well Ashland actually. I'm trying to head south out of DC and catch Adventure Cycling's Transameria route. I know that the roads heading out of DC can be treacherous and I was wondering if anybody knew of a safe route. I know now that Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast route connects DC and the Transamerica route and I should of ordered the extra map when I ordered the transamerica set. If any body has the Atlantic Coast set and can post the narratives connecting DC and Transamerica it would be swell. Any help would be great.
One route - From DC, Georgetown, take Key Bridge to Custis Trail, west and turn right onto the WO&D. Where the WO&D crosses over the Fairfax County Parkway (around mile 18.5) switch to the bike trail the runs south along the Parkway. Take route 123 / OX Road south (a sort-of right turn at the interchange, but I've never biked it so I don't know how the connection works.) Continue on 123 to the bridge across the Occoquan. Staying straight connects back to route 1.
Alternate - Any of the Potomac bridges to the Mount Vernon Trail. Take the MVT south to the end, go thru the parking lots and switch to the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. T's at route 1 / Richmond Highway. Turn left and take route 1 thru Fort Belvoir (don't know how bikeable this part is, but it wouldn't be my first choice). On the other side of Belvoir you could stay on route 1 (maybe someone else on the forum knows how bikeable it is) or turn right at Lorton Road, take it to 123, turn left / south and across the Occoquan.
There are some other routes across Arlington and Fairfax that I use, but these involve rather complicated cue sheets through residential neighorhoods with lots of opportunities to get lost. Also a bit hilly. Most of the direct-looking roads have heavy traffic and are not bike friendly.
Through Woodbridge and Dumphries you'll probably need to take route 1. Only way past Quantico without swinging miles to the west (out by Nokesville). South of Quantico, maybe someone else can fill in.
West route to Manassas and Nokesville. The roads out there are good riding, but I'm not sure how to get you south again.
East route through Prince George County, MD to route 301 and across the southern Potomac bridge. You could stay on 301 all the way to Richmond.
Here's an alternate from what I posted above. Saves a few miles over the Fairfax County Parkway.
Take WO&D to route 123 / Maple Ave in Vienna (around mile 11.5) turn left and stay on 123 until you are over the Occoquan. It's a bit messy through Fairfax City, so you might want to switch to Blake Lane, Old Lee Highway and University Drive until you get to George Mason U. From there south, 123 should be fine. Use the bike path where you can, the shoulder is not safe and the traffic goes by at 65mph.