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Bethesda MD Cycling Scene(10 posts)

Bethesda MD Cycling SceneMazz
Jul 12, 2003 4:25 PM
I'm going to be working at the NIH (National Institute of Health) shortly and I was wondering what the cycling scene is like in that area.

How long does it take to get outside the city? Where would the best place for me to live if I want to be able to ride no more the 5 miles to get onto country/suburbian roads, yet be somewhat close to Bethesda?

Anything about the area would be really helpful. Even local bike shop names.

Thanks yall
re: Bethesda MD Cycling Scenelarryp2
Jul 12, 2003 4:35 PM
lived there a few years ago. was stationed at the Naval Hospital across Wisconsin Avenue. lots of good areas. downtown into Rock Creek Park is excellent. living in Rockville or Frederick or Gaithersburg is an easy commute, or even better bike ride into NIH.
re: Bethesda MD Cycling SceneMazz
Jul 12, 2003 4:43 PM
Thanks alot!

So I was wondering more about places to train. Like is there a good 20-50 mile loop that is easily accessible and with minimal stop in go of city riding?

And those places you mentioned, what are the commute times? By car or bike...

Thanks so much!
re: Bethesda MD Cycling SceneEspresso
Jul 12, 2003 7:37 PM
Hey Mazz
Welcome to the capital. Bethesda is a cool place you will love it.
As for riding out of town, it is endless country roads. One well-known loop is the Peach Tree loop 30 miles (20 minutes north of Betesda), other good rides would be around Sugar Loaf Mountain (30minutes north). Another option would be the crescent trail into DC (from Bethesda) There are many more.
I live 20-25 minutes north of Bethesda. And a good riding buddy of mine works at NIH. Lots of Great Mountain Biking around here as well.
Good Luck
re: Bethesda MD Cycling Scenecommuterguy
Jul 13, 2003 4:41 AM
The Potomac Pedaler Touring Club ( has lots of cue sheets online, and hosts group rides, primarily on weekends. Occasionally they originate at Glen Echo Park, which is essentially in Bethesda (although a few miles from NIH). MacArthur Blvd., particularly from Glen Echo to Great Falls is popular with cyclists. MacArthur to Falls Road to River Road can be a good way to get to the promised land of rolling hills, the occasional wall, beautiful vistas and lightly traveled county roads northwestern Mont. County and southern Frederick County.

Bethesda itself, while a very desirable and expensive place to live, is quite crowded. The CCT is best on weekdays and early weekend mornings. Be aware that some morons ride it, full throttle and out of control, on their aerobars.
Monkey BoyFez
Jul 14, 2003 12:30 PM
You wrote:

"Bethesda itself, while a very desirable and expensive place to live, is quite crowded. The CCT is best on weekdays and early weekend mornings. Be aware that some morons ride it, full throttle and out of control, on their aerobars."

Right on. When I commute in the afternoons, I often see this short, stocky, hairy fellow on a Bianchi with aerobars and a phone mounted on the bars. He rides the whole trail on his aerobars and takes calls with an earpiece connected to his phone.

In all fairness. I have to say he does stay in one lane for nearly all of the ride. Unfortunately, the lane he stays in is the left lane (yes, he rides aerobars on the trail and into oncoming traffic).

Beware this guy if you see him. He's pretty distinctive and he wears an old time-trial helmet. I guess it cuts down on wind drag on the CCT.
re: are you Nathan?klippur
Jul 13, 2003 12:21 PM
where you are moving from? I'm curious because I have a friend that is moving to Bethesda right away to work at the NIH and am wondering if you are him :)

cheers, klip
re: are you Nathan?Mazz
Jul 14, 2003 4:33 PM
Nope, I'm from Vermont.

That's why I'm asking about the Bethesda area. I'm a little spoiled with all the outdoor options I have in VT so I'm a bit sus of anything near major metro areas...
re: Bethesda MD Cycling Scenedcdre
Jul 14, 2003 6:09 AM
First off, a preemptive welcome to the area.

Lots of good riding around the area. I'm fairly new to road biking so I'll let others do the talking about out of town roads. DC does have a great bike trail system though. The capital crescent trail starts in downtown Bethesda and takes you all the way into DC. From there you can connect to other bike trails on the VA side that take you either south or west, depending on where you want to go.

As far as good bike shops, I've had some dealings with Griffin cycles right in Bethesda, good shop. Other alternative is a few blocks from the end of the crescent trails, there's 2 bike shops right in Georgetown, Revolution and another shop (literally 2 doors from each other). Revolution is a cool shop as well.
Lots of good riding up near Bethesda, although you have tobill
Jul 14, 2003 6:56 AM
deal with cars here and there for sure.
When you say train, do you mean train to race, or just good riding? If you want to race, there are a number of clubs within spitting distance, and there are a number of racing club rides throughout the week that go through or near Bethesda. What are you up for? If not racing, definitely hook up with Potomac Pedalers. If racing, there are a number of options, too numerous to go into. For example, there is a very popular 7 a.m. Saturday ride that starts in Silver Spring very near to Bethesda at the top of Rock Creek Park. It is mostly racers or former racers or wannabes, and it's fast and fun.