View Full Version : Alternative to Rockville Pike (355) in MoCo?

05-17-2011, 11:25 AM
Hi, I'm interested in biking to work but having a hard time deciding on a safe route. I live in Rockville (just off 355 & Veirs Mill), and work in Bethesda (just off 355 at East West Hwy). Driving, it is a straight shot down Rockville Pike. However, there is no way I am going to ride a bike down Rockville Pike--it is too dangerous for my tastes.

Can anyone recommend a good parallel route that is safer and doesn't add too many more miles to the route? If I were in better shape I wouldn't care about the mileage, but unfortunately, I'm too much a fan of chocolate. :) Maybe if I can get into bike commuting I'll get into better shape and then look for longer routes... but for now, the shorter (and safer) the better.


Riley Casey
05-17-2011, 12:22 PM
Have you tried the Google Maps bike routing option? There is also www.bikely.com that has quite a few commuters posting and sharing routes. I know that there is the Bethesda Trolley trail that runs west of 355 starting around NIH.

05-23-2011, 07:47 AM
I had the same problem recently...years ago I biked home to Bethesda from Rockville using the Rockville Pike, and it was a bit nervewracking...so, I tried the route that Riley mentioned above (Bethesda Trolley Trail) and though there are a lot of spots where the trail uses roads, they're mostly all back roads, and it's very clearly marked. There are certain sections where the trail goes directly by some housing, and there are a lot of access points there, so be on the lookout for dog walkers especially. The trail comes out on Old Georgetown Road, and you can head up Old Georgetown towards downtown Bethesda.

05-24-2011, 10:35 AM
riverain, I live right near you and you're right, Rockville Pike is a tricky place to bike. I second the recommendation above of the Bethesda Trolley Trail. For the stretch of the Pike between the intersection of 355 & Veirs Mill and Twinbrook Metro, I find that Lewis Ave., immediately to the east of the train tracks, is a good bypass. From Twinbrook you can take Chapman Ave. and thread your way through parking lots to get to Montrose, crossing on Maple Ave. out of the Montrose Crossing center.

For times when I'm forced onto the Pike I find that the parking lots are much more comfortable to bike through than the sidewalk (I don't even consider using the traffic lanes, way too scary). On the west side of the Pike, there's always East Jefferson-->Executive Blvd to get you to the trail.

Good luck! I've noticed that the number of cyclists along and around the Pike is growing. Hope you'll join us.