A bit of The Met Branch Trail is visible in the picture I posted of the rail yard, to the left of the NY Ave. Metro station, Metro is the leftmost rail line in the picture, the trail is left of that. It will make my commute less direct, but I'm looking forward to using that bikeway.
According to what I read online, Jeff and Bryce are planning to follow the Atlantic Coast Bike Route which passes through Richmond. You can email them at flatland2florida@gmaildotcom if you want to offer them a place to spend the night.
I don't know these guys, but I don't think they would be blogging about their trip if they weren't legit. They are trying to raise funds for a skate park in their hometown. They seemed like good people based on our brief meeting.
Library of Congress
I've done BikeDC a couple of times. You can avoid the mass start and go later. But you're right about that hill climb -- most people dismount, and they're all over the road. You pretty much have to ride with hands on the brake levers at all times on any popular ride like this.
After riding the last 7 Bike New York's (with a 40,000+ mass start), BikeDC seems like a club ride.
I've never thought of rides like this as dangerous. You do get all levels of rider showing up. You just have to take it easy and ride careful. I find the "experienced" speed demons cutting through the crowds to be more a problem than the wobbly noobs.
Generally, the mass shakes itself out after a few miles and you find yourself riding with a relatively small group around you.
Hill climb??? Mass Ave??? That's a hill???
Last year the route went up 30th St. NW by Normanstone Park and came down Mass Ave. It's not a huge hill, but 30th St. (seen at about the 4 mile mark, below) is pretty steep.
Here's the entire route from last year:
Last edited by va_cyclist; 10-01-09 at 06:15 PM.
The part of the Met Branch Trail (thanks for the name) along NY Ave Metro Station is the same part that opened up with great fanfare...during the Williams administration. So I guess not much has been done since, eh? Not surprising. My commute was the NEDC-PG line to Alexandria. I didn't like riding on RIA, so I went various back routes, which I liked but which added serious time to the commute. I rode the route of the Met Branch once between RIA Metro and Union Station, but it was kinda sketchy and very sandy. But once it's complete, it'll be good. Too bad for me that it wasn't complete while I was there, though.
I'm sure the BMX guys are legit. But being a single gal and all, I'll likely not take them in, though. There are lots of BMX types in Richmond, and so I bet they'll make some connections. Maybe I'll write to them and see if i can help put them in touch with folks, though.
I'm usually running too late to detour from Rhode Island, but when I can afford to make a small detour, I turn left on 4th NE , then right on V st. This allows me to avoid the climb on RI which is the worst part of sharing the road on RI for me, because I'm so slow going uphill. The climb on V is even steeper, so you don't miss out on the challenge of the climb, just the traffic. V st. comes together with Rhode Island at the top of the hill, so I'm right back on course.
I didn't know that section of Met Branch was open. I thought only the part near Catholic U was, the part that is on a road. I used to cut through from Harry Thomas Way (near New York Ave.) to Rhode Island Ave. on my out-bound commute, a fun off-road tresspass which included carrying over train tracks, but that's fenced off now. That shortcut went where part of the MetBranch will (does?) go. It was kinda nice to ride sandy double track in the city, it had a rural feel to it if you didn't pay mind to the charred skeletal remains of a few torched cars along the way.
I emailed those bmx tourists and told them you wanted to "show them a good time" in Richmond, but they never replied to my message.
Ha ha! Thanks for letting those BMXers know that I'm "available."
I avoided RIA because of the traffic, well because of the busses, really. I had a few routes, including winding through Brookland and crossing RIA at 4th NE and getting to R. Then I crossed N. Cap at R and headed down to the Capitol via New Jersey and 1st NW. From there, it was a nice ride along the Mall to the Jefferson Memorial and down to the Virginia side of the Potomac on the 14th Street bridge and then on to Alexandria on the Mount Vernon Trail. I really enjoyed that commute.
The rail corridor from RIA to NYAve Metro is probably fenced off now since they built that building (electric company, maybe?). That used to be a field that you could cut across and usually the gate was open. I don't know if there is any way to connect to the finished part of the Met Branch at the approach to the NY Ave Metro station or not. They really need to get that finished already.
But all of that is ancient history for me. Have a great time riding in the District! It's the best way to get around.
Met Branch Trail sneak preview for tulip and anyone who is still waiting for a Route One alternate.
It seems to drop off a cliff at M street. I like the "we don't need no stinkin' train" lack of access to the Metro station here. I think the route will be on the street from here heading south. This picture was taken from the New York Avenue bridge, which will need to be modified to accommodate the trail. This short section runs into a wall at New York Ave. So yeah, it's only a few blocks long. (correction: there was space there for the trail, I guess I couldn't get close enough to see it.)
Hmm, something at 4th and S NE.
Looking south. The Pepco substation and New York Ave.
I was afraid to ride the trail, there were a couple of workers who may have reprimanded me. I rode around the Washington Sanitary Grocery warehouse and found another access point a block north, at 5th and T. Looking south.
And north. Another very short section, but they are working on it!
Last edited by qmsdc15; 10-05-10 at 09:13 AM.
An effort was made to get trains in these shots for Mr. Z.
Well, I'll be. They've actually made quite a bit of progress since I was there last. Of course in three years, I would hope they would have made progress.
The only part that was complete was the first photo going up to the NY station. It still drops off an M, huh? I guess they expect us to do a big ole bunnyhop.
But the rest of it, that's an improvement. They've almost made it to the RIA Metro station! You could actually ride on the dirt past those mountains of sand up to RIA station, through a shopping center parking lot on the north side of RIA and on to 4th street up toward CUA.
Thanks so much for the update, gmsdc! You put a smile on my face.
When I cut through there, I would portage across the freight rails and climb a short single track directly under the Metro rails which came out right at the entrance to the station. I live east of where you did, so consequently angled right. Somewhere to the right of these shipping containers.
Last edited by qmsdc15; 05-13-11 at 06:56 PM.
Couple of shots from my ride back in April, from Arlington to UMd.
View from the Netherlands carillon, lion statue at carillon, boundary stone NE5, C&O in Georgetown
Last two are from Maryland Days at UMd - forensics display and a fire tornado from the fire research lab.
Last edited by cc_rider; 10-10-09 at 10:10 AM.
gmsdc15, I lived east of there, too. I used to head up near Brookland and then go east a couple of miles. Thanks for all the pics.
cc rider, nice pics. Thanks for adding to the thread.
tulip, I took an unplanned ride on the red line today, rerouted due to a closure of the yellow/green between Gallery Place and L'Enfant Plaza. I was northbound, so I couldn't see the trail as well as I would have from the southbound track, but spotted some more sections. I might go explore tomorrow morning.
Last edited by qmsdc15; 10-10-09 at 05:52 PM.
I rode the MBT from Franklin to R
A class one bikeway begins under Franklin Street
Paved from there to the RI overpass
Fine gravel ends a few hundred feet further down the line
Rideable to R st
More public art along the way
Parts of a very long mural behind the Rhode Island Ave Shopping Center
Last edited by qmsdc15; 09-01-10 at 06:28 PM.
That is awesome! I really hope they don't 'clean up' the graffiti; it's really great. I love Monk with the piano glasses! Aw, makes me wish I were back there! But in reality, I probably would have been laid off by now so my commute would be moot anyways. But it's still nice to imagine.
Do you see any other cyclists? Is it lit up at night yet? Next time I'm up there I'm definitely going to ride it.
Last edited by qmsdc15; 10-11-09 at 06:39 PM.
qm - is that all graffiti or is part of it an art project.
I had been waiting for the MTB to be finished, but I might check it out sooner than later.
My Sunday ride was to the Solar Decathlon on the Mall, then Union Station, Anacostia, Wilson Bridge and Old Town.
Photos - couple of statues near the OAS, solar decathlon entries, bike station at Union Station, boundary stone SE8 (at the bottom of a concrete pipe), smoke stack at Blue Plains, view through telescope viewer at Wilson Bridge (thought I'd try it and it worked), and from middle of Wilson Bridge.
Past couple of years I've been trying to visit and photograph all the DC boundary stones. I'm down to the ones along SE, and a few of the hard to reach ones like the ones in Delcarlia. Even with maps and instructions it took a while to find SE8
Last edited by cc_rider; 10-12-09 at 10:08 AM.
Great shots, CCRider. That's another significant improvement in the DC area--the bike path on the Wilson Bridge. Yep, I think I moved too soon. My PG-Alexandria commute would be so cool now!