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View Full Version : commute from Bethesda to White Oak?



Serottababe
04-15-2015, 01:38 PM
I'd like to participate in BTWD but don't know a good route to get from the vicinity of Rt 355 and Cedar Lane to White Oak (specifically, FDA on New Hampshire Ave). Can anyone suggest a good route that is not on super main roads?

Many thanks!

Crickey7
04-16-2015, 08:07 AM
Cedar to Beach Drive, South to Forsythe. Left on Forsythe, then left on Newcastle to Linden, take a left onto Linden, which becomes Forest Glen. Take that to Sligo, take a left and ride to Dennis. Take a right at Dennis, then follow it all the way down to the Lockridge Drive connector to the Northwest Branch Trail, then take a right. Then I think you have to ride the sidewalk on the South side of Rte. 29 to Lockwood Drive.

Caveat that I've never ridden the last part, and also that the hill on Newcastle is formidable.

Terpfan
04-16-2015, 12:37 PM
Cedar to Beach Drive, South to Forsythe. Left on Forsythe, then left on Newcastle to Linden, take a left onto Linden, which becomes Forest Glen. Take that to Sligo, take a left and ride to Dennis. Take a right at Dennis, then follow it all the way down to the Lockridge Drive connector to the Northwest Branch Trail, then take a right. Then I think you have to ride the sidewalk on the South side of Rte. 29 to Lockwood Drive.

Caveat that I've never ridden the last part, and also that the hill on Newcastle is formidable.

Is the Northwest Branch Trail really a MUP back there or is it more just gravel type trail? I walked back that way, but it was years ago and only remember it as gravel--then again, I wouldn't necesarily trust my memory. The one thing I do know is the southbound side of 29 is not readily accessible there. You have to go up the northbound side to the traffic light by where Choice Hotels used to be and cross there (I think it's more a patch of grass save on the bridge by the dam for that stretch, but it's not far, maybe a block or two). So the alternative would be to turn right from Dennis onto Eastwood and then take that over to 29. There is a stoplight there and then ride the southbound side of 29 doing the same thing.

Crickey7
04-16-2015, 01:13 PM
That did occur to me. I've never been on that trail, but the photos of it at that spot indicate it may be a narrow dirt path. Your way may be better. I do believe there is no alternative to riding along Colesville on the sidewalk (even I would not hazard riding in the road there) for at least a small stretch, though I think the other roads in my list are not too bad for riding.

Terpfan
04-16-2015, 02:39 PM
That did occur to me. I've never been on that trail, but the photos of it at that spot indicate it may be a narrow dirt path. Your way may be better. I do believe there is no alternative to riding along Colesville on the sidewalk (even I would not hazard riding in the road there) for at least a small stretch, though I think the other roads in my list are not too bad for riding.

I think it's mostly dirt back there as I walked parts of it once, but I didn't go far and I'm not sure it was the NWBT that I was on although it appeared in the same area on the map. And you're definitely right above the sidewalk on 29. You have to go way out of the way to cross it otherwise such as up to Randolph or much further down inside the Beltway. Same time, I also haven't been back this way in probably a solid year or two and only casually glanced.

ewilliams0305
04-16-2015, 03:29 PM
I think it's mostly dirt back there as I walked parts of it once, but I didn't go far and I'm not sure it was the NWBT that I was on although it appeared in the same area on the map. And you're definitely right above the sidewalk on 29. You have to go way out of the way to cross it otherwise such as up to Randolph or much further down inside the Beltway. Same time, I also haven't been back this way in probably a solid year or two and only casually glanced.

The only "NICE" way to do it would be about 6-10-20 miles out of the way. I know of some very hilly very long ways to get there.

I wouldn't ride that part of the NWBT, it sucks, even with a fun dirt bike (it's typically just muddy, not ideal for a commute).

As for riding on Randolph during rush hour, I'd sooner ride straight down 29. Randolph has lot's of "blind" (if your driving and not paying any attention) turns, with drivers speeding constantly. I will say I've ridden my slow mountain bike straight down 29 all the way briggs chaney many time to get to Fairland. The road is straight enough that people always see you, they may hate you and want blood, but they will see you and slow down. 29 is marked with signs that say bicycles may use full lane, and as we all know signs will stop cars and save lives, uhgggg.... Either way this isn't a pleasant bike ride. I live a block off 29 and have had to find many roundabout ways to get north.

Sorry I don't have a better answer.

Crickey7
04-16-2015, 05:09 PM
I really think that with the exception of 3 minutes of Route 29 suckitude, this route (with the one change suggested) is pretty decent. It's got Sligo Park AND Rock Creek Park and even the Northwest Branch, at least in passing.

scoot
04-17-2015, 02:12 PM
This thread certainly illustrates how little bicycles have been considered in the overall transportation plans for that area.

It is seven miles, as the crow flies, between the Piney Branch and Bonifant crossings of the Anacostia NW Branch. There are only two intermediate options (Route 29 and Randolph Road), both of which carry traffic at high speeds and only offer narrow sidewalks immediately adjacent. Google does show another crossing at the north end of the Rachel Carson Greenway Trail, but I'm guessing that's more of a hiker trail and is entirely unrideable.

DismalScientist
04-17-2015, 02:52 PM
The difficultly of driving between Westover and Shirlington clearly illustrates how little automobiles have been considered in the overall transportation system in Arlington.:rolleyes:

dasgeh
04-17-2015, 03:12 PM
The difficultly of driving between Westover and Shirlington clearly illustrates how little automobiles have been considered in the overall transportation system in Arlington.:rolleyes:

You realize that it's only 3 turns in a car, right? It's more than that to get from Westover to the WOD...