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Thread: Route 27 - Mt. Airy to Germantown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Route 27 - Mt. Airy to Germantown

    I am a relatively new rider (less than 18 mos) and it has been a goal to bike to work - not just on BTWD, but on a regular basis. It's about 15 miles between home (Mt. Airy) and work (Germantown). The distance is doable, but I usually ride with others when and where traffic is light. While I see "Bike Lane" signs along most of 27 between Mt. Airy and Germantown, I wonder how it is to bike this route alone during rush hour? Or can someone recommend an alternate route? Clarksburg Rd (121) is not an option I would consider...

    Any and all advice appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alexandria
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    Hi Alicia,

    Wow, that's a long haul. Kudos to you for getting the commute bug though and wanting to give it a shot! I've ridden route 27 between Mt Airy and Damascus a couple of times and I drove the whole length of it last weekend to torture my wife with some hills on a ride up in your neck of the woods. She now thinks all you Mt Airy people are crazy!

    My initial thought is that Route 27 would be suitable for most of the trip, but there are some issues. It's hilly, but since you live in Mt Airy you're no stranger to hills. It's generally wide enough in most places to stay on the shoulder (the recent widening in Damascus was very welcome!), but you'd have to be aware of places where the shoulder disappears and an anxious driver may try to pass a little too close. Once Route 27 gets down toward Germantown (Brink Rd?) it becomes more of a 6-lane highway and I don't know if I'd be comfortable riding that on a daily basis. Especially around the I-270 on/off ramps. You may want to find a detour on side roads or jump on the sidewalk for that stretch... depends on your preference. Side roads will likely increase the distance...

    That being said, I've only ridden up that way on weekends and I don't know what like the flow is like on workdays. I also don't know anything about your riding experience and what you're comfortable with. Do you drive that route? I guess you'd know what it's like from that experience. Another thing that can really put a damper on an otherwise fine commute - are there a lot of trucks that traverse that road during rush hour? Having a stream of those pass you on a relatively high speed road I would find highly annoying.

    I hope you find a proper route to bike on. I can't say my advice is of any use, but best of luck! The weather will be beautiful at least. I'd love to hear an update on how it goes.

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