Monday, April 29, 2019

A new road?

Approaching 20 years in the DC area and yet this may be the first time I've done this obvious extension of the normal Beach Drive route.

Beach Drive takes one north through Kensington, Maryland, beