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Old 04-02-08, 04:00 PM   #1
KarenS
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Commuting Q for Sterling, VA

I'm hoping to start commuting by using the W&OD trail. My problem is that I can't find a safe route to get there. I live on the Northern side of 7. Is there someone who's solved this problem? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-08, 06:06 PM   #2
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I don't live in DC anymore, so I'm not sure. Have you gotten a copy of the DC Bike Map published by ADC? You can find them in most bookstores and bikeshops. Also, you might want to check with the Washington Area Bicyclists Association at www.waba.org. So many people commute by bike in and around DC that I bet someone has found a solution to your problem. Of course, you could just move, but that's kinda drastic.

You might also want to post this question in the Commuting forum. There are at least several DC area commuters who are regular posters in that forum.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:58 PM   #3
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Where on the north side of route 7? Cascades? Lowes Island?
If you can get to Sterling Blvd, take the side streets like Amelia or Lincoln. I don't know the exact connections since I'm usually going crosswise to those streets, but on the map it looks like they take you pretty close to the W&OD.

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Old 04-03-08, 05:43 PM   #4
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I'm on the West side of Algonkian near Countryside Blvd. My biggest problem is getting across 7 without dying. I was hoping to take Algonkian south across (and under) 7. It'd take me the whole way to W&OD once I cut through a parking lot. But my friend who's logged 1000+ biking hours on streets said that he wasn't even comfortable taking that since it doesn't have any shoulder.

Does the D.C. bike map have a lot of trails for Loudon? I know that Fairfax is littered with trails, but Loudon doesn't seem that organized yet.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:18 PM   #5
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Yes, getting across 7 is a challenge. I'm going to suggest taking Algonkian Pkwy south under Rt 7, past the Dulles Town Center Mall (becomes Atlantic Ave), the Lowes and Sams Club, and continue past the Sportsplex. Turn right into the OSC campus, go thru the parking lot (the one you mentioned?) towards the trail. There is a paved path connecting just east of the Rt 28 bridge.

The reason I suggest this route is one of the Reston Bike Club Thursday late afternoon rides is a loop that takes W Church Rd to Magnolia to Atlantic and north onto Algonkian. The route continues on the shoulder/right lane all the way around to Fairfax County Parkway and back into Herndon at Whiele. I've never had a problem on the evening rides, you just have to watch the traffic exiting an entering as you cross under 7. Yes, I've also ridden it solo (on weekends). For commuting, I'd run a BRIGHT flashing taillight (Dinotte?) and maybe wear a safety vest, and use a mirror. Algonkian isn't as busy as Rt 7 (I think - I don't live out there so I don't know what it's like in the AM rush) and with 2 lanes, traffic has someplace to go.

Other options: Take Countryside to get across 7, cut through the mall with Nordstrom's Rack and Best Buy onto Atlantic. Continue as above. More hassle with the lot/longer, but Cascades may be lighter or slower traffic. Plan C: Drive to the Rt 28 lot, park, and ride from there. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-08, 09:28 AM   #6
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I don't have my DC bike map handy (still in a box since I moved to Richmond). You might want to check with WABA.
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Old 04-04-08, 11:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenS View Post
I'm on the West side of Algonkian near Countryside Blvd. My biggest problem is getting across 7 without dying. I was hoping to take Algonkian south across (and under) 7. It'd take me the whole way to W&OD once I cut through a parking lot. But my friend who's logged 1000+ biking hours on streets said that he wasn't even comfortable taking that since it doesn't have any shoulder.

Does the D.C. bike map have a lot of trails for Loudon? I know that Fairfax is littered with trails, but Loudon doesn't seem that organized yet.
Algonkian Pkway (and Atlantic Blvd) after that don't seem any worse than Sunrise Valley Drive in Reston, which I take from the FFax County parkway all the way down to the turn-off at the W&OD. Yeah, they don't have any shoulder, but the sightlines are good, and the traffic isn't TOO heavy. It's also the shortest route to the trail.
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