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bobco85
05-09-2017, 02:27 PM
Fresh off a great Purple Line ride in Maryland, it’s time to give some Virginia transit love. For this, let’s bike the Silver Line Extension!

Keeping with the transit theme, this ride will have multiple options for ride length based around Metro stations, and we will visit every station (Phase 1 and Phase 2) from East Falls Church to the future end of the Silver Line in Ashburn. Riders will get to see routes around Tysons and Wolf Trap, new developments around parts of Loudoun County, eat some delicious barbecue food, and even find out how to bike to Dulles Airport (you actually can!). The return trip will be easy and follow the W&OD Trail all the way back to the East Falls Church Metro. There will be 2 meeting places on the route, as explained in the ride info below:

Saturday, June 17


Phase 1 (Longer route) Meeting Place – 8:00 a.m. near the bike racks at East Falls Church Metro
Phase 2 (Shorter route) Meeting Place – 10:15 a.m. near Capital Bikeshare station at Wiehle-Reston East Metro
Full Route: (Strava) https://www.strava.com/routes/8422237 (MapMyRide) http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/1597405771
Expected length: between 38 miles and 67 miles (4.5 to 8 hours including breaks)
Fitness/experience: some hills, should be comfortable riding in traffic, casual pace (10-12 mph average)
Weird clothing requirement: Wear Silver (enough to make Silver Surfer turn green with envy!)


Estimated Itinerary – Saturday, June 17


8:00 a.m. – Phase 1 Meet at East Falls Church Metro (near bike racks)
8:15 a.m. – Tour of every Phase 1 Silver Line station from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East (17.7 miles)
10:15 a.m. – Phase 2 Meet at Wiehle-Reston East Metro (near Capital Bikeshare station)
10:30 a.m. – Tour of every Phase 2 Silver Line station from Wiehle-Reston East to Ashburn (26.9 miles)
1:00 p.m. – Lunch at Carolina Brothers BBQ (best baked beans in VA, according to me) in Ashburn, next to W&OD Trail
2:00 p.m. – Ride back on W&OD Trail
3:00 p.m. – Arrival at Wiehle-Reston East Metro (10.7 miles)
4:00 p.m. – Arrival at East Falls Church Metro (11.6 miles)


Riders have the option to shorten their route by taking the Metro Silver Line, skipping the Phase 1 portion (17.7 miles), and joining the group at the Wiehle-Reston East station at 10:15 a.m. Riders can also shorten the post-lunch portion of the route by getting on the Metro Silver Line at the Wiehle-Reston East station. Shortening both pre-lunch and post-lunch portions of the route will leave you with a nice 38 miles for the day.

I put a lot of thought into this and hope that the plan works for everyone interested. Let me know if you're up for this!

(Edit) In case you need to contact me before/during/after the ride, my cell # is 571-201-7189.

LhasaCM
05-14-2017, 06:47 PM
I think today's DCBR experience proved that I'm semi-functional waking up early enough to make this work (though not by this point of the day), so pencil me in.

bobco85
05-15-2017, 03:27 PM
I think today's DCBR experience proved that I'm semi-functional waking up early enough to make this work (though not by this point of the day), so pencil me in.
No worries! I figure this time range would work better for most people, as they would be able to get home by dinnertime.

LhasaCM
05-15-2017, 08:43 PM
No worries! I figure this time range would work better for most people, as they would be able to get home by dinnertime.

Yeah...not that I could form a cogent thought last night, but I was trying to work backwards from starting in EFC at 8AM, what time I'd need to leave home in NE DC to make sure that happens, and what time I'd have to wake up. I'm not much of a morning person, so Sunday's DCBR was a good test of "can I wake up early and, at a moderate pace, bike around a while." Assuming of course I try to bike the whole thing, which would end up making that day my first century (or close enough that I'd be silly not to keep riding around).

The beauty of a transit-oriented ride is that there are plenty of opportunities to alter individual plans should conditions warrant.

bobco85
05-27-2017, 05:31 PM
I just tested the route today, and I found that a few detours were necessary due to ongoing construction. I have updated the route map and added a MapMyRide version of the route. They are both in the first post on this thread in addition to the calendar event details.

Nadine
06-06-2017, 09:20 PM
Hey Bobco! I just found out that my son's coming to visit that weekend, so..... I'm probably not gonna be doing bike MS then after all. (I hate fundraising anyhow....I'm on track with the training, though!)

