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Thread: Newbie Commuter - Petworth to West End (A commute to be proud of)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Newbie Commuter - Petworth to West End (A commute to be proud of)

    I'm completely new to this forum and need your help!

    I just bought a new bike to commute to work and am not sure how to become 'comfortable' riding on the streets of DC. WABA has few CCC1 classes (I just missed a class last week) and the next DC one, not in Ward 7 or 8, is not until May. I want to start riding to work from the upper Columbia Heights/Petworth area, so I'm contemplating taking a few different routes:

    14th St to P St or R St to Dupont to New Hampshire
    13th St to Florida to 21st ST NW
    14th St to 15th St (with the awesome protected bike lane) to P St and then New Hampshire
    or possibly
    Rock Creek Park (but it might take me forever to get to work)

    Which would be a good starting route? And what can I graduate to?

    Also, would you recommend buying pins for my wheels? This would be in conjunction with a U-Lock/Cable combo...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Hi, Lwallet. Congrats on taking the first steps towards bike commuting. I don't commute in that area, but I do ride it pretty regularly. Since you're new to riding DC's streets, I'd suggest skipping Dupont Circle until you get a bit more confident. I'd start with New Hampshire to R St., and then dropping down on 21st or 22nd. Forget Rock Creek Park. It can be a nice recreational ride, but it's not direct (and the paths can be more than a little frustrating). The route I suggest puts you on streets with bike lanes and sharrows, which is what you seem to be looking for. Remember, though, they're not a promise of safety. The best thing you can do is become a better rider - the sort that is comfortable in traffic on roads with or without bike lanes and sharrows. If the May one is too far away, I suggest checking back here, I think we'll see additional classes added to the schedule soon. There's also a full-day class offered through Arlington Adult Education here (on May 11). I'm not sure if the fee rises for non-Arlington residents, but the instructor should be able to answer that.

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