed gravel.
Sligo Creek - High traffic, and several at grade Highway crossings, but can take you from the MD suburbs into the heart of DC.
Thanks! Riding in the city will be a big change for me. I'm used to quiet back roads.
Also check out the Washington Area Bike Forum. They have several regular posters who mostly ride fixed gear. Overall the MUPs (multi-use-paths) are either flatish or have an easy gradient. From downtown DC you'll have a climb up to Columbia Heights. Also, cbender left out the longest MUP in the area, the W&OD rail trail. It is 44.5 miles long from the Shirlington neighborhood of Arlington going west to Purcellville, VA. There is a 16 MUP loop around Arlington (W&OD, Custis, Mt Vernon, and 4 Mile Run Trails).