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Thread: Back in the saddle -- route help

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    Default Back in the saddle -- route help

    New to the boards. I used to commute by bike about 4 years ago from the Shirlngton area. But then we had a kid and i'm sure you know how that went. But i'm sick of the car, I-66 and jealous of the people I see on the Custis trail.

    I'm looking for advise on a route to DC from the Falls Church area. My wife has expressed an interest, but doesn't want anything to do with crossing or being near 50. so the compromise is I load up the car the night before, we park somewhere in Arlington were we can pick up a trail easily.

    I'd also be pulling a trailer with a 3-year-old, so i'm interested in thoughts on the best bridge to use -- Roosevelt too narrow? better to use Memorial?. Good idea? crazy? want to keep in in the 8-9 mile one way to start. poking around I found Bluemont park. safe to park there all day?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I would say the Roosevelt bridge is too narrow for a trailer.

    For a much shorter commute, you could park in Lyon Park / Penrose (plenty safe and plenty of all day free parking, just read the signs) and bike through Fort Myer to the cemetery and on to the Memorial Bridge. It's GORGEOUS. If you need more details, let me know. You could even park right beside one of the many parks in those neighborhoods - I bet the kid will thank you. It's only a few miles from there to DC, so you'll probably be way under your 8-9 miles OW goal. But maybe you could start small.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Oh, and welcome back. :-)

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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
    TwoWheelsDC is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Crossing Memorial Bridge will mean that you have to cross the GW Pkwy, which is uh, suboptimal...not sure where in DC you're going, but maybe 14th St. would be a less stressful, though slightly more out of the way, option.

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    dasgeh's Avatar
    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    Crossing Memorial Bridge will mean that you have to cross the GW Pkwy, which is uh, suboptimal...not sure where in DC you're going, but maybe 14th St. would be a less stressful, though slightly more out of the way, option.
    Actually, this isn't true. If you go through the base and the cemetery (or around the cemetery and end up on the trail beside 27), you end up on Memorial Drive, which gets you to Memorial Bridge without crossing the GWP. You do have to cross the ramp from Washington Blvd to the Bridge, but on the South side, it's not a problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasgeh View Post
    Actually, this isn't true. If you go through the base and the cemetery (or around the cemetery and end up on the trail beside 27), you end up on Memorial Drive, which gets you to Memorial Bridge without crossing the GWP. You do have to cross the ramp from Washington Blvd to the Bridge, but on the South side, it's not a problem.
    I suspect TwoWheelsDC was including the Washington Boulevard crossings on the east side of the circle just before you get to the bridge. If not, I do. I usually call those crossings "GW Parkway", even though they aren't technically. On the south side (and coming off the bridge sometimes on the north), people drive Washington Boulevard like it's the GW Parkway...and you still have some of those "closer lane stops, and now the other lane can't see you waiting" issues.

    Brendan

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    One question: Where is your final destination in the District? There is no sense in riding past the Memorial Bridge to the 14th Street Bridge if you are on the west end of town. Memorial Bridge has wide sidewalks that can accommodate a trailer.

    If you park in Bluemont Park, consider taking the W&OD trail to 9th Street South and follow the route shown on the Arlington County bike map along 9th, 8th, 7th, 6th and 2nd streets to Fort Myer. These are side streets that are comfortable to bike on, though I try to minimize my time on 2nd. After an ID check at Fort Myer, you can ride on base to Arlington Memorial Cemetery (gate opens at 8 a.m.), then through the cemetery to Memorial Drive. There are two intersections on your right to watch as you ride toward the Memorial Bridge: one at the Route 110 off ramp, the other across Washington Boulevard. Morning traffic is usually moving slow enough at Washington Boulevard that someone will let you cross. Once across the Memorial Bridge, ride along the Mall until you need to head to your destination.

    Going home, you cannot ride through the cemetery. From Memorial Drive, take the Route 110 path north, then ride up the hill on Marshall Drive past the Netherlands Carillon to the Wright Gate of Fort Myer, then through the base to the Hatfield Gate, where you exit onto 2nd Street South. That will add about a quarter-mile to the ride home. This is also the route to use inbound when the cemetery is closed.

    It is 6.8 miles from S. Taylor St. and 8th St. S. to Capitol Hill. I would estimate that Bluemont Park to the Hill would be in your desired 8-9 mile range.

    If you are feeling good, you could ride the W&OD and Four Mile Run Trail to the Mount Vernon Trail to the 14th Street Bridge. This would add about 2 miles to the ride.

    John

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    If you are rocking out the child trailer I would avoid the Roosevelt - then again I would avoid it without a trailer. Your final destination is pretty important if you are going to stash the car and ride from a point in Arlington. So far the Penrose, Ft. Myer, Memorial option is probably the most straightforward, with the understanding that the security folk at Ft. Myer will probably want to rummage around in the trailer for a bit. Also, on the way back, the Ft. Myer climb can be a little much if you are hauling stuff. Parking on Adam or Barton St is unregulated for now and available in quantity.

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    Hi All -- thanks for the tips. The destination in DC -- to start anyway -- is Freedom Plaza. Daycare is close to that. Then we'll part ways, but that part is easy. My wife's office is on Penn. and i'm off of 15th and K, so we can use the bike lanes to get there we need to go after dropping the little guy.

    We did a test run yesterday -- kind of -- parked the car at Bluemont and did about 8 miles in a loop. So I think we can handle that distance. We took the junction trail to the MC and turned back at after a brief stop where the Italian Store is. went back on the MC and took 4-mile run back to the park.

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