Because I thought I could
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Wash DC Metro
Bikes: November, Trek OCLV, Bianchi Castro Valley commuter
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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.