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Thread: Around the Beltway Century?

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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    Default Around the Beltway Century?

    I mentioned this on twitter a while back, but I was thinking of attempting some sort of Beltway circumnavigation and turning it into a century ride...has anyone ever done something like this before? I know there's WAGBRAD, but that just does the DC boundaries. Obviously, there are some obstacles, primarily the Potomac up at the American Legion bridge, but I think the ride could run up Macarthur, hang right and do a clockwise loop, then come down at Gtown Pike and back into Arlington (or the reverse of that). My extremely rough go at it on GarminConnect puts the route around 110 miles (the Beltway itself is 64 miles), with diversions around places like Andrews AFB and going out of the way to cross major roads like I270 and I95. I'll probably reconnoiter the dodgier parts of the route on my motorcycle just to get a feel for how the roads will be for cyclists, as I'm not familiar with most of the Maryland sections. Many of the roads are designated bike routes, but some are major-ish looking roads that may not be wise to ride on...particularly in the 2-5 o'clock positions. Most of the VA stuff I know fairly well and is relatively easy to navigate though.

    Anyone interested in making this a group ride of some sort? I know it's not as wild as Kill Bill, but I think riding a big circle around DC's most infamous traffic icon has a special meaning. Even if you aren't interested in riding, I'm happy to get route advice as well.

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    Beltway Century, you bet! Post up a Mapmyride or some such for us to look at and comment on.

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    I don't think that I'm up for a century, but maybe there's a good 30-40 mile segment where I could ride along.

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    TwoWheelsDC,

    Neat idea. As with WAGBRAD, if I can get spousal permission, I'm in.

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    TwoWheelsDC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by consularrider View Post
    Beltway Century, you bet! Post up a Mapmyride or some such for us to look at and comment on.
    EXTREMELY rough map of what I'm thinking...

    http://connect.garmin.com/course/1668174

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    I think this is a really good idea. If the route is safe enough and viable then it would connect sections of the city that most people would never really consider going to.

    I'd be up for riding it.

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    Cool. That section of the Cross County Trail in Wakefield Park is dirt and rough gravel. There's not a great work-around though. Braddock Road to Wakefield Chapel Rd is very busy, but with a rough path/sidewalk and a wide shoulder. But Wakefield Chapel Rd. from Braddock to Queen Elizabeth Blvd. is narrow with no shoulder. There's a bike lane on Wakefield Chapel after Queen Elizabeth, though, that runs almost to NVCC at Little River Turnpike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    EXTREMELY rough map of what I'm thinking...

    http://connect.garmin.com/course/1668174
    Why not cross the Potomac at Chain Bridge instead of going all the way down to Georgetown? Then we could all do 41st street!

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    I did the WAGBRAD II (or was it III - I think it was two or three years ago) and like you point out, the toughest road stretches were along the 2-5 o'clock positions (along Minnesota Ave, in particular and then getting from there to American Legion).

    I was curious so I found out that 495 is 64m around ( link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interst...pital_Beltway) ) which means that a 100m+ circumnavigation will have to add a few miles of detours to make the full Century. I'll be happy to contribute to route planning

    Either way I'm game.

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    What Tim said. That's 12 miles to go one mile on the Beltway v about 19. And who wouldn't want to climb 41st St? Have you mapped out the fuel stations?
    Last edited by consularrider; 07-17-2012 at 11:16 AM.

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