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Thread: S. Arlington Commuting

  1. #1
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    Default S. Arlington Commuting

    Hello,

    First time post for me.. I am getting into bike commuting (Glebe & Walter Reed area to Tenleytown) and had a few specific questions. I've enjoyed reading through old posts but apologies if this has already been covered before..

    1. Is it generally safe to leave a bike at Pentagon City metro all day locked with a u-lock & cable? Some days I just don't want to ride all the way in but am not sure about the relative safety of leaving the bike outside all day. I am also too cheap to rent a locker. My bike can't be worth more than $100-$200 now but I'd prefer that it doesn't get stolen!

    2. I read a few posts about cutting through the Army Navy Country Club.. Do you just enter at 18th street/Memorial Drive and ride through the lot to the other side? Are there any security guards there? I was curious if you had to talk your way through or just hit it at full speed. If I could cut through the club, it looks like I could ride over to rock creek and up to NW for a better but longer ride then going up to Key Bridge and winding my way through Georgetown.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    PotomacCyclist is offline I spend all day thinking about bikes and talking to people on the internet about them.
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    1. You could use Capital Bikeshare instead of locking up your personal bike at the Pentagon City Metro station on those days that you don't want to bike all the way to Tenleytown. I see that there are a few stations within walking distance of your location. You could check out a bikeshare bike (CaBi) and ride over to the Pentagon City Metro station. There's a bike station about 100 ft. away from the Metro entrance.

    You would have to check that there are bikes available near you, and empty docks at the PC bike station. You can check the Capital Bikeshare website before leaving. Or use the free Spotcycle app (available on Android and iPhone).

    With CaBi, you don't have to worry about locking up a personal bike all day. On those days that you do want to bike all the way to Tenleytown, you could still use your personal bike.

    EDIT: Columbia Pike isn't particularly bike-friendly, but that's going to be the case whether you use CaBi or your personal bike. A big choke point is the construction area for the new Washington Blvd. bridge over Columbia Pike. At least that project is scheduled to be completed this summer. While the rest of the Pike will still be unpleasant for biking, the route under the bridge should be much better. Wide sidewalks will be installed under the bridge, which should provide enough space for bike and pedestrian traffic.

    Never mind. I had skipped the 2nd point before. I see that you plan to avoid Columbia Pike completely. That's a good idea.
    Last edited by PotomacCyclist; 06-04-2015 at 11:26 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04forlife View Post
    2. I read a few posts about cutting through the Army Navy Country Club.. Do you just enter at 18th street/Memorial Drive and ride through the lot to the other side? Are there any security guards there? I was curious if you had to talk your way through or just hit it at full speed. If I could cut through the club, it looks like I could ride over to rock creek and up to NW for a better but longer ride then going up to Key Bridge and winding my way through Georgetown.
    I just ride straight on through. I've never been stopped by anyone.

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    Thanks for the tips..

    I am still figuring out my best path but I avoid Col Pike entirely... I have used Key bridge so far and to get there, I have gone along the Rt 50 trail to Lynn St, and also winded my way up through the neighborhoods to Veitch and Custis (and get to avoid rosslyn traffic all together ).. From Key, I wind through georgetown/glover park until I get to tenleytown, also avoiding Wisconsin Ave.

    Tomorrow I am going to try cutting through the country club and using Memorial Bridge then Rock Creek into NW DC. (Calvert). The route goes along 27 which looks iffy.

    I am about four weeks in but still get sore enough that I only do it twice a week. It is 16 miles round trip and the elevation change in DC is pretty hard on my out of shape self.

    Thanks to the community for all the older content, I have read through many including the family cycling forum.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04forlife View Post
    Hello,

    First time post for me.. I am getting into bike commuting (Glebe & Walter Reed area to Tenleytown) and had a few specific questions. I've enjoyed reading through old posts but apologies if this has already been covered before..

    1. Is it generally safe to leave a bike at Pentagon City metro all day locked with a u-lock & cable? Some days I just don't want to ride all the way in but am not sure about the relative safety of leaving the bike outside all day. I am also too cheap to rent a locker. My bike can't be worth more than $100-$200 now but I'd prefer that it doesn't get stolen!