I'm not much of a morning person either (the only reason I don't go to the coffee clubs with all you awesome people!) But I can do it once in awhile, and I was planning to do it that day for bike MS anyhow..... I live about a mile and a half from the EFC metro, so I'm gonna plan to meet you there!

LeprosyStudyGroup
06-09-2017, 09:30 AM
I am planning on coming with you on this ride, though I may have to bail after lunch to make it to a different engagement that day. Any tips on where to find silver clothing?

bobco85
06-12-2017, 03:14 PM
I picked up silver (okay, they're light gray since they're not shiny, but I'll take what I can get!) clothing through a combination of Amazon and bike store luck.

Since I won't be shiny, I'm considering the use of aluminum foil attachments to my bike...

...(oh, this is gonna be fun)...

LhasaCM
06-12-2017, 09:17 PM
I picked up silver (okay, they're light gray since they're not shiny, but I'll take what I can get!) clothing through a combination of Amazon and bike store luck.

Since I won't be shiny, I'm considering the use of aluminum foil attachments to my bike...

...(oh, this is gonna be fun)...

A braver person than I would consider https://www.betabrand.com/disco-sport-shorts.html

I am aiming for comfort (so more gray than silver) in the hopes of making it through the day... :)

drevil
06-12-2017, 09:40 PM
Not sure I can make it, but if someone wants to borrow my silver lamé shorts or sparkle disco dress, let me know and I'll see if I can dig them up :o :D

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3724/9469561751_012381f224_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/fqMYN4)
Silver Lame Shorts @ the Liberty Jamboree 2013 (https://flic.kr/p/fqMYN4) by ricky d (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikecentric/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8029/8024724398_0c719375c0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/de7NZd)
Wednesdays @ Wakefield Drag Race (https://flic.kr/p/de7NZd) by ricky d (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikecentric/), on Flickr

LeprosyStudyGroup
06-13-2017, 08:17 AM
those are fantastic but this is a part of my wardrobe that I feel is lacking so borrowing may not be good enough.
Amazon Prime to the rescue as usual (hopefully in time)
149591496014961

streetsmarts
06-13-2017, 12:14 PM
Well, I have a bunch of things to do on Saturday, and I wasn't sure if I could make Bob's ride. However, seeing LSG in his silver duds just might put me over the edge and make me skip my other plans!

bobco85
06-15-2017, 10:11 AM
Quick update for everyone: there is a chance of scattered thunderstorms on Saturday, so make sure to bring your rain gear just in case.

Also, if you need to reach me before/during/after the ride, my cell # is 571-201-7189. I also added this info to the start of the thread.

See ya Saturday!

Bob James
06-16-2017, 07:30 PM
I plan on meeting everyone at 8 EFC and ride as long as possible to be in Springfield at noon.

Nadine
06-16-2017, 08:04 PM
Not sure I can make it, but if someone wants to borrow my silver lamé shorts or sparkle disco dress, let me know and I'll see if I can dig them up :o :D

https://c1.staticflickr.com/4/3724/9469561751_012381f224_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/fqMYN4)
Silver Lame Shorts @ the Liberty Jamboree 2013 (https://flic.kr/p/fqMYN4) by ricky d (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikecentric/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8029/8024724398_0c719375c0_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/de7NZd)
Wednesdays @ Wakefield Drag Race (https://flic.kr/p/de7NZd) by ricky d (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bikecentric/), on Flickr
Ahhhh if I'd seen this before I woulda taken you up on the dress! (I never remember to check this forum!) Sooooo if you see this and are coming on the ride tomorrow and no one else is borrowing that, can you bring it?

I won't count on it.... But I got nuttin....😆

Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk

bobco85
06-20-2017, 09:28 AM
First off, thank you to everyone who was able to make it for at least part of the ride; it was a lot of fun! Luckily, the weather changed from overcast in the morning to the sun coming out in the afternoon, so we avoided the scattered thunderstorms that were in the forecast, so that made things a lot nicer.

We met up at East Falls Church Metro, and it was clear that amongst the greys/silvers that we wore, LeprosyStudyGroup in his shiny silver gloves, shirt (later converted into a stylish cape), and leggings (?) best exemplified the spirit of Silver Surfer for the ride. Riding to McLean along Westmoreland, we were joined by a fellow cyclist for a little bit before he peeled off.

