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Old 06-15-08, 08:28 PM   #1
chinotex
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One day to ride in Reston VA... Where?

I'll be in Reston, VA on my way up to NY on Thursday, July 3rd, with only that morning to ride in the area. Can anyone recommend a route, or want to show a Texan around the area for about 40 miles? I average about 20-21 mph riding in the Houston area (not many hills).

I'd like to ride first thing in the morning that Thursday, if anyone is interested.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:51 AM   #2
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Simple ride would be to hop on the W&OD trail.
option 1 - Ride in towards DC. From mile post 18 at Reston Town Center to mp 4 in Arlington. Left towards Bon Air / Custis Trail and left again onto the Custis (crossing under highway). Take Custis to Roslynn, then you can go into Georgetown by the Key Bridge or take the Mount Vernon Trail south. Visit the monuments, ride around Hains Point, etc. Come back the same way, or by Four Mile Run and Shirlington, picking up the W&OD at mp 0.
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1992703

option 2 - ride away from DC. Take the trail west to the Purcelville end at mp 44. Or in Leesburg left on Dry Mill and left again at Woodburn, climbing Hog Back Mountain. Then either back down the mountain or continue to Harmony Church Rd, turn right and go a few miles back to the W&OD at Hamilton.
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1992679

Lots of road riding, too. But given the traffic and complicated roads 'round here it might be best to have a local guide for that.

Good general info http://bikewashington.org/

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Old 06-16-08, 07:31 PM   #3
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Two good suggestions by CC. For his route #2, straight out the W&OD to Purcelville will give you plenty of hills if you're used to flat lands. There are several places in Purcelville where you could get something to eat before the return ride. The alternate route (Dry Mill, Woodburn, Harmony Church) will give you a good hill workout starting with Woodburn and then a series of long rollers on HC. When Harmony Church Rd ends at Rt 7, go right, then quick left onto Hamilton Station Rd. Go right to head back where it crosses the W&OD a little further up; if you hit Rt 9, you've gone too far!

If you could stick around for the evening, the Reston Bike Club's Thursday evening ride leaves just down the bike trail from Herndon (muni lot next to the town green) at 6PM sharp.

Other places to ask around would be the roadie and road racing forums (lots of NoVA participants) and maybe on the Yahoo bikewashingtonDC group and Google pedalers group.

Enjoy your visit. Since you're heading up to NYC, try not to take I-95, unless you're driving at odd hours (like 2AM?) or enjoy sitting in LONG holiday weekend backups for tolls (MD, DE, NJ) and backups (anywhere!).
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Old 06-16-08, 07:37 PM   #4
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Enjoy your visit. Since you're heading up to NYC, try not to take I-95, unless you're driving at odd hours (like 2AM?) or enjoy sitting in LONG holiday weekend backups for tolls (MD, DE, NJ) and backups (anywhere!).
Thanks for the advice on the routes... I'll definitely cross-post in the roadie forum.

I'm headed to upstate NY, not the city, so I'll be mostly on 81 through Pennsylvania, avoiding I-95 (been there, done that).

On my way back I'm planning on driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, and maybe spending a day to ride around there.
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Old 06-16-08, 07:46 PM   #5
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Two good suggestions by CC. For his route #2, straight out the W&OD to Purcelville will give you plenty of hills if you're used to flat lands. There are several places in Purcelville where you could get something to eat before the return ride. The alternate route (Dry Mill, Woodburn, Harmony Church) will give you a good hill workout starting with Woodburn and then a series of long rollers on HC. When Harmony Church Rd ends at Rt 7, go right, then quick left onto Hamilton Station Rd. Go right to head back where it crosses the W&OD a little further up; if you hit Rt 9, you've gone too far!

If you could stick around for the evening, the Reston Bike Club's Thursday evening ride leaves just down the bike trail from Herndon (muni lot next to the town green) at 6PM sharp.

Other places to ask around would be the roadie and road racing forums (lots of NoVA participants) and maybe on the Yahoo bikewashingtonDC group and Google pedalers group.

Enjoy your visit. Since you're heading up to NYC, try not to take I-95, unless you're driving at odd hours (like 2AM?) or enjoy sitting in LONG holiday weekend backups for tolls (MD, DE, NJ) and backups (anywhere!
).
My advice is skip option 1. It sucks. The only reason to ride that is if you live west of DC and need that route to comute.

Option 2 is very good, especially once you get to Leesburg. The last stretch from Leesvile to Purcerville is scenic amd smooth without stops.
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Old 06-16-08, 08:03 PM   #6
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How hard is it to maintain speed on the W&OD, traffic-wise? I'd probably be heading out around 6:30-7 AM.
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Old 06-16-08, 09:01 PM   #7
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Well, the roadie forum folk were very helpful... I'm going to do the W&OD on the 3rd, and on my way back through Virginia later in the month ride Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park!

thanks for your help!
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Old 06-17-08, 11:07 AM   #8
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The W&OD is easy to maintain speed on going west from Reston - you've got (busier) street crossings in Herndon, Sterling and Leesburg, but there are some nice stretches that get longer the further you go out.

If you've got the time and the legs, turn left at the end of the trail, then right on Main street in Purcellville to a Left on route 690. Turn Right, when you get to Snickersville Turnpike, then follow that out.

Once you pass the Bluemont country store, the grade goes (apparently) straight up - it's actually about a 11-15% climb for around 1/4 mile. The grade eases up as you approach route 7. Cross route 7 and turn left (careful of traffic!), and go up a 7% grade until the next intersection...then cross back over to route 601.

The first section of the climb up 601 is killer - grades approach 20%...but it smooths out to a 7-9% grade for the rest of the climb to the top of Mt. Weather. Turn around once the elevation peaks out at just under 1900 feet, come back down, and retrace back to Purcellville.

Going from my house was about 101 miles total RT (I live south of Reston). I had the bonus of a BIG thunderstorm hitting just as I turned around. It was fun descending the mountain without the benefit of brakes....
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Old 06-17-08, 12:30 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
My advice is skip option 1. It sucks. The only reason to ride that is if you live west of DC and need that route to comute.

Option 2 is very good, especially once you get to Leesburg. The last stretch from Leesvile to Purcerville is scenic amd smooth without stops.
Option 2 would be my choice, too. I'd probably take Woodburn / Harmony Church, then west on business 7 to Purcelville and take the W&OD back.
Option 1 isn't that bad, but it's best for seeing Georgetown and the DC monuments.
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