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where to ride in the Washington DC area??(14 posts)

where to ride in the Washington DC area??pwcracr
Feb 13, 2003 6:21 PM
New to the road riding scene, I'm looking for a group or somewhere to get some information on where to ride where I'm not taking my life into my hands with the bad drivers. I'm a beginner so be easy.........although I have been a mtn biker for almost ten years...thanks,
try to hook up with PPTC ridescyclopathic
Feb 13, 2003 6:31 PM just pay attention to ride rating and don't go to AA ride
Hook up with MB1 ...Humma Hah
Feb 13, 2003 6:49 PM
... he and his wife put in several hundred miles a week and have probably explored every rideable inch of pavement in these parts. They maintain a friendly pace and love introducing folks to DC riding.

I'm going to be putting on a series of short rides in the Manassas, VA area for new riders, a "deci-brevet series" of 20, 30, 60, and 120 km distances. That's 12.4 miles for 20km.

The C&O towpath is flat dirt, one of the longest bike paths in the US, running from Cumberland, MD to Mt. Vernon, about 180 miles or so along the Potomac, and can be ridden by a sturdy roadbike with cyclocross tires. The W&OD trail is mostly paved and good for roadbikes.

DC itself is pretty good for cycling, with wide streets, parks, and plenty to see.

Fairfax County tends to be wretched, narrow streets, roads with no shoulders and too many cars, but even there you can find a few places. Rural Prince William County and counties to the west and south of there have some great 2-lane country roads with light traffic. Prince William Parkway is about 9 miles of pleasant bike path that makes a good 30-km out'n'back that's one of my deci-brevet routes.

The only thing I've tried in Maryland is St. Mary's County. It is Amish country, lots of rural roads, almost all of it delightful cycling. The Amish ride some neat old bikes.
re: where to ride in the Washington DC area??OverStuffed
Feb 13, 2003 7:08 PM
On the north side of the river, it's hard to go wrong. Smaller roads in Montgomery county tend to be more bike friendly. Avoid big roads that don't have parking lanes (Wisconsin Ave, Connecticut, Georgia et. al.) Of course, this depends on how willing you are to explore areas you may not be familiar with.
Hook Up With Team Lardbuttmacalu
Feb 14, 2003 6:30 AM
Team Lardbutt consists of an amorphous mass of middle-aged roadies who meet each Sunday am at 0730 at Fort Hunt Park off the GW Parkway south of Old Town, Alexandria. Even in winter, attendance is good with a hard core of 4 or 5 guys. Avg speed can vary from 17 to 20 mph. Not too fast but not too slow unless you are a racer, than you need a faster group. The normal route goes out Mason Neck via Fort Belvoir. Come the Spring, I plan to lobby to leave by 0700 and ride to Clifton. Ride doubtful this Sunday due to expected snow/sleet/nuclear war. Also check out for rides in Southern Maryland. I ride their AA/A group (much slower than the PPTC AA) sometimes. Nice routes.
Come on out!Gregory Taylor
Feb 14, 2003 7:04 AM
The Lardbutt's are a good group -- come on out! We have a couple of good "standard" rides, do some centuries as a group, and generally have a good time. Nothing overly organized or snobby. Dirt Dudes are more than welcome. Macalu is one of the stalwarts of the group, and knows some really good routes. We also consider "Bill" who posts here to be a 'Butt as well.
wait wait wait, tell the man the truth about Team Lardbutt . . .bill
Feb 14, 2003 7:21 AM
belying their name, these guys go pretty fast, probably too fast for a beginning rider. When my friend says 17-20 mph avg, he means that, if Greg had too much to drink last night, Doc is feeling his 59 years (I've never seen it happen, but I suppose it could), the wind is strong, and muffins are beckoning, the average, meaning the computer average counting stops, slowing down to see which way up Telegraph, etc., etc., the average might be 17. On a day when Vines is feeling good, pushing Bortlein (who rarely needs encouragement), and Greg is his usual self, making anyone keeping him up with him wonder whether Greg is suffering AT ALL, the computer average would be more in the 20 mph range. 20 mph as an average speed over 50 non-race miles, with stops, etc., is pretty doggone fast. 'Butt cruising speeds are frequently north of 22-23. That's not too rough in a paceline, especially considering that their route is mostly pretty flat, but it ain't for beginners.
And they don't warm up. That kills me. Right out of the park, taking off down the Parkway, which is mildly uphill, they're going 23-24. The first time I went out with the 'Butts, in the first half mile I thought I was going to die.
I'm in a racing club now, so I haven't seen my 'Butt friends much lately, but I have to say, in a 50 mile run my racing buddies will go both faster at times and slower at times, so the computer average is not much different and often less.
The 'Butts cruise.
Oh, we'd behave. Honest.Gregory Taylor
Feb 14, 2003 8:40 AM
Frankie, our new Directeur Sportif, will make sure that we play nice.

Seriously, if you (or anyone in the area) is interested in coming out, drop by. Just be sure to bring a valid picture ID - most of our routes loop through Fort Belvoir. We do have a traditional-but-unstated no-drop policy for invitees. Pop an e-mail address here, and we'll include you on our almost-weekly e-mail list.
Sign me up!1trackmind
Feb 14, 2003 3:26 PM
Not sure if I can hang with you guys, but would like to try. I'm a sport class MTB racer in Alexandria and find myself spending more time on the road lately. Thanks!
Great!Gregory Taylor
Feb 14, 2003 5:18 PM
I'll put you on the e-mail list. Due to the weather, I there ain't gonna be any riding this weekend.

Sport class, huh? That's fun. I want to get out on my MTB a bit more. A couple of us dabble in dirt...
Oh, we'd behave. Honest.pwcracr
Feb 15, 2003 9:13 AM
Sign me up
Yer on! (nm)Gregory Taylor
Feb 15, 2003 12:18 PM
can you fit one more in?cdale02
Feb 17, 2003 8:51 AM
I live in Cap Hill. I'd love to give you guys a shot - former jr. roadie, now a cyclist that dabbles in tri's.

After moving to Capital Hill, I still head up to MD to ride and would love to do some rides down here.

Great!Gregory Taylor
Feb 17, 2003 9:43 AM
Hope to circulate an e-mail this week.

Our "standard" ride shoots down the GW Parkway from Fort Hunt Park, cuts across Fort Belvoir (bring an ID) and then winds up near Gunston Hall, on Mason Neck. There is a great park with a killer entrance road. After a quick break (about 30 miles in) we head back. The return is either via Telegraph Road down to Huntington, or retrace our steps across Ft. Belvoir. From the Park, it works out to about 50 miles.