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advice for Northern Virginia riding(5 posts)

advice for Northern Virginia ridingmlbd
May 7, 2002 7:22 AM
I've started a part time job in Northern Virginia at Ft. Belvoir. I'll be down there two days a week and to avoid the evening rush traffic I plan to ride after work and then drive home (I live in Baltimore). My office is near the intersection of Telegraph Rd. and Hayfield Rd. Any suggestions for where I might ride near there. Any good roads near there that don't have too much traffic?

There's a route to Pohick Bay that is frequented by Team Lardbutbill
May 7, 2002 8:30 AM
on sunday a.m.'s. I've been on the route but don't know the roads. There's stuff around there. Fort Belvoir is a good place to begin, I would guess, several very pleasant rides (pretty flat, though). How long you looking to go for?
Hi ho. Lots of routes.Gregory Taylor
May 7, 2002 9:28 AM
Fort Belovoir itself has lots of nice roads -- you could put together a nice training route and never leave the base. There are some EVIL hills -- one is Patrick Street, over near the Officer's Club. Another good hill is over near the archery club, near the water. I don't know the street name. If you ride on base, make sure that you carry a picture ID.

Telegraph Road is a tad busy, but it has a very nice section heading north from Hayfield up to Huntington Road. If you turn on to Huntington, it will eventually run into Fort Hunt Road (after you cross Route 1). Fort Hunt Road is pretty good -- there is a wonderful pastry shop in the Hollin Hall shopping center -- and it has all kinds of options if you want to bail out. If you follow it all the way down, you run into the GW Parkway. Traffic there isn't bad on Sunday mornings, or non-rush hour. Head South on the Parkway (past Mt. Vernon) and -- Ta Da! -- you are back at Belvoir.

Start at Hayfield and head the other direction (back to Belvoir) on Telegraph, you will eventually pop out at Route 1, next to Pohick Church. Cross Route 1, and you are now on Old Colechester road. This is a Cool Road. Take Old Colechester to Gunston Road, and turn left. You will ride past all kinds of stuff, like Gunston Hall (home of George Mason), Pohick Regional Park, and Mason Neck Regional Park. (If you stay straight on Old Colechester, it will take you to Lorton...more good adventures) The road leading into Mason Neck Regional Park is worth riding - smooooooooth. If you take Gunston all the way to its end, you will end up in a park that overlooks the Potomac river. To get home, just retrace your steps.

This is only a little of what is out there....
Re-reading your post...Gregory Taylor
May 7, 2002 12:28 PM
I just now focused on the statement that you would be riding after work. In that case, forget Telegraph, etc. Traffic is hell in the immediate environs surrounding Belvoir. Rush hour doesn't really calm down 'til after 7 pm. You are probably better off staying on base and riding there. It is a traffic oasis. Either that or load the bike in the car and start off at Pohick Church, and explore Old Colechester, Gunston, etc.
That's the area that cured me of cycling!Humma Hah
May 7, 2002 2:52 PM
I had an apartment at Telegraph Road and Huntington, and it cured me of cycling in under a week!

I've gotten over it now. I left Fairfax County. The southern end of Prince William County, into Fauquier, has some magnificent roads. There's a century route that runs from Nokesville, squiggles around over to the Quantico Marine Base, down to Remington (south of US 17), back up to Casanova (W of VA 28). The back roads are fine, 28 is not good.

Try the C&O Towpath, the W&OD, or various parkways (I get a nice short workout on the Prince William Parkway, 18 miles out 'n back). DC itself can be pretty good -- a bunch of riders here will probably get together for a long DC ride in mid-June.

MB1 and his wife, Miss M, are the acknowledged experts on the area, introduced me to that Nokesville century and will probably lead the DC ride.