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Thread: W&od

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    153

    W&od

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    I love the W&OD! I think (for the most part) that people are extremely respectful and polite. I always feel a sense of comradery when I wave to others on the trail whether they're cycling, running, or walking.

    Yes, occasionally people zoom past you without the decency to say "left" or make any other attempt at warning you... c'est la vie. Regardless, it doesn't even compare to the Key Bridge.

    Today I drove to the trail and tried to push my out of shape body to the limit. I stopped a couple of times to walk or catch my breath and I was really touched by the cyclists who rode past and made sure to ask if I was ok. I never thought of it before but a sitting or walking cyclist could have bike problems or not be feeling well (as opposed to just be tired, which was my initial thought).

    What are your experiences on the W&OD (or other paved trails for that matter)?
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    I saw a guy walking his bike on the trail the other day, holding a bloody bandage up to his head. I asked if he needed help but he said he was fine. I guess he was near his destination.

    I live near the eastern end of the trail, but prefer the western half because it's less crowded (once you get out of Herndon) and has fewer intersections.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    153
    Sometimes the serenity is good but other times (like Monday when a man was walking towards me with two golf clubs in his hand) I turn around immediately to go to where it is the busiest...
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
    Posts
    2,131
    In all the years that I've been riding remote sections of trails such as the W&OD, the C&O, and the WMRT, I don't recall a single time that I've ever felt unsafe. The handful of folks in those areas are out there for similar reasons to yours, even if it doesn't appear that way. Perhaps I've become complacent and cavalier, but why would golf clubs make you feel nervous? There's at least one golf course in the vicinity of the W&OD.

    I'll take solitude with the occasional weirdo over a busier trail any day of the week...
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    153
    My opinion is always better safe than sorry. The guy was probably walking away from or walking to a golf course but when you are a female on a bike and a big guy is walking towards you with a golf club in his hand, you have to recognize the possibility that you are not in a safe situation.
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,897
    Pervs are everywhere. You do need to be alert, and listen to your gut if it tells you the situation might not be safe.

    One thing I like about the WOD is that even the quiet sections are not totally deserted -- you still other people often enough to know you're not alone if you need help.

    - Gray 2010 carbon WSD road bike, Rivet Independence saddle
    - Red hardtail 26" aluminum mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle
    - Royal blue 2018 aluminum gravel bike, Rivet Pearl saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver 2003 aluminum road bike
    - Two awesome worn out Juliana saddles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    42
    I ride on the W&OD frequently, sometimes as a commuter. I've never felt unsafe in the sense that I might be attacked. I have heard of this happening to women in some of the sections closer to Arlington, but I mainly ride in Ashburn and west. Even out between Leesburg and Purcellville I've never felt unsafe.

    I have a much greater fear of collisions on the trail. The worst offenders-

    * Cyclists who insist on riding side-by-side (or worse, side-by-side in pacelines)
    * Mothers with strollers who walk 2 and 3-abreast (and don't respond to "on your left")
    * Joggers/walkers/cyclists with headphones on
    * Parents who think it's a good place to teach children how to ride a bike, or who don't control their children when a rider is approaching

    These are all a bad combination to mix with the general user population of the trail. Ashburn seems to be the worst place for all of these threats to come together.

    The vast majority of the people are courteous and offer assistance if someone needs it. Like anything else, there are always some bad apples.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    42
    I forgot to add, by comparison I think the W&OD is much better than the CCT or Mt. Vernon trails from a cycling perspective. Riding on those trails on a weekend is frustrating at best.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    649
    Hi Megan,

    I live in Sterling right off the W&OD and am always on it. PM me if you'd like to get together sometime to ride.
    Specialized Ruby/Selle Italia Flow
    1991 Specialized Sirrus, steel frame
    Dahon Eco C7
    Surly Long Haul Trucker/Terry Fly RS
    Trident TWIG Recumbent


 

 

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