View Full Version : Coming to DC for 2+ weeks - need advice

06-27-2011, 06:58 PM
Dear Cyclists;
I am coming to DC for 2+ weeks in July for an event at the Verizon Center. I am thinking of trying to buy an old beater bike on Craigslist (or somewhere) so I can poke around the city and be a tourist during the breaks. I don't know if this is feasible, or if DC is bike friendly, so I'll ask you all a few questions:

Are there places to park/lock your bike at museums, tourist sites, near the Verizon Center etc?
Can you take a bike on the metro?
DC looks pretty flat on the map, is that really true? (I'm a light weight cyclist!)
Where do I get a map of city bike routes?
What is the best place to get a used (disposable!) bike?
Are there bike rentals for two weeks?

Most of the time I'm staying near LeDroit Park and will be commuting daily to the Verizon center.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

06-27-2011, 07:53 PM
Hi CA2DC, welcome to the forum and welcome in advance to DC. Im not an expert DC commuter, but I think I can get you going in the right direction. There should be plenty of others here to help you. Until then Ill do my best.

I think the first answer to your question could help with your other answers. http://www.capitalbikeshare.com/ I dont personally use this but there is plenty of info on their site. Its set up so you can grab a bike, ride it to wherever, and drop it off (providing there is a station around). You can sign up for a few days, weeks or a year.
You can take a bike on the metro, BUT only during NON-rush hour times (7-9) and (4-6).
DC is pretty flat. Nothing like CA.
You can google bike routes for the area, others may have specific streets for you. I would say DC is very bike friendly compared to other large cities. It just depends where you are in the city. WABA has a route planner http://www.waba.org/resources/maps.php.

I hope this helps you out. Enjoy DC while your here.


06-27-2011, 09:33 PM
If you decide that buying a bike is the strategy, I would recommend you look at Phoenix Bike Co Op in Arlington. It is at http://phoenixbikes.org It provides both affordable bikes as well as training for young people.

I'd expect you would be able to donate the bike you buy back to Phoenix and then possibly get a tax break for the donation (your tax adviser may have more information).

My "new" mountain bike (for the occasional day of crappy winter weather) will soon come from Phoenix.

06-28-2011, 08:55 AM
I'd second the advice on Capital Bikeshare. I used it for six months or so before I bought my own bike, and still use it occasionally when it's more convenient.

DC isn't hilly unless you go north from LeDroit Park - once you hit V or W St NW, you're going to be uphill for a bit. Some streets are six or seven blocks of gradual climb, some are one or two blocks of pretty serious hill.

From LeDroit Park to the Verizon center should be an easy bike ride.

06-28-2011, 12:26 PM
I see a lot of tourists using the Capital Bikeshare. You don't have to worry about secure the bike, just check in and check out. You need to bring you helmets. If you're planing to ride at night, bring some bike lights.

Here is the link to DC bike map.