Most of my rides have a 50% precipitation cut-off. Rides in June-August may also
have a maximum forecast high temperature (typically 95). Call me
if you are doubt: (703) 524-0937. Please wear a helmet (see my
bicycling page for an illustration why).
My rides are in the Potomac Pedalers (PPTC) CC (Easy Touring) class. These
rides usually average between 12 and 14 miles per hour, and my suburban
ones really do. The pace slows substantially going up hills, and there
are rest stops planned every 10 to 20 miles. Rides with an (H)
desingation have more hills than the normal "rolling" terrain in
the Washington area.
Rides that have been scheduled:
- Blossoms Inside the Beltway, Sunday, April 23, 9:30 AM
Cue sheet for ride is indicated by
Cue sheets are available as Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) files, and for most of the rides
also as web pages (HTML files). The Acrobat
files have nicer formatting than the web-type HTML files. However, you can extract
the cues from the HTML files and import them into other programs for further processing
(make your own rides and then lead them!), which you may not be able to do with the Acrobat files.
The Acrobat printouts are virtually the same ones I hand out at the rides.
Click on ".pdf file" to download the Acrobat files when there is a choice. Depending on
how and if Acrobat Reader was installed on your computer, you may not see them on your
screen. To see and print them, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Most likely, it
is already on your computer, but if not, it can be
downloaded for free:
Download Acrobat Reader
Rides starting from Thomas Jefferson JHS (TJJ)
How to get there:
By Bicycle: Arlington has an extensive system of bicycle
trails and routes. TJJ is on 2nd St. S., which is a designated
bike route. It connects to Fort Meyer. Check your maps. Meet in
parking lot by 2nd St.
By Metro: (1) Orange Line to Virginia Square, which is at the
corner of Fairfax Dr. and Monroe Street. Ride East (to the right)
on Fairfax Dr. In about 0.2 mile BR onto 10th St. N.; right on
Irving (0.2 miles); cross Route 50 at traffic light to R on 2nd
St. S. (about 1.0 mile on Irving). TJJ is on the right
in about 0.1 mile.
(2) Orange Line to Clarendon. Ride South (to the right) on Highland
St, which is by the escalator entrace to the station, and go right
on 9th St (in about 0.3 miles). Turn left on Irving; cross Route 50
at traffic light to R on 2nd St. S. (about 0.9 mile on Irving).
TJJ is on the right in about 0.1 mile.
By Car: From the West, take I-66 East to exit 71, Glebe
Road. Right on Glebe to left on 2nd St. S. Go one block
plus and park in lot off of 2nd St. (not lot off of Old Glebe).
From the South, take I-395 North to Glebe Road exit. North on
Glebe to right on 2nd St. S. From the District take Key,
Roosevelt, or 14th St. (use Arlington Cemetery exit) Bridge to
Route 50 West. Exit on Glebe Road and turn left to 2nd St. S.
Facilities: Water and rest rooms, but will probably be closed
for Sunday morning ride starts. There is a 7-11 and gas station
on Glebe Rd. at 2nd St. S. and fast food restaurants on Glebe
Road just North of Route 50.
- Greek Food Festival Ride (39 miles),
Greek Food Festival Ride (34 miles), or
39 mile .pdf file, 34 mile .pdf file
- 39 miles with a 34 mile option. Moderately hilly ride through pleasant suburban neighborhoods
in Arlington, McLean, Falls Church, Annandale, Lake Barcroft.
About 4 easy miles from the end, ride stops at St. Katherine's Greek
Orthodox Church for the scrumptious Greek Food Festival, which is
held in June and September/October. You can eat well for $7-8 and stuff
yourself for $10-12 (2001 prices). Some vegetarian dishes are available.
June festival also has exhibits and sometimes folk music and dancing.
- Inside the Beltway, or
.pdf file - 39 miles with
a 33 mile option. This is essentially the Greek Food Festival Ride in reverse.
The hills seem a bit tougher in this direction, and the ride deserves
at least a moderately hilly rating (MH) for CC riders. No Greek festival, but
there are a variety of restaurants along the way for those who want to stop for lunch. This
ride (and the Greek Food ride) is especially pretty when the azaleas and
dogwoods are in full bloom, which usually is in late April or early May.
Many riders have said they like the ride better in this direction. If
we could only arrange for a food festival near the end of the ride ...
- Shortened Inside the Beltway (pdf file only) - 29 miles.
Since the ride above goes through the Virginia suburbs, many short cuts are available.
Here is one that I have used for some non-PPTC group rides. It eliminates
the hilliest sections and does not go through the Annandale area. Without the toughest
hills and at the shorter distance,
this version makes a good PPTC C class ride. While not shown on the cue sheet,
the short cut in the cue sheet above could be used to shorten the ride by another six miles.
The ride can be done in reverse to make a shortened version of the Greek Food Festival
- Great Falls Rambler, or
.pdf file - 47 or 54 miles.
Ride goes through North Arlington and McLean, past the Reston
Animal Park to scenic, downtown Great Falls. Then it goes through
some pretty and hilly neighborhoods (the ride is an (H) for CC
riders), before passing Great Falls Park on the return by a different
route. Possible lunch at the Sweet Stuff Pastry and Sandwich Shop
(recommended). Last leg is fairly flat.
- Wolf Trap Wander (pdf file only) - 34 miles.
Ride goes through North Arlington and McLean, and past Wolf Trap. Possible
lunch at the Sweet Stuff Pastry and Sandwich Shop (recommended).