When we rode through Tysons, I made sure to have everyone stop on the Route 7 bridge over the Beltway and count the number of vehicle lanes that surrounded us. Just remember, even with 22 lanes of traffic, people are still saying they need more lanes! I also made sure that everyone paid attention to the pedestrian and bike-friendliness of the Tysons area, which is improving yet still has a long way to go from its car-oriented design. We found the Tysons Biergarten which is next to the Greensboro Metro but almost completely inaccessible because of road closures for all the construction. Our last bit of Tysons-area riding involved a route I recommend for easily accessing Wolftrap from the Spring Hill Metro before jumping onto the W&OD.

Once we got to the Wiehle-Reston East Metro (current end of the Silver Line), we were met by Chris W who had ridden from Sterling to track us down. We bidded adieu to Chris W, komorebi, and Bob James and continued on to check out the future Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway, and Ashburn Metro stations.

On our ride, as we passed from Arlington into Tysons into the outskirts of Fairfax County into Loudoun County, the amount of bike awareness held by local drivers and number of ped/bike infrastructure dropped (it really is on a spectrum). Soon, we were having drivers on one lane roads stay behind us, unaware they are allowed to cross the double yellow when passing in VA. There were a few incidents where people beeped at our group for committing the cardinal sin of getting in THEIR WAY on a three lane road. We formed into a car to fill a lane on Old Ox Rd which provided better visibility and protection. I did give a loud RING! which actually worked when we were stuck behind a driver at a green light who was engrossed in his phone. We even stopped at the AOL office which had a personalized crosswalk sign featuring the person icon from AOL Instant Messenger.

Once we got to Carolina Brothers BBQ (where Chris W was waiting for us, stalking our ride), the heat and humidity were getting a little more intense. The heat index was up to 93 degrees (F), so core body temperatures were higher than normal. Our group down to Nadine, LhasaCM, and I, we took a break and hydrated ourselves before heading back along the W&OD.

All in all, I had a great time, even though I did worry that I had thrown folks into uncomfortable and unsafe situations given some of the roads we had to take, but I am glad everyone enjoyed themselves. Hopefully, everyone also found some good ideas for future rides through this and learned about a lot of the new stuff coming in the next decade. Pics to follow.

(left) the starting group at East Falls Church Metro; (right) LeprosyStudyGroup modeling his silver-themed outfit with stylish cape on the aptly-named Fashion Boulevard in Tysons
15012

(left) riding near Clarks Crossing on the W&OD; (right) the group after meeting with Chris W at Wiehle-Reston East Metro
15013

(left) near Dulles Airport, we encountered a motorcycle convoy with police escort; (right) the group having made it to the future end of the Silver Line: the station will be called Ashburn Metro but is located at the new town center called Loudoun Station
15014

(left) Carolina Brothers BBQ pulled pork sandwich with cornbread, mac 'n' cheese, their super delicious baked beans, and a classic Cheerwine that makes me smile inside; (right) after everyone else died off like in most scary movies, Nadine and I got this shot on the W&OD close to Bon Air
15015


Sweet. I'm awaiting Bobco to announce the "Let's bike the Alexandria underground poo tunnel" ride in his continuing Let's Bike Some Piece of Infrastructure Rides.I'm working on a couple of group rides for July and August, so stay tuned!

FFX_Hinterlands
06-20-2017, 09:38 AM
I hope you stopped by the bike fix-it-station at AOL for a quick adjustment.

bobco85
06-20-2017, 11:53 AM
After doing this ride, I got to thinking about a safer way to get to Dulles Airport by bicycle. I figure folks will want to try a ride out to the airport by bike because, well, it's kinda cool to do so. Because we were following the Silver Line, we used some not-so-great roads to get from Innovation Center to Dulles Airport, and I know there's a better way.

Here is the route I created to easily get from the W&OD Trail to Dulles Airport without too much hassle (note: there is some hassle because there isn't quite a collection of bike-friendly roads to use): https://www.strava.com/routes/9265862
The route uses Pacific Blvd which has a paved side path for multiple parts and on-road riding without a sidewalk for other parts. Turning onto Relocation Dr provides a one lane road that should be easier to ride than the multi-lane highway. Relocation Dr leads to Old Ox Rd, a bike-unfriendly road which must only be used for 1 block before getting to airport access roads. The rest of the route is pretty okay as the roads from then on are 25 mph limit roads. Just remember to turn onto Commercial Vehicle Dr from Cargo Dr and use the protected sidewalk for a nice view of the main airport building and the future Metro station across the parking lot.


I hope you stopped by the bike fix-it-station at AOL for a quick adjustment.I didn't even know they had one! I'll have to check it out next time I'm out there.