A Cyclist’s Urban Retreat

Last Saturday was an unusually warm day for January in the Washington DC Area.  I got the chance to ride a course that included two classic roads through the District of Columbia and the Maryland suburbs.  These are Beach Drive, which runs through Rock Creek Park, and Sligo Creek Parkway which runs parallel to it to the east.  These are both roads that run through parkland along local waterways. They are also known as two of the more scenic and popular places to cycle in the Washington DC Metropolitan area.

For me, this ride, which included riding to and from the local ride starting location from a friend’s house, is a joy. Part of the course is closed on weekends, and even where it is open, it isn’t crowded or heavily travelled on the weekend. Except for the times when we rode between these two park roads through suburban neighborhoods, we rode through parks. There are several such roads or trails in the Maryland/DC/Virginia area, and they’re generally well used by runners, cyclists and others.

I’ve ridden these roads for years.  You don’t have to be a great cyclist to enjoy them. You can ride a short distance on them or find them as part of a longer ride, but they’re always enjoyable. Most motorists expect cyclists on them, and there tends to be a kind of truce between cyclists and motorists. Whether you’re out for a gentle spin or hammering down the road at high speed, these roads are a great route through the Washington Area.  I try to get a ride on them a couple of times a year, just because I enjoy the park and these places are both familiar and enjoyable. To ride them early in the season is a very good way to start the year.

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