Arlington to Gaithersburg Route
I live in Arlington right near the chainbridge and I want to try to bike to work once a week to my office in Gaithersburg (Diamond Ave.). Has anyone found a good route from DC/Arlington area to Gaithersburg. I prefer to stay on trails as much as possible and shortest route possible, plus I have a road bike (not a hybrid or MB). I saw a cue sheet for the Fletcher Loop but it looked sort of choppy and you need a hybrid.
On trails and shortest route possible probably won't work for that route. The trails route you would probably go to C&O up to CCT to RCP take that north probably up to Gude then Gude to Shady Grove Hospital area and go up Muddy Branch from there. But that's defintiely not the most direct route. You could probably also go up C&O and connect with one of those N/S roads up that way like Travilah, Piney Meeting Branch, Seneca, etc, but I don't recall any of those roads have any trails or even really good shoulders to ride on. Best to defer to someone who has done this route.
I think your trickiest part is really getting from north Rockville (basically Lake Needlewood area) to Gaithersburg. Up to there you can do almost entirely by trail or actually all of it I think.
I recently rode up to the Shady Grove Metro station on a Saturday morning using a route from Google maps that was mostly all "trails." That's just a little short of Gaithersburg, so I added that into the direction request and it comes out at about 21 miles. The trails north from Bethesda were not what I was expecting as trails. There were significant parts that are on streets or use the sidewalk as a trail. The Millenium Trail is mostly just an extra wide sidewalk along Gude Rd. Also the Bethesda Trolley Trail uses the sidewalk along Old Georgetown Rd north of NIH and then again along Rockville Pike north of White Flint. The last bit to get across I-370 and up to Gaithersburg has no trail options and the direct route is on Frederick Rd (I haven't ridden that). Just a disclaimer, I missed the trail sign for the sidewalk at Rockville Pike by White Flint and did a longer road route up to Twinbrook Metro so my GPS route does not match the Google maps. On the way back I took the Rock Creek Trail most of the way. On my GPS route you can see I switched over to Beach Dr at Garrett Park Rd.
The following day I did the same ride but on the street. It was all the same street, but it changed names several times (Wisonsin Ave becomes Rockville Pike becomes Hungerford Rd becomes Frederick Rd). It was basically a pretty easy ride from 6:30 am to 8 am on a Sunday, but I wouldn't want to try it on a weekday, especially during rush hour.
Last edited by consularrider; 04-16-2012 at 02:25 PM.
The roads west of 270 aren't so bad. I've ridden them a lot on weekends and some on weekdays. They're a little more direct than the trails though which would help.
Take the CCT and MacArthur side trail to Seven Locks, and then Wootton Pkwy side trail, Great Seneca side trail etc.. to get where you need to go in Gaithersburg.
Thanks, I found my way and have a route similar to your suggestion above.