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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I've been a member here on RBR for a few years, but finally, the stars have aligned and I can finally start commuting to school by bike. For the fall and winter I have other athletic commitments which keep my schedule too variable and me too worn out to make bike commuting viable.

I started last Thursday and I've really been enjoying it, despite the early cold. I live in College Park, MD and go to school in Bethesda, MD. Last week I finally figured out a route that's pretty simple and get's me some of the miles I need to get in. Here goes: I roll one block out of my neighborhood and up to Route 1 South in College Park. I take that into the city and it becomes Rhode Island Ave and I just carry on down into Georgetown onto M Street and onto the Capital Crescent Trail and take that up and hop off at Little Falls Parkway and over to school. It comes to 18.9 miles, pretty flat, maybe a slight downhill into Georgetown and a slight uphill back out to Bethesda. Once I get to school I throw my bike into my dad's truck; he works there, which is mighty convenient. I shower up and change in the locker room and head to class. I then ride home with my dad in the afternoon. I'll probably try going both ways sometime, but I need to be in better shape.

Traffic on Rhode Island is kind of mixed. The first day was a bit rough, but the last few days I decided to leave ten minutes earlier and it was a good deal better. It comes in patches where it will be really hairy for a few minutes and then all of a sudden I'll be on my own for a while. I can deal with the traffic there because once on M St. around 29th-31st St. the traffic peters out a bit and it's just such a nice part of the city to ride through so early in the morning and empty.

I enjoy getting my ride in during the early morning hours, but it'll be a lot better when it warms up. I'm having a good time with it and I'll definitely keep it up for the rest of the year.
 

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Nice to have another DC/College Park/Montgomery County commuter.

If you want to avoid the worst parts of Rte 1 (Almost everything north of Hyattsville) there are two options: Go faster. I used to ride from the Book Exchange to South Dakota in ~18 minutes. Nobody ever gave me any grief. The other option is to take the Northeast branch trail to the Northwest branch (Brentwood) and then continue into town on Rhode Island.

You've picked a good route through town, but there are a few (slightly hillier) alternatives. I'll have to look up specifics, but I can think of one route that comes in on Queens Chapel and goes across Irving. Another, if you want even more hills, is to go the other way out of College Park, take the Northwest Branch trail to New Hampshire/Piney Branch and take Piney Branch into Rock Creek Park, then find some way out to Little Falls. Like I said, I'd have to look up the specifics, and I have no idea what the mileage is.
 

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CycleBatten said:
I enjoy getting my ride in during the early morning hours, but it'll be a lot better when it warms up.
Welcome to the DC commuting scene. Look up at Key Bridge when you head toward the CCT and if you see a bearded cyclist shivering in the cold, wave to me.

Ready for warm weather.....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the kind words. I'm enjoying it, except for the cold. Hopefully that's on it's way out.

Overstuffed, I start at Amherst Rd.- the last light before you get to East-West Highway. I do try to scoot down through Hyattsville/Brentwood as fast as I can. Luckily, the thugs seem to sleep in, but that's my main deterrent in not riding back in the evenings. That and traffic is probably worse. I'm going to look into those trails and take a day and go poke around them sometime.

I'm enjoying the riding a lot, but I'm driving in tomorrow. I'm just hoping it starts to get warm and stay warm soon because the frozen face is not so enjoyable. I'll dig out my camera and snag a few pics sometime though, I promise.
 

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From Amherst, the trails are too far away to be convenient. I wouldn't try it. It would take as long to get to the trails as it would to get to their intersection with Route 1.
 
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