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Thread: My Evening Commute

  1. #891
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    Quote Originally Posted by GovernorSilver View Post
    I was convinced by the fellow bike commuter at work to leave the office early and try to beat the thunderstorm home. He also really wanted to show me his route home as well as an alternate route that he thought I should know about.

    The ride south on N. Capitol St, Louisiana Ave, Constitution, then 3rd St was an adventure to say the least. My guide took advantage of the high traffic volume to go between cars, then cut across Constitution when a bunch of cars were turning left onto 3rd, shielding us from traffic on Constitution going the other way. I barely got the hang of changing between going between cars and taking the lane - not sure I would do that so often by myself. One cool trick that I probably will use in the future is hanging out on the island on Raoul Wallenberger southbound when the traffic light on that street and Maine is red, and waiting until it turns green to go, in order to take advantage of the hill descent to accelerate. What followed was a sprint on Ohio Dr. to E. Basin Dr. that quickly exhausted me but the alternative was going on the sidewalk and trying to go around the heavy foot traffic.

    The alternate to Old Town Alexandria: Take Four Mile Run instead of continuing down MVT. Take path/stairs uphill (it's too winding and steep for me at my current skill level and conditioning to climb so I just walked the bike up) to Potomac Ave. There's a brand new MUP that runs along it. Take the MUP to Potomac and Main Line Ave. Leave the MUP and take the sidewalk on Potomac and Rt.1 to Slaters Lane. Go down Slaters Lane (or the sidewalk) to Powhatan St. which is a sharrow road. Unfortunately the closest cross street to where Powhatan meets Washington is Montgomery which is one-way headed west. I rode on the sidewalk along Montgomery, briefly dismounted because of the restaurant/cafe, then eventually rejoined the MVT (Royal St. branch). The advantage of this route is it avoids all those wooden bridges along the river, as well as walkers/joggers doing their late afternoon/evening workouts. I'll probably stick to the MVT on sunny days but if there's any threat of freezing on those bridges I have another way now.

    When I got to Jamieson Ave. there was a steady stream of car traffic turning left on S. West St as I had anticipated. However, a stop sign does control that car traffic.

    I managed to climb maybe a quarter of the way home after turning from Huntington but when I saw another cyclist walking her bike up the sidewalk, I just said to her "I give up!" and walked with her. I think it was all the extra sprinting that drained whatever energy reserve I could have had for that final climb.

    BUT... I made it home alive! Cue in the victory music:

    After the firestation on Powhattan, veer right and then go straight through that stop sign. It puts you on Columbus St, which also has sharrows. Then after you cross King/Duke/etc, make a right at the stop 3-way stop light (Wilkes St) onto a very wide sidewalk (it's like a triple-width) and proceed straight. That will take you to the light at Rt 1 and Wilkes and you can take Wilkes up 2 or 3 blocks and go right then left again and it brings you up to basically where West/Jamieson meet.

    Or if you stay on Columbus, go left at Jefferson St and then take sidewalk up the west side of Washington St about three blocks and it will connect to that path between Washington St and Rt 1. Then it's that light timing thing I mentioned before.

  2. #892
    Steve O's Avatar
    Steve O is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    The overwhelming weight of scientific data leads to the conclusion that I have successfully cowed the rain gods.
    You and me both. Despite June being the wettest or second wettest ever or something, the only rain I rode through the entire month was last Saturday. And I could have taken the car instead if I wanted. I just chose to ride in the rain that one time.
    And according to Strava I rode more miles in June 2015 than any previous month since I started recording in late 2012.
    Go figure.

  3. #893
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    You and me both. Despite June being the wettest or second wettest ever or something, the only rain I rode through the entire month was last Saturday. And I could have taken the car instead if I wanted. I just chose to ride in the rain that one time.
    And according to Strava I rode more miles in June 2015 than any previous month since I started recording in late 2012.
    Go figure.
    You two need to start posting right before each ride so those of us less fortunate can also avoid the rain. I swear it rained on half of my commutes.

  4. #894
    Amalitza Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    And according to Strava I rode more miles in June 2015 than any previous month since I started recording in late 2012.
    Hey, me too! I think I've fallen in with some bad influences or something...

  5. #895
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    On the other hand I seem to miss much of the rain. Not superior planning or the like. Pure chance has left me dry or riding behind or in front of oceans of water it seems. Had a good soaking a time or two at best and in fact I have to admit I like a good 15 mile rain ride in the summer. Water cooled motor

    Karma gonna get me.

  6. #896
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    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Yeah, me too! -- I've somehow managed to only get rained on once this spring/summer. But that one time was pretty intense. (And now I'll get rained on consistently.) It helps greatly that I can leave work by 4pm (or earlier).

  7. #897
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    hozn is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    Yeah, me too! -- I've somehow managed to only get rained on once this spring/summer. But that one time was pretty intense. (And now I'll get rained on consistently.) It helps greatly that I can leave work by 4pm (or earlier).
    Well, make that twice. :-) I should know better.

  8. #898
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    Belated thanks to komorebi and TerpFan for the route suggestions. More routes to try!

  9. #899
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    As for rain, I recall checking the weather before leaving home Tuesday morning for my inaugural commute ride. Wundeground said no rain in the morning, 20% chance of rain in the evening. They got it backwards!

    Fortunately it was light rain, and we didn't ride on anything too slick, which was good because that was my introduction to riding between lanes in the middle of congested motorist traffic and frequently changing position within a lane (eg. parking at right of middle lane on N. Capitol at a particular intersection because the right lane became a right-turn lane and the middle lane is occupied by a car, then when the light turns green, letting the car go ahead and quickly claiming the middle of the lane). Rain was too light to really test my choice of commuting attire - quick-dry shirt, quick-dry shorts, quick-dry socks, Converse canvas shoes, helmet - not that I'm complaining.

  10. #900
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    Default Braddock Rd Metro to King St. Metro / Carlyle

    Quote Originally Posted by komorebi View Post
    FYI, an alternative to the Slaters Lane/Powhatan St. route is to continue on the Potomac Avenue MUP all the way to the end, at Braddock Road. Cross the westbound lanes of Braddock on the crosswalk, turn left to join Braddock's eastbound lanes, then turn right onto West Street. If you follow West Street all the way south, it'll take you to Jamieson Ave.

    I haven't done this during the afternoon rush hour, but I sometimes go this way in the evenings and I usually find the traffic on Braddock and West to be pretty light.
    The route I typically take from Braddock Rd to Carlyle district is the unnamed MUP that goes along the east side of the train tracks from Braddock Metro to the King Street Metro via Cameron Street. At the end of the MUP, take Cameron through the 4-way stop at Commonwealth/Daingerfield, then cross King Street with the pedestrian signal and take the Metro station bus lane up to the pedestrian tunnel under Duke Street. The tunnel puts you out on the Dulaney St. sidewalk. (Note: it's right turn only at the Diagonal & Duke intersection) It's the most direct route, but often requires a dismount when going through the tunnel as it can be crowded with pedestrians, so taking West Street down to Jamieson may be a quicker or easier route depending on traffic. I'll have to give it a try some time.

    https://goo.gl/maps/gz1F6
    (note: Google won't route bike riders through the bus lanes so I used pedestrian directions)

    For the inbound commute in the morning, you can cross Duke northbound on Dulaney/Diagonal, so skip the tunnel. Take Diagonal up to a left at Daingerfield, then a right onto Cameron at the 4-way stop and then back to the MUP.

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