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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686

    Talk to me about cycling in DC

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    I am moving to the DC area for a new job, and thinking of living within DC (not sure where: Capitol Hill, Cleveland Park, Adams Morgan).

    Out here, in Chicagoland, last year I started doing some road races and crits, I am part of a small women's group (all 40+) that got together for rides weekly. I also started doing cyclocross this season. Finally, I had joined a club that focuses on cyclists and triathletes with Computrainer studios and "functional training" sessions (like a cross fit thing, except with clearly established cycles and conducted by physical therapists). Needless to say, I will miss all of that...

    I know DC has a great network of bike routes, but what suggestions do you gals have for finding a group, meeting like-minded people?

    Thanks in advance,

    -pll

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,846
    Off the top of my head --

    There is much cycling for transportation in DC. Automobile traffic in the city is utterly insane. It literally makes me cry. If you're traveling within the city and you can do so by bike, you'll probably be much happier. There are lots of relatively new bike lanes and Capital Bikeshare is growing by leaps and bounds.

    For group rides, I highly recommend the Oxon Hill Club. You simply will not meet a nicer group of people. They mostly ride in southern Maryland, which is the area that is east and south of DC. Many of their rides start within a 30-40 minute drive of where I live, in Arlington, so they would probably be about the same distance for someone coming from the city. There are some nice rural roads in southern Maryland. http://www.ohbike.org/

    The largest club in the area is Potomac Pedalers. I like some of their rides and some of their members are friendly, but they also seem to have plenty of people who just want to ride as fast as they can with no interest in riding with the group or being the least bit friendly. The main benefit with PPTC is that they offer rides in different parts of the area, including Virginia and northern Maryland. www.potomacpedalers.org

    Both clubs offer rides at various levels (in terms of average speed), though the vibe with the faster PPTC rides is survival of the fittest -- if you get dropped or have a mechanical, you're on your own.

    There are some other clubs in the area, but I'm not as familiar with them. The Reston bike club (in Virginia) has a pretty limited ride schedule. I've considered joining the Baltimore Bike Club, though they start many of their rides more than an hour from where I live. They put on the Civil War century every year, which is one of my favorite rides. There's also Babes on Bikes, but I've never ridden with them because I think they mostly ride on weekdays.

    I can't help you with racing, though I know there are various races and teams in the area. I do know a couple of women in the Oxon Hill club who race. My LBS has a team that does some racing, including cyclocross (I think).

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    As nybiker says, DC is great for riding for transportation. I'm no longer familiar with the racing scene since I moved 100 miles south, but there are high end bike shops in DC (Revolution comes to mind) and Maryland that will likely have racing info.

    I lived in DC, Virgina and Maryland during my time in the DC area. I liked them all. One thing to consider is the income tax--it was a lot higher in DC than in either MD or VA. when I moved out of DC, my paycheck went up a pretty nice chunk. But I also really enjoyed living in the District itself and would have stayed if I could have afforded to. It's very expensive to live there (the whole region, not just DC).

    Congratulations on your move.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Thanks ny biker and tulip for the tips. Not so concerned about racing, but more about meeting people and then finding a place to train. I hope to be able to try the Oxon Hill club rides soon after I move there.

    Good insight on the tax issue (yikes, I had not considered!). I want to minimize my commute and I do not like driving.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Quote Originally Posted by pll View Post
    Thanks ny biker and tulip for the tips. Not so concerned about racing, but more about meeting people and then finding a place to train. I hope to be able to try the Oxon Hill club rides soon after I move there.

    Good insight on the tax issue (yikes, I had not considered!). I want to minimize my commute and I do not like driving.
    There's really no reason to have a car in DC if you choose the right place to live. Bike commuting is very common and the bike infrastructure is good. You can use Zipcar to get to Oxon Hill or Potomac Pedalers rides on the weekends. I liked Potomac Pedalers; I thought they were nice and had good rides. I liked Oxon Hill, too.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    I shall try both groups. I suspect I will see hills on a consistent basis now, no? :-) That will be a change going from this area!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,846
    Quote Originally Posted by pll View Post
    I suspect I will see hills on a consistent basis now, no? :-) That will be a change going from this area!
    Well, there are more ups and downs here, but most of the hills in the areas where I ride are short, so the suffering is not prolonged. You can find some longer more challenging climbs in if you head out some parts of Maryland or western Virginia. The eastern shore of Maryland is totally flat. I actually prefer some hills on my rides because they add variety.

    Where will your job be located?

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Olney, MD
    Posts
    3,066
    Just come north and ride in Montgomery County or Howard County and you can have all the hills you want.
    I'd rather be swimming...biking...running...and eating cheesecake...
    --===--

    2008 Cervelo P2C Tri bike
    2011 Trek Madone 5.5/Cobb V-Flow Max
    2007 Jamis Coda/Terry Liberator
    2011 Trek Mamba 29er

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    Where will your job be located?
    My job will be near 17th St and K St NW (Farragut metro stations).

    Quote Originally Posted by HillSlugger View Post
    Just come north and ride in Montgomery County or Howard County and you can have all the hills you want.
    I will!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,846
    My dentist is near there. He started cycling to work earlier this year from somewhere in Montgomery County (not sure exactly where) and he loves it. (Also he's a very good dentist, if you'd like his contact info.)

    That area is very easily accessible by public transportation, which gives you more options for choosing a place to live.

    BTW I don't think we've mentioned WABA yet -- it's the area's bike advocacy group. www.waba.org. Lots of resources there.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Quote Originally Posted by ny biker View Post
    (Also he's a very good dentist, if you'd like his contact info.)
    Oh, yes! PM? I am ready to fly back to the Chicago area for my dentist, so a good recommendation is most appreciated (and any other recommendation).

 

 

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