    2. I read a few posts about cutting through the Army Navy Country Club.. Do you just enter at 18th street/Memorial Drive and ride through the lot to the other side? Are there any security guards there? I was curious if you had to talk your way through or just hit it at full speed. If I could cut through the club, it looks like I could ride over to rock creek and up to NW for a better but longer ride then going up to Key Bridge and winding my way through Georgetown.

    Thanks!
    20 I don't know about Pentagon City, but I've left my hybrid locked up outside at Huntington before. U-lock and table. Never had a problem.

    2. No idea on Army-Navy question, but I'm not sure if I would say the Rock Creek Park MUP is a better choice. I work close to Tenleytown (about a mile south closer to Sidwell) and ride in from south of Old Town Alexandria. I did the RCP way at first until I realized it was much steeper, the sand at the bottom of the Calvert St Hill irked me, and it was extremely crowded in the summer time. Instead, I take the MVT to Key Bridge and then 33rd St (has a bike lane on it). I usually go left at Volta and then right on 35th up to the traffic light at Wisconsin. Then I just take the right lane of Wisconsin up. Since it's counter-commute by that point, traffic isn't too bad and cars are often parked along the right side.

    The RCP way had steeper inclines (not that I mind hills, I just begin and end each ride with a couple hundred feet of climbing so the thought of easing it is always night), more foot traffic in the summertime, and the bridge at the bottom of Calvert St descent heading southbound would routinely have a giant sandlot--sounds fine except if you're going 30mph over it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 04forlife View Post
    I am still figuring out my best path but I avoid Col Pike entirely... I have used Key bridge so far and to get there, I have gone along the Rt 50 trail to Lynn St, and also winded my way up through the neighborhoods to Veitch and Custis (and get to avoid rosslyn traffic all together ).. From Key, I wind through georgetown/glover park until I get to tenleytown, also avoiding Wisconsin Ave.
    The best way to avoid the Pike, if you really don't want to ride on the Pike, is to go through Ft. Meyer, through 2nd st. However, if you are not a DoD or Federal worker this has recently become more cumbersome .

    That said, as a daily rider on the Pike, its really not that bad... It is congested but it can be managed.

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    DismalScientist is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    The fastest way to the Key Bridge from Walter Reed and Glebe is north on Walter Reed/Fillmore across 50. Right on Pershing (or something else, your choice) to Barton. North on Barton to Clarendon, turn Right to Veitch. Left on Veitch across Lee Hwy on Veitch/21st/Scott to Custis Trail and left on the Custis to the west sidewalk of the Key Bridge. This way you don't have to deal with Columbia Pike at all. Going east to the MVT just adds distance if you are crossing at the Key Bridge.

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    Lots of good advice already. I'll just add a few points:

    The RCP trail is horrid, but it stands to get better soon-ish. Of course, first it will go through construction, so it doesn't seem like a better option to me.

    If I were you, I'd probably go through Fort Myer -- either coming out in Rosslyn near the Iwo Jima and heading to the Key Bridge, or going through the cemetery to take Memorial Bridge. However, if you're not a federal employee, you'd have to get this special ID thing (called an AIE) to come through the base on your way home. You should be able to go through the base starting at the Main Gate at 2nd St S, and they can tell you how to get to the office where you can apply for the AIE thing. If I were a regular commuter, I'd get that ID.

    If I weren't going through Fort Myer, this is the route I'd use -- there's no reason to go up to Clarendon (like Dismal suggests) - the trail along 50 from Pershing to Rosslyn is fine. I'd also use Highland and Irving to avoid Walter Reed/Fillmore, but that's personal preference.

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    Thanks on the tip for ft myer, but getting a "non-sponsored AIE" every 60 days looks like a major hassle. I used to ride around the base a lot as a kid, no ID or nothing, just a 13 year old on a department store mountain bike.

    The rt 50 trail is pretty good, but has a couple of hard turns that really slow you down. I can only guess that was deliberate.

    I'll skip RCP for now!

    Thanks again, there are a lot small issues with most routes. This forum has been a great resource

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