A few hills, but nothing really daunting. Mile 17.5 on this ride is at the same point as
mile 15.9 for the Great Falls Rambler, and the last 14 miles are the same so this can be a shorter
alternative for those who don't want to do the longer ride.
- Cherry Blossom Ride (pdf file only)
- 42 miles. Fairly complex route through Arlington, Washington, and suburban Maryland that
avoids bike trails for the most part and uses city and suburban streets. Ride visits
the area's two most spectacular displays of cherry blossoms, which usually are in full
flower in late March or early April. Ride first goes to the Tidal Basin near the
Jefferson Memorial, which has the most famous and pictured cherry trees. Then it
wends its way past Capital Hill and through Washington and into Bethesda's Kenwood
neighborhood. That area has more than a thousand cherry trees lining the streets in a pleasant
residential setting. Some think these trees and their location are just as good, if not
more attractive, than the more famous ones in Washington. If you do this ride at the
right time, you can decide for yourself. Ride then works its way back through the
American University and Georgetown areas of Washington before crossing the Key Bridge
to return to Arlington. Ride can be shortened to 35 miles by starting from the Roosevelt
Island parking lot (ROO), which is on the ride route going to the Tidal Basin and is a short
distance from the Key Bridge:
Cherry Blossom Ride from ROO (pdf file only).
- Two Colchesters (C-clockwise), or
.pdf file - 60 miles. There
are two small areas in Fairfax County named Colchester, and this
ride goes through both of them as well as Lake Barcroft, Fairfax,
Clifton, and suburban Alexandria. Lots of rolling hills; most
CC riders will think it should be rated (H), but there are no
really bad climbs. Thanks to former WABA president and local bicycling
advocate and activist Alan Muchnick for this route. I found some of the
roads in southern Fairfax county to be most pleasant surprises.
- Two Colchesters (Clockwise), or
.pdf file - 60 miles.
The ride above in the reverse direction. The main advantage is that the
shopping areas in Alexandria are passed early. On a Sunday, that will be before
most of the stores are open, so the traffic will be less. In this direction, the
first part of the ride is hillier than the last part, which should be easier to do
when fresh. The ride is just as nice in this direction as in Alan Muchnick's original.
Rides starting from Tyler Elementary School (TYL)
How to get there:
1) From Beltway exit 9, take I-66 West 21 miles to Exit 43A (Gainesville/Warrenton)
toward Gainsville. Take the ramp to VA-55 West toward Haymarket and go 1 mile to the school,
which is on the right.
2) Take Exit 40 (Haymarket, US-15) and turn left at the top of the exit ramp. Turn left onto VA-55
and go about 1 mile to the school, which will be on the left.
Facilities: No water or rest rooms, but there are several fast
food stores in Gainesville on Route 29 and a Sheetz station in Haymarket at the intersection
of US-15 and VA-55.
- Middleburg More Non-express (pdf file only)
- 51, 49 or 42 miles.
A club favorite through outstandingly pretty countryside. Some
challenging hills on the way to Middleburg, and then it is generally rolling
terrain. The longer route goes to Marshall and The Plains before
returning through Thoroughfare Gap, which is not much of a climb.
The shorter route bypasses Marshall. There are several options. One
of them passes by what is likely the winery closest to the Beltway
about five miles from the end of the ride.
- Express-Non, Middleburg-Yes, Old Tavern-Maybe (pdf file only),
- 39 to 53 miles. Essentially the ride above in the reverse direction
with the option of going through Old Tavern, the mysterious other town on the
sign for "The Plains, Old Tavern" exit from I-66. In this direction, the
route goes over Hopewell Gap with a long, fairly gentle climb rather than
the short steep way. There is a lot of shade on that stretch, which will be
welcome on a hot day toward the end of the ride. The route passes by the La Grange
Vineyard about five miles from the end of the ride and another winery after leaving
Rides starting from Marshall VDOT lot in Marshall, Va.
How to get there:
From Beltway exit 9, take I-66 West 36 miles to Exit 28, the Business Rt. 17
exit into Marshall. Turn left onto Rt. 55/Main St. at traffic light.
Turn right onto Frost St., by a bank on the corner, and continue to dead end and commuter lot.
Facilities: No water or rest rooms, but there are fast
food stores on Business Route 17.
- Viewtown Views, or
.pdf file - 59 miles.
This ride has outstanding views of the Blue Ridge and uses lightly
traveled country roads through Orlean, Amissville, Viewtown,
Ben Venue, Flint Hill, and Hume. (If you blink twice, you could
easily miss some of these.) Given the proximity to the Blue Ridge,
the terrain is quite gentle, mostly pleasantly rolling with some
relatively short, not that hard climbs. Some riders may
consider the route to be hilly because the second half is harder than
the first. However, most riders will probably be near or above
their normal average speed. The riding is similar to that in northern Vermont
(I rode there in 1997, so I feel qualified to make that assessment),
but not as hilly. Rest stops are at miles 22 and 37, and there is
also a store at mile 12 and possibly one at mile 33.
- A Piedmont Peregrination, or
.pdf file - 55 miles, but there are short-cuts.
Many thanks to Dan Lehman for the route. A lovely ride with many marvelous views of
the Blue Ridge and its foothills. The first 9 miles are the hilliest part of the ride
(and they can be bypassed). The rest of the ride is mainly rolling with some not very
tough hills. The full 55 mile route (without the bypass) is a (H) for most CC riders.
Like Viewtown Views, this ride is also reminiscent of northern Vermont.
Rest stops in Flint Hill and Orlean at miles 20 and 41, respectively. A short-cut is
available that cuts ten miles off the end of the ride, but bypasses the second rest
stop in Orlean.
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