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NOVA, DC, MD where to ride????(4 posts)

NOVA, DC, MD where to ride????Mazinger
May 27, 2003 11:25 AM
I live in the Northern VA area and need some recommendations for rides/routes with hills that I can practice my climbing. Nothing too steep, but will give a good workout. I'm sort of a beginner and don't ride on actual roads too much. Oh yeah, and somewhere with not too much traffic. Thanks!
What do you consider a "good workout"?Humma Hah
May 27, 2003 12:49 PM
You'll be hard pressed to find a long climb in NoVA, but there are some reasonably steep short ones, and routes with numerous smallish climbs.

Close in to DC, the W&OD and Custis trails, in Arlington, get pretty hilly close to the Potomac.

Fairfax County is typically a lousy place to ride bicycles on the street or roads, and typically pretty flat.

Prince William County: The Prince William Parkway does roll a bit. The biggest hill is about 110 ft and maybe 5% grade or so, and most newbies think its a killer. I find it a modestly entertaining bump on my singlespeed cruiser. Still, you can do a down'n'back on that and get in 18 miles, 3 climbs in the 90-ft range plus some gentler stuff each way. Do it twice and you've got a decent bike ride.

MB1 puts on a little century starting in Nokesville, meandering down to Remington, and over to Casanova. Flat to gently rolling, with a couple of nice little hills. Those country roads are great for cycling if you stay off Rt. 28 and the other major traffic routes.

Prince William Forest Park is kind of hilly, if I recall. Anything running roughly parallel to the Potomac on the Virginia side is likely to have one small hill after another, none huge but nearly continuous.

Bull Run "Mountain" rises about 800 ft, but the roads are mostly gravel.

For long grades, you'll need to visit the Blue Ridge or Appalachian Mountains. The W&OD is a fairly gentle railroad grade, but will take you out into fairly hilly countryside ... Purcellville, if I recall ... where you can take to the roads and get some better challenge.
A useful link for ride descriptions ...Humma Hah
May 27, 2003 12:50 PM
Where in NOVA do you live?Gregory Taylor
May 27, 2003 12:58 PM
Your best bet is to hook up with a local club and tag along. For example, the Potomac Pedler club has a good Thursday Night ride from the South of Alexandria (Belle Haven Marina) that does hills....

If you want to go bigger, try Mount Weather.