I am looking for a long ride that can be started from the District (i.e. doesn't require driving to the start) and is maybe a bit flatter than going up into the hilly neighborhoods of Potomac. Anyone have any ideas or cue sheets I can build off of? W&OD is not ideal because of all the stops and recreational riders, but that sort of terrain is what I'm looking for. I don't need completely flat, but my IM will be flat as a pancake, so I'd like to get an idea of what it feels like to spend hours endlessly spinning instead of going up/down hills.
If you have a cue sheet and are unable to post it here, pls email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you feel about riding around in 3 or 5 mile circles?? =)
haha - if this is during the weekend, although not completely flat - a ride out on beach drive and back twice would probably fulfill your needs
Unfortunately this area isn't flat, so you'll be hard-pressed to just start riding without encountering hills. Your best bet is W&OD even with all the stops and starts.
If you are really a glutton for punishment, my husband trained for IMFL last year with a couple of 70+ mile rides at Hains Point. It got very boring, but he also pointed out that the flat wildlands of the Florida panhandle were a lot less jarring since he'd had the practice both physically and mentally.
x2 on what everyone has said so far.
The most that I've done Haines Point for is 60 miles. The most that I've done the Beach Drive Rock Creek loop is 3 loops. If you are doing something flat like FL or AZ, Haines Point probably will give you the best race day simulation. It's flat, no traffic, and windy. Beach drive has a few places where you will have you get out of the aero position (i.e., traffic lights, gates, and 1 or 2 short little step hills.)
Haines Point will allow you to go for hours and hours and hours without ever having to stop or get out of aero if you don't want to. If you want to go 60 around Haines Point at around 3:00 PM this Thurs, let me know ... that's what I'll be doing :)
All of the other flat places around DC will cause you to deal with baby strollers, joggers, and cracks in the path.
Thanks for the responses so far. I am doing Cozumel, and so while I am deeply disturbed at the thought of doing 10 or 15 loops around HP, I do realize that I need to learn (re: delude myself into thinking) that riding into a headwind can be fun. If anyone can suggest a flat local ride with a TAILwind the whole way, I am all ears.
you can't be serious 60-70 mile rides at hains point? that sounds like some sort of enhanced interrogation technique.
the only thing i would suggest is prince william forest loops of that only because its 7 mile loops so not as many loops but it does have some slight inclines on it.
hit PG County, Charles, or St. Mary's County. I've done some great flat rides out of Indian Head. If you go further to St. Mary's county, you'll find flat and big shoulders to bike on.
Good cue sheets are found at Oxon Hill Bike Club site and Potomac Pedalers BC.
Just rent an ez-car or zippy car. You can bike over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. But getting to Indian Head is extremely dangerous on a bike b/c you're biking on the side of a highway.
I'm in a similar boat. Training for IMFL, going on a trip this weekend, flying back Monday morning. In order to get my 110mi ride in, I've got to go straight from Regan to home, to my bike and start around noon. Oh, the things we do!
I'd like to drive out to Nokesville to do my ride, but think that it's too far away for me to be able to finish before it gets dark. So, starting in DC is a plus. Beach Drive/Rock Creek and the Sceneca loop just seem a little sketchy on a weekday, especially when I'll be out there during rush hour. I was considering doing the entirety of the W&OD, but maybe loops around HP is what I'll have to do.
Let's see... that's (approx)
110 / 5.6 = 19 long loops or
110 / 3.1 = 35 short loops!!!
That's one way to get really good at right turns.
On second thought, looking at Lisa's suggestions, those may be better options than getting really dizzy. I'll try and put something together and share for comments/suggestions.
I have done W&OD before from DC (biked through G-town, over Key Bridge, picked up Custis Trail by the Key Bridge Marriot, which eventually turns into W&OD). I found W&OD really good for a long solo weekday ride, when I was worried about being out in weekday traffic -- there were enough people that I didn't feel totally isolated, but not so many recreational bikers that I was significantly slowed down. Plus, there are a few good rest stops/7-11s along the way, so you know you can get drinks etc.
If you come up with something else, though, please do share!
I do have a car and so will likely look into the St. Charles County options, but was hoping to start clocking mileage from my doorstep so as to save time.
you have to go for the 110 with 35 short loops of hains point just to say you did it... and then tell us what it was like.
i wonder if going tha many times in a clockwise direction will change the spin of the earth?
another good ride is White's Ferry ride. About 80 from the Ghandi Statute in DC.
first half do regular Macarthur route out to River Rd to White's Ferry (rolling hills). Take ferry across to Leesburg. Bike home WO&D. (flat, boring). WO&D is nice b/c it's like a recovery ride.
W&OD. That's it unless you want to drive, have hills, or bike HP.
So, I came up with this route for my 110 miler.
I live in VA, am not at all familiar with MD and have no idea about the safety of the route, especially crossing the Wilson Bridge and going through Ft Washington. Anyone want to comment?
Essentially, it takes you down the Mt Vernon trail, across the Wilson Bridge, into PG County, through Ft Washington then to Accokeek and picks up a 54miler from the Oxon Hill Bicycle and Trail Club cue sheet library.
For a 70mi loop, you could follow this to about mile 25 (Accokeek Firehouse) and add in the 16mi loop from the cue sheet library with some loops at Hains Point or the 30mi loop to Smallwood State Park.
I'm still undecided about doing this or the W&OD. I'm much more familiar with the W&OD, so it has that going for it. I may also just drive out to Accokeek and do a combination of routes from the Oxon Hill site. Kind of depends on if anyone comments about this route and if there are any flight delays.
Okay, insomnia struck. Here is another route... 112mi. Why the strange start location? That's where I work. I know I can get there in 30min and have safe parking for hours on end.
I'm a little more confident about this route (I've rode parts of it before). Still, comments about the other route would be nice.
There are a number of places where this course can be cut to make 70mi. Also, you could start from DC by taking the Mt Vernon trail to Mt Vernon, then around Ft Belvoir (may require some riding un US 1) to the route. Let me know if you want help adjusting.
The W&OD out to Purceville is a good weekday ride. The trail is not busy and the street crossings are reduced once you get past Herndon. It is about 45 miles out from the start of the Key Bridge. I road this route many times last year from Bethesda for 110 miles.
Thanks for the cue sheets Ryan! I think from DC you could also take the Custis/W&OD out 66 and pick up near your starting point. I think for this weekend we may actually try to do 15 big loops of Haines Point, just to get in a miserably boring, windy, flat ride. But I will play around with your route for next weekend's 85-miler. If it's not too much trouble, would you mind posting here or emailing me (email@example.com) after you do this route and let me know if there are any issues with it? I am getting tired of doing the same old Potomac rides, so going out into VA looks great. And thanks to everyone else for all the good route tips! This was very helpful.