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Thread: Newbie here. I'll pay you to show me the route

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Newbie here. I'll pay you to show me the route

    I'm starting a new job next month right next to the Capitol. I'd like to try commuting by bike to save money. I'll be starting from mile marker 11 or 10.5 on the W&OD trail.

    I'm hoping to find someone who can take me on a trial run on a weekend. I'll be happy to pay $10 for the entire trip. Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Oh man, couldn't be any easier. Head east to the end of the trail, take 4 Mile Run underneath 395 all the way to Mt. Vernon, then take your choice of bridges into DC. The rest I don't know though, since I avoid DC like the plague.

  3. #3
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    Easiest to go to Google Maps, plug in the spot where the Custis crosses at the Key Bridge, plug in the Capitol as the destination. Pretty much runs you across the Memorial Bridge right down the mall. Taking 395 is a big dogleg out of the way

    I'd volunteer, but I work closer to the White House than the Capitol, and also go inbound about 4:45- 5am through that area. You can ride like a drunk down the middle of M street that time of the morning

    MM 11? Near Cedar Lane?

  4. #4
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    I ride from Vienna to Georgetown, usually get on WOD at Vienna around 7:20 am. I can take you as far as key bridge / gtown free of charge if you want to meet up in the morning

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Easiest to go to Google Maps, plug in the spot where the Custis crosses at the Key Bridge, plug in the Capitol as the destination. Pretty much runs you across the Memorial Bridge right down the mall. Taking 395 is a big dogleg out of the way

    I'd volunteer, but I work closer to the White House than the Capitol, and also go inbound about 4:45- 5am through that area. You can ride like a drunk down the middle of M street that time of the morning

    MM 11? Near Cedar Lane?
    Oh, I simply can't resist. Hell, I ride like a drunk under the best of conditions.

    My friend, it looks like you have plenty of support. I would be happy to show you as far as the end of the W&O but I think dcv can help you more than I can. Welcome to these boards! Welcome to commuting! You will quickly see that many people here are hardcore commuters and willing to share their stories and insights. Have a good (safe too) ride.

    acc

  6. #6
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    I'd bet the google bike routing will give you some pretty good directions that take you W&OD to Four Mile Run to Mt. Vernon Trail north to Memorial Bridge and along the mall to capitol hill. Just remember to double check the status of the Memorial Bridge repairs, last time I checked the standard route takes you on the southern side of the bridge which was close off for repairs. I meet folks north east of capitol hill and/or near the navy memorial from time to time, and I love riding the memorial bridge -> lincoln memorial -> reflecting pool -> ww2 memorial -> washington monument -> mall route to 7th and/or the capitol. Very pretty ride.

  7. #7
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    Thank you all for the replies! I've only been up and down the W&OD trail, and I'm pretty comfortable with that. I think I'd be comfortable with all the trails. It's the bridges and the DC part I'm scared of. I get nervous just driving in DC, behind the protection of metal and guide from GPS. Biking in DC just seems so vulnerable, especially since I've never shared lanes with cars before.

    Google shows 3 different routes beteween 15.1 miles and 18.9 miles. The time is between 1 hour 29 min and 1 hour 37 min. I'd rather take the safest route than the fastest route, and I'm not sure which is which.

    Also, off the trail I'm totally clueless. Do I have to obey traffic lights? Can I ride on the side walk? Would it be OK to go against traffic like when I'm running?(I think not, but not being able to see who can hit you is a horrible thought) I have a trek 7200 with a pretty uncomfortable seat. Is that a good choice? What gears should I get? I've never heard of the term pannier till I came to this forum.

    Let me know if anyone cares to ride to the Capitol this weekend or the next weekend. I can meet you at the the split between W&OD and Curtis. If you feel weird about taking money, I can also barter photography services. I think I'm a decent photographer. Imagine a cool shot of you with your bike in front of the Capitol.

  8. #8
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    Are there group rides that meet in NOVA and go into DC?

  9. #9
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    Again, welcome! I'd like to suggest two helpful resources. The League of American Bicyclists provides in-depth information about cycling. Through them I found bike safety classes held in Arlington and DC and sometimes VA. The ones in Arlington were free and included hands-on experience with riding on the street. They were very well run, very professional and helpful. That being said, I am still unsure about some aspects of using bike lanes versus taking the lane, etc. But I suggest starting with these classes. A resource for group rides is the Potomac Pedalers Touring Club, they have a web presence and list rides by location and speed. I hope you find this helpful.

    ann

  10. #10
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    kt543,

    I'd highly suggest taking a confident city cycling class with WABA. (in full disclosure, I work for WABA and teach these classes). They cover much of the questions that you have about urban bicycling such as how to fix a flat tire, where to ride on the street, laws pertaining to bicycling in MD, VA & DC. There is also an on-bike portion to learn some avoidance maneuvers (fun and useful). I took the full class last spring and learned a lot. There is a bunch more about the classes online here: http://waba.org/education/. The class schedule for the spring isn't posted yet but it should be online soon. Welcome to the community!

    Best,
    Greg

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