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Old 03-23-09, 06:38 PM   #1
cc_rider
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DC to Williamsburg - How to?

A friend of a friend is biking from Arlington to Williamsburg in April. I can get him to Fredricksburg on nice back roads, but past that my direct knowledge runs out. He doesn't seem to mind some hills or a bit of traffic, is not in a great hurry and would like a fairly scenic route.

My first thought was to direct him to Richmond and the Virgina Capital Trail, but since that is not complete I guess he'd be riding the shoulder of route 5 most of the way. And I'm not sure how to bike to Richmond.
I used to drive route 17 a lot, and wouldn't want to recommend that to anyone for biking. Plus there is the problem of getting over the York River (unless they've opened the bridge to bikes in the last couple of years.)

My current thought is route 2 to Bowling Green, or something parallel like Thornton Rolling, Macedonia, Rozell, Woodford, River and Paige.
Then Sparta, Newtown, The Trail (route 14) and route 33 to West Point. Or if route 30 around King William isn't bad, maybe Canterbury, Walkerton and 30 to West Point.
Then Farmers Dr, Holly Fork and Ware Creek (mostly staying off of routes 30 and 60). At Croaker go south to I-64 and take either Rochambeau or Fenton Mill the rest of the way.

I haven't been to Bowling Green in 10 years, and West Point in nearly 20. I have no real idea if my route between F'burg and West Point will work for biking. I'm most concerned about how riding on route 2 and route 14 is. Or would the back roads work better.
If anyone has any advice, or direct knowledge of these roads, or has an alternate route they've tried, please post. Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 03-24-09, 06:57 AM   #2
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For Richmond to Williamsburg, you may find the route for the upcoming Capital-to-Capital ride useful (www.virginiacapitaltrail.org). Take a look at the Richmond Area Bicycle Association (www.raba.org)--they are really knowledgeable and friendly folks and I'm sure someone can help you. Best luck to your friend's friend.
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Old 03-24-09, 04:47 PM   #3
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Looks like the Cap-to-Cap ride spends a lot of time on route 5. How is route 5 for biking? Maybe the return route of the century would work. The back roads might be nicer.

I'm still leaning towards the Bowling / Green West Point route because it's more rural. Looks like Fredricksburg to Richmond involves either route 1 or route 301, neither of which I'd recommend, or going way West into the hills around Montpelier. And you still have to come through Richmond itself. Do you have some suggestion.......

I'll try RABA and the Peninsula Clubs.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:24 PM   #4
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I've cycled Route 5 on the Richmond end down around Varina (east of Richmond) and it's fine as long as you aren't out riding when the school buses are running. I made that mistake once. If you look at a map, there are plenty of smaller country roads that you can piece together to kindof follow Route 5, but you have to be aware of where you cross the water. But it's beautiful on those country roads. Once you get out of Richmond on the east side, it gets rural very quickly, unlike on the west side, which has lots of shopping malls and subdivision. Thankfully the east side has been spared alot of that so far (can you tell I live on the east side?)

On the Williamsburg end, the Cap-to-Cap trail is more completely constructed, but it's been a couple years since I've ridden down there and I don't know what the current status is.

I guess this doesn't help much, but perhaps it will help a little. I'd follow Route 5 and bring a good map to find alternate routes if the rider is uncomfortable on Route 5. But as I recall, Route 5 is not all that bad.
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Old 03-24-09, 07:27 PM   #5
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If I could figure out how to get him to, and around Richmond, I'd probably recommend route 5 and the Cap2Cap.
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Old 03-25-09, 04:13 AM   #6
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I've ridden a bunch of rt 5 both on the cap2cap and separately. It seems fine to me. I wouldn't hesitate to ride it.
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Old 03-26-09, 09:16 PM   #7
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route 5 from richmond to williamsburg is no problem, i rode the route last week and alot more trails have been finished up. riding in richmond itself is not too bad. if you end up in the city follow cary st all the way to rt. 5
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Old 04-11-09, 09:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cc_rider View Post
I used to drive route 17 a lot, and wouldn't want to recommend that to anyone for biking. Plus there is the problem of getting over the York River (unless they've opened the bridge to bikes in the last couple of years.)
There is no problem crossing the York River. Route 17 crosses the York River on the Coleman Bridge. Over 10 years ago it was widened to 4 lanes with shoulders. It is open to bikes and the North bound toll is free to bikes. (There is a sign for no pedestrians.) http://www.roadstothefuture.com/Coleman_Bridge.html

From Fredericksburg to Port Royal Rt 17 is two lane. After Port Royal it is a 4 lane divided highway.

If I were going to Williamsburg from Route 17 I would go through West Point from Glens. There are two new bridges with shoulders. Very nice.

It all depends on what you are comfortable with and how long you have. Take a few days and cross over the Rappahanock at Tappahannock but the Bridge at White Stone is long an narrow.
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Old 04-12-09, 06:12 AM   #9
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The Norris Bridge across the Rappahanock between White Stone and Topping is not bikeable. It's very narrow, very high, and 2-miles long. The only way to get to the Northern Neck by bike is at Tappahanock, but I've never done it. Too bad there's no ferry anymore.
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Old 04-12-09, 06:18 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I already gave him a route based on three days ride and staying at hotels (his request)
Arlington to Fredericksburg
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2668150
Fredericksburg to Ashland
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2671470
Ashland to Williamsburg
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2671730
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Old 04-12-09, 07:39 PM   #11
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The Norris Bridge across the Rappahanock between White Stone and Topping is not bikeable. It's very narrow, very high, and 2-miles long. The only way to get to the Northern Neck by bike is at Tappahanock, but I've never done it. Too bad there's no ferry anymore.

It is narrow and long but it is bikable.
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