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Thread: Bike tourism. Visiting from the UK.

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    Default Bike tourism. Visiting from the UK.

    Hi. I am planning a trip to New York for the Bike the 5 Boro ride in early May 2021. Have done it before and loved it. Loved seeing New York by bike.

    If I fly through Dublin I can fly to IAD and back from JFK for pretty much the same price. Have never been to DC area.

    The plan is to spend the day cycling the city and visiting the sights. Back to the hotel and then out for casual sports bars in the evening. Two questions please!!

    Trying to find an OK hotel. Tempted by Alexandria or Arlington. Would they be good spots to then cycle in to DC or should I stay somewhere like Georgetown (want to be closer to bars/restaurants rather than tourist sights)?

    How do I get from IAD to my hotel with my bike? I'll collapse it into bike bag for the flight. Could maybe just get an UberX to the hotel or maybe public transport if available?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NFMac View Post
    Hi. I am planning a trip to New York for the Bike the 5 Boro ride in early May 2021. Have done it before and loved it. Loved seeing New York by bike.

    If I fly through Dublin I can fly to IAD and back from JFK for pretty much the same price. Have never been to DC area.

    The plan is to spend the day cycling the city and visiting the sights. Back to the hotel and then out for casual sports bars in the evening. Two questions please!!

    Trying to find an OK hotel. Tempted by Alexandria or Arlington. Would they be good spots to then cycle in to DC or should I stay somewhere like Georgetown (want to be closer to bars/restaurants rather than tourist sights)?

    How do I get from IAD to my hotel with my bike? I'll collapse it into bike bag for the flight. Could maybe just get an UberX to the hotel or maybe public transport if available?

    Thanks in advance.
    If you stay in Old Town Alexandria, you will be close to bars/restaurants in an (by US standards) historic neighborhood, and have an easy ride on the Mount Vernon Trail into the part of DC with the monuments, White House, etc.

    Crystal City in Arlington is even closer to DC with a similarly easy ride, but its a late 20th century high rise office development not a night life district - though there are certainly plenty of places to get food and drink there and nearby.


    Georgetown is also historic, and there are places to ride around there, and has a lot of bars and restaurants.

    I have never used a an uber x to transport a bike. To get from Dulles to DC, Arlington, or ALX by public transport will mean taking a bus (not sure which) to the Reston - Wiehle metro station, then taking two metro lines to get to Crystal City or Alexandria (only one line if you stay in say, the Rosslyn section of Arlington - you would have a somewhat different, but still pretty easy ride to DC from there)

    If you stay in Georgetown, you would need another bus at that end to get from the metro as there is no metro station in Georgetown - I assume you have luggage, and so riding the bike from metro is not an option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    To get from Dulles to DC, Arlington, or ALX by public transport will mean taking a bus (not sure which) to the Reston - Wiehle metro station, then taking two metro lines to get to Crystal City or Alexandria (only one line if you stay in say, the Rosslyn section of Arlington - you would have a somewhat different, but still pretty easy ride to DC from there)
    You can take the 5A bus from IAD to Rosslyn, and then bike to Georgetown and Alexandria. I took this bus several times in the past. The cost is $7.50, and the travel time is about 45 min. Here are the live updates and schedule.

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    Arlington and Alexandria are both reasonable places to stay and generally less expensive to stay in than DC itself. They are not monolithic - Arlington is 26 square miles (70 km2); Alexandria is slightly smaller. "Rosslyn" and "Crystal City", referred to by previous posters, are neighborhoods in Arlington adjacent to the Potomac River, and therefore near DC. Likewise, "Old Town" is the historic neighborhood of Alexandria adjacent to the river.

    My feeling is that Rosslyn would be a good bet. As Serdar pointed out, you can travel by bus directly from Dulles (IAD) to Rosslyn (I don't know about bringing bikes on that bus). While the restaurants in Rosslyn tend to be fast casual, catering to the office lunch crowd, there are a few bars - and it's an easy walk from Rosslyn across Key Bridge into Georgetown. Crystal City would be a little farther from the places you want in DC, but still an easy bike ride there, and there is some nightlife there. Old Town Alexandria would place you the farthest from the parts of DC of interest, but has a quaint feel and liveliness of its own.

    There are bike trails connecting all these areas. Here's a link to local bike maps. All except Georgetown have Metro stops as well.

    Sadly, in both DC and NYC, bike theft is an issue. Bring a good lock! Or two. Arlington and Alexandria are somewhat safer in that regard.

    Last, I assume you are targeting the 2022 Five Boro Bike Tour. Alas, May 2021 has come and gone.
    Last edited by accordioneur; 09-12-2021 at 03:42 PM.

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    Thanks for the comments. And...yes...I mean 2022!

    My cycle bag will double as my luggage. I can cycle with it across my shoulders/back but wouldn't want to go more than a couple of miles.

    I'm focusing my thoughts on accommodation on Rosslyn /Crystal City or Alexandria Old Town (which actually seems very expensive).

    Noted on cycle theft. Can't be any worse than Manchester. Always have two locks.

    Thanks again. Hope the trip comes off. Covid restrictions might push it to 2023.
    Last edited by NFMac; 09-12-2021 at 06:22 PM.

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    By May 2022, the Metro extension to IAD should (!) be open. You’ll be able to easily get most anywhere in the city from the airport. If your budget allows, you could consider staying somewhere central like Dupont Circle. Good walking, bike, and transit connections to all the sights, and easy enough access to the trails.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serdar View Post
    You can take the 5A bus from IAD to Rosslyn, and then bike to Georgetown and Alexandria. I took this bus several times in the past. The cost is $7.50, and the travel time is about 45 min. Here are the live updates and schedule.

    I always forget about the 5A bus.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
    I have never used a an uber x to transport a bike.
    Correction - I have now used a Lyft XL to transport a bike. Thanks to this thread, I was thinking Uber X (didnt remember it was in my head due to a thread about a bike packed in a box) so that resulted in one disappointed driver of a small Uber X vehicle in SE DC. Live and learn.

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    As far as locations, the Courthouse/Clarendon area of Arlington has lots of bars and restaurants, and is less than a 2-mile ride into DC. Also very accessible by Metro. Would be directly on the way from the airport without needing to transfer lines.

    You could check Warm Showers as an alternative to getting an expensive hotel. I can't guarantee that I will have a room available then, but I have hosted riders using warm showers in the past.

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    Thanks everyone.

    Looks like international travel to the US is opening up so hopefully the trip will be a possibility.

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