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Thread: Returning home!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Default Returning home!

    Hey Everyone - Our 2 year old NC adventure has come to and end and we are returning back home to NOVA. I accepted a job in Manassas and we will be looking to rent a home out that way starting Dec 1st. For the 15 years prior to leaving we lived in North Arlington and then Shirlington so I am pretty much aware of the commuting and cycling culture in that area - but when it comes to the Manassas, Centreville, and Chantilly area I have no idea what to expect. My work location is at the new NVCC STEM Fab Lab on the Manassas campus off Battlefield Parkway. Any thoughts or observations would be greatly appreciated. I would love to return to commuting full time if possible, keeping the one way distance below 15 miles.

    Can't wait to see all your brilliant and happy faces again, and be back in an area where cyclists don't have bullseyes on their backs.... I've missed you all.

    - Dickie.

  2. #2
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    Dec 2010
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    Whoa, welcome to the Hinterlands! There's a FABB person, Paul K, who lives in Chantilly and could provide a perspective for that area. I'm north of Chantilly closer to the DTR.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickie View Post
    when it comes to the Manassas, Centreville, and Chantilly area I have no idea what to expect. My work location is at the new NVCC STEM Fab Lab on the Manassas campus off Battlefield Parkway
    I think you mean battleview parkway? At any rate, it's basically the cyclist scene from Dante's Inferno. It wasn't great even 10 years ago, but there used to be quiet back roads. Then they kept building houses so VDOT needed to "upgrade" the roads... The problem you've got is that 66 is basically a wall, and the only holes in the wall are complete trainwrecks at rush hours. In theory the bike trail thrown in as a sop for the 66 widening plan might help, you can look at the maps and see how things will change. With VDOT actively hostile to bike/ped improvements it's hard to see them following through with something that will actually make it safe/pleasant to bike there.

  4. #4
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    Calling AFHokie and Bob James!

  5. #5
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    Welcome back! If you're interested in riding with others, look up the Prince William Cycling Club on Facebook (and Strava, but Facebook gets more use.) It's a pretty active bunch of folks with three to four rides scheduled per week. Usually in the Manassas area, but sometimes around DC, out W&OD, or other venues.

  6. #6
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    Dec 2014
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    Not sure about riding in the hinterland! But I really look forward to seeing you again!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bentbike33 View Post
    Calling AFHokie and Bob James!
    It's not quite the hinterlands as some have suggested, although the NVCC campus is on a bit of an island as far as cycling is concerned. I'm at work and will write up details when I get home.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickie View Post
    My work location is at the new NVCC STEM Fab Lab on the Manassas campus off Battlefield Parkway. Any thoughts or observations would be greatly appreciated. I would love to return to commuting full time if possible, keeping the one way distance below 15 miles
    First off, welcome back!

    The problem you run into with the NVCC Manassas campus location is that it sits just north of I-66. Sudley Rd (Route 234 Business) is the north/south road that crosses I-66 at that location via an underpass. Traffic is always busy at that location and it is extremely heavy during rush hour times. The 66 overpass is currently under construction and once that is completed, the added bike lane along 66 should also include bike infrastructure upgrades in that area as well, but to what extent (if any), I don't know.

    Lee Highway (Route 29) runs east/west through the Manassas Battlefield National Park while Sudley runs north/south through the park. They may be the best route to/from the NVCC campus, however both experience substantial amounts of traffic during commuting hours and while in the park, both are narrow two lane roads with little or no shoulder. Still, they may be your best option since Sudley south of I-66 turns into a four lane and is the main business corridor with strip malls, car dealerships, etc for several miles until you get to the city of Manassas.

    Despite those issues, they may still be your best option to bike to the campus. Strava's heat map does indicate that there's a substantial amount of bikes riding on Lee Highway between Gainesville and Centerville. I'll ask around for opinions and observations of riding on 29 through there. If it is ok to ride, I recommend looking in/around the Gainesville area or a little to the south in Bristow. Gainesville has a lot of suburbia shopping mall buildup, and while I have biked through Gainesville a few times, it was always on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I wouldn't want to cross some of those intersections on a bike during commuting hours. Bristow would keep you under 15 miles each way and puts you on roads with multi-use paths. Also, downtown Manassas is a relatively short ride around the north side of the airport from Bristow.

    Also, Jiffy Lube Live is just south of Gainesville off of Wellington Rd, so keep in mind concert traffic, plus the the noise of the performances could also influence where you'd prefer to live.

    As has been posted, the Prince William Cycling Club Facebook page is the best way to find out information as far as where to ride, group rides, etc. Bull Run Bikes sponsors a popular Tuesday evening ~12 mile shop ride during the summer. Then there's the Thursday night 20 mile "Hoadly Loop ride that starts at the Starbucks just off of Hoadly Rd and many other group rides throughout the week and weekends start from several locations in Gainesville, Manassas and elsewhere. The Hoadly loop is my "I want to get a ride in" route as I live just off the northeast corner of the loop near where Prince William Parkway (Route 294) meets Liberia Ave.

    I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, please do shoot any questions you have my way. Although Bob has since retired to Michigan, I'm sure he has a wealth of knowledge as far as where to ride in PWC and defer to anything he says.

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