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Suggestions for a Bike ride between Philadelphia and Washington DC

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Suggestions for a Bike ride between Philadelphia and Washington DC

Old 01-30-20, 02:08 PM
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Roadracer100
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Suggestions for a Bike ride between Philadelphia and Washington DC

Hi there,
I am new here so I apologize in advance if my question is posted in the wrong thread. Iím looking for advice for a bicycle ride Iíd like to do in the summertime, between Philadelphia and Washington DC (well a town close to philly). Ill be riding to the area from northern nj the night before and plan to stay the night and continue from philly to dc. I would like to know if anyone has done this route before and if so, what was it like, do you have any suggestions? Iíll be using a trek marlin 5 mountain bike for the ride, Iíve previously done a ride between My town in northern nj near the border of ny state and Philadelphia which totaled 100 miles. The route I calculated says it will be about 150 miles to dc from Philly.

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Old 01-30-20, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadracer100 View Post
Hi there,
I am new here so I apologize in advance if my question is posted in the wrong thread. Iím looking for advice for a bicycle ride Iíd like to do in the summertime, between Philadelphia and Washington DC (well a town close to philly). Ill be riding to the area from northern nj the night before and plan to stay the night and continue from philly to dc. I would like to know if anyone has done this route before and if so, what was it like, do you have any suggestions? Iíll be using a trek marlin 5 mountain bike for the ride, Iíve previously done a ride between My town in northern nj near the border of ny state and Philadelphia which totaled 100 miles. The route I calculated says it will be about 150 miles to dc from Philly.
I've ridden it (approximately), and there are many fabulous back road routes to get you there. You're constraining factor is crossing the Susquehanna River, where bicycles are ONLY permitted on the Route 1 (dam) road. Other bridges require you to be transported across by a four wheeled vehicle.

Use that as a marker. Also, if you plan for 50 miles per day, then you'll need two hotel stays (or overnights). Finding accommodations will also be a limiting factor through much of the back country, so choose waypoints that include those overnights. The rest is just road selection. Mt. Airy is a good 2nd night point. BelAir might be a good first night. Good luck.
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Old 01-31-20, 03:51 PM
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Sounds like a fun ride! You just going one way, or round trip?
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Old 01-31-20, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Sounds like a fun ride! You just going one way, or round trip?
iím just heading one way, Iím taking the train back home, Iíve done the ride from Newton,NJ to Philly twice now, so Iím looking to explore new places.
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Old 01-31-20, 04:43 PM
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Check out the East Coast Greenway.
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Old 01-31-20, 10:15 PM
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Originally Posted by john m flores View Post
Check out the East Coast Greenway.
I used to live in Annapolis, and I don't think I would ever take that route to get from Baltimore to DC.

scott s.
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Old 02-01-20, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by scott967 View Post
I used to live in Annapolis, and I don't think I would ever take that route to get from Baltimore to DC.

scott s.
.
Care to share your local knowledge then?
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Old 02-02-20, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by john m flores View Post
Care to share your local knowledge then?
I think bicycles are now allowed over route 40 Susquehanna bridge, but only on weekends. Iím a bit wary of route 1 because itís a bit rural and I want to stay in urban areas
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Old 02-04-20, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadracer100 View Post
... Iím a bit wary of route 1 because itís a bit rural and I want to stay in urban areas
This is one of the most curious things I've ever read here. You'll have to explain why that would be so. Let's summarize the pros and cons as I understand them.

Pros to urban routes:
- Generally more direct
- Ready access commerce of all types
- Quicker response for taxi/emergency assistance

Cons to urban routes:
- Greater congestion with attendant dangers
- Much more road debris
- Noise and exhaust

Did I get those right?
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Old 02-04-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
This is one of the most curious things I've ever read here. You'll have to explain why that would be so. Let's summarize the pros and cons as I understand them.

