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Old 06-14-09, 09:58 PM   #1
Bob N.
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Overnight ride from Arlington VA

So, my wife and I have done an overnight ride from Old Town Alexandria to Leesburg VA going outbound on the W&OD then back on the C&O Towpath. Nice, scenic, good mileage.

So now what?

We live in Arlington and I was considering riding out to Harper's Ferry via MacArthur Blvd, out River Rd, and then hooking up with the Towpath at White's Ferry out to Harper's Ferry. At about 60 miles, it's probably the maximum we'd want to do. The weather variability with the Towpath surface could be an issue.

Any other suggestions? My sister-in-law wanted to go to Annapolis, but I'm not sure how nice a ride that would be. Ditto for riding to Baltimore.

I probably wouldn't object to a short (30 minute?) drive to the ride start, but it'd be nice to avoid that?

Suggestions please?

thanks in advance
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Old 06-15-09, 08:05 PM   #2
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A couple of ideas spring to mind. Do a Loudoun County wine tour with a B&B for an overnight stop. There are several wineries convenient to the W&OD or secondary roads. Down on the Northern Neck, they have developed a "wine trail" to encourage visits to multiple wineries. You could possibly start from the Fredericksburg area and might be able to take VRE to eliminate driving.

Heading out the C&O, I'd push on a few miles past Harpers Ferry and visit Antietam. There are several B&B in Sharpsburg and you can tour much of the battlefield by bike using the auto road loop. There is that steep climb up from the river and canal. There is an Antietam loop ride on the bikewashington.org website that uses the C&O as part of the route. Oh, I personally think the W&OD to Leesburg, then cross at White's Ferry would be easier than MacArthur, but I'm already 1/2-way to Leesburg vs. where you are starting. Great that your and your wife can do this together. Have fun!
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Old 06-16-09, 06:21 AM   #3
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Well, this slightly exceeds your 30 minutes to the start, but a nice ride. Drive to Leesburg or to the big parking lot where Rt. 28 and the W/OD trail intersect near Dulles airport. Ride the W/OD to Leesburg, then turn right in downtown Leesburg and make your way to White's Ferry. Cross the Potomac on that little ferry for $1 per bike, then ride on to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Steep but short climb to the top. Very pretty.

I don't have cues for this; I just know the way. However, if you look at google maps, it should be clear since it is not a complex route.
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Old 06-16-09, 06:33 AM   #4
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There are some cue sheets for Sugarloaf on Mapmyride.com
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Old 06-16-09, 06:41 AM   #5
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The ideas above are much better than going to Annapolis or Baltimore. The ride to Baltimore is boring and involves rolling hills and not much to see. The route to Annapolis uses a lot of back roads and goes through a rough section of DC.
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Old 06-16-09, 08:57 AM   #6
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The ideas above are much better than going to Annapolis or Baltimore. The ride to Baltimore is boring and involves rolling hills and not much to see. The route to Annapolis uses a lot of back roads and goes through a rough section of DC.
That was my fear
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Old 06-16-09, 09:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ks1g View Post
A couple of ideas spring to mind. Do a Loudoun County wine tour with a B&B for an overnight stop. There are several wineries convenient to the W&OD or secondary roads. Down on the Northern Neck, they have developed a "wine trail" to encourage visits to multiple wineries. You could possibly start from the Fredericksburg area and might be able to take VRE to eliminate driving.

Heading out the C&O, I'd push on a few miles past Harpers Ferry and visit Antietam. There are several B&B in Sharpsburg and you can tour much of the battlefield by bike using the auto road loop. There is that steep climb up from the river and canal. There is an Antietam loop ride on the bikewashington.org website that uses the C&O as part of the route. Oh, I personally think the W&OD to Leesburg, then cross at White's Ferry would be easier than MacArthur, but I'm already 1/2-way to Leesburg vs. where you are starting. Great that your and your wife can do this together. Have fun!
Wow, thanks!

We did a ride in the Northern Neck which I loved and your idea about starting in Fredericksburg/VRE is nice.

I don't know that we'd have enough oomph for making it to Antietam, but we've done that ride and I certainly remember coming up from the river.

My sister-in-law and her boyfriend are going too, and they're looking for something new, hence the MacArthur route.

Great ideas
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Old 06-16-09, 09:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by chuckb View Post
Well, this slightly exceeds your 30 minutes to the start, but a nice ride. Drive to Leesburg or to the big parking lot where Rt. 28 and the W/OD trail intersect near Dulles airport. Ride the W/OD to Leesburg, then turn right in downtown Leesburg and make your way to White's Ferry. Cross the Potomac on that little ferry for $1 per bike, then ride on to Sugar Loaf Mountain. Steep but short climb to the top. Very pretty.

I don't have cues for this; I just know the way. However, if you look at google maps, it should be clear since it is not a complex route.
Hadn't thought about Sugarloaf, never been there on bike. Is there somewhere (a town) worth overnighting at over there or just past?
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Old 06-17-09, 05:06 PM   #9
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Anyone know anything about bicycle Route 1 (not the highway) from Arlington to Fredericksburg? I certainly know about the Mount Vernon trail part, but am unfamiliar with the rest. Vdot has a map (PDF) but it lacks specificity. It looks like it might go to the west side of Quantico. Mileage information would be good too.

thanks
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Old 06-17-09, 06:13 PM   #10
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Here's a route for DC to Fredericksburg.
http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=2668150
The MVT is pretty, but after Mount Vernon you have to ride a few ugly miles on Route 1, unless you can get through Fort Belvoir to Telegraph Road. The back gates are closed on weekends, but they might be open on weekdays. They might let you through the base with proper ID. Even with that, you've got a big climb to Lorton, and another at Occoquan.
My preference is Braddock to Manasas, then south and west of Quantico. I've ridden all but the last few miles of the route into Fredericksburg and it is very bikeable and not too hilly.
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