Pros to urban routes:
- Generally more direct
- Ready access commerce of all types
- Quicker response for taxi/emergency assistance

Cons to urban routes:
- Greater congestion with attendant dangers
- Much more road debris
- Noise and exhaust

Did I get those right?
I want to ride on urban roads for exactly the reasons you just stated. I sometimes like country roads but when itís a long ride like this, id rather urban roads like route 40, thereís usually a lot of traffic so people are moving slowly and itís easier to ride, thatís just my preference though.
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Old 02-04-20, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
I've ridden it (approximately), and there are many fabulous back road routes to get you there. You're constraining factor is crossing the Susquehanna River, where bicycles are ONLY permitted on the Route 1 (dam) road. Other bridges require you to be transported across by a four wheeled vehicle.
Uncorrect. There are other bike-legal crossings farther upstream. York, PA area to Manheim for instance.
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Old 02-04-20, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadracer100 View Post
Iíve previously done a ride between My town in northern nj near the border of ny state and Philadelphia which totaled 100 miles. The route I calculated says it will be about 150 miles to dc from Philly.
I realize you are new here, but for an issue like this, details are crucial to getting the most helpful responses. For example, I live in Philly and have ridden from a "town in northern NJ near the border of ny state" (Port Jervis) to home numerous times.

So....
1. Where, exactly, are you planning to start from, and what route have you ridden between home and Philly. 100 miles seems pretty short. The way I have gone several times includes a segment from Upper Black Eddy, PA to Philly proper. That's over 60 miles in and of itself.

2. Not sure why you think U.S. 1 is rural. There are plenty of high-traffic, highly developed sections south of Philly. A portion of it in Philly is one of the more dangerous roads around. Barely a week goes by that you don't hear of a serious crash or a pedestrian being struck.

3. I would avoid the ECG, at least in PA. There is very little that is green about it. For example, there is a lot of busy street city riding north of the center of Philly. South through places like Eddystone and Chester it uses PA 291, which is called Industrial Highway, and for good reason.

4. Are you familiar with Adventure Cycling Association? If not, you should check out its maps. It's Atlantic Coast route comes down the river from Port Jervis to Lambertville, NJ/New Hope and then heads to Philly. The route along the river is really nice. The section from New Hope to Consohocken is a tried and true way used by local clubs. There is then a bike trail spur into the city, or you can continue south, also using some trail at first. Ultimately, there is a spur into D.C. I also believe it passes through or close to Baltimore. It's certainly not going to be the most direct way, but there are some nice sections.
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Old 02-04-20, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Roadracer100 View Post
id rather urban roads like route 40, thereís usually a lot of traffic so people are moving slowly and itís easier to ride, thatís just my preference though.
based on my extensive experience commuting on busy roads in developed S. Jersey, the above demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of traffic conditions and ignores the substantial likelihood of having to be continuously conscious of motorist turning in front of you to enter gas stations, convenience stores, fast food joints, etc. Take a look at U.S. 40 somewhere like Bear, DE, on Google Street View, for example.
Or N. DuPont Highway (U.S. 13/40). 50 MPH speed limit. Looks lovely, but it's up to you.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.6648...7i13312!8i6656

Good luck.

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Old 02-04-20, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Uncorrect. There are other bike-legal crossings farther upstream. York, PA area to Manheim for instance.
...and he would go even farther inland why?
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Old 02-04-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
...and he would go even farther inland why?
Thatís wasnít my point.

But since you ask....For safety reasons. PA 372 is not that far up river and has a decent shoulder heading in that direction. IIRC, U.S. 1 has no shoulder heading south and is narrower, but it's been a long time since I have ridden it.

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Old 02-04-20, 11:28 AM
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I see. Sorry about that. I thought that he was envisioning sticking to the Philadelphia to Washington corridor. The inland routes would be longer and more scenic. We've ridden through central and western Maryland toward Delaware, and that is some nice riding.

The entire concept of running straight down Rt 40 would hold no appeal for me, and my wife would not do it due to the dangers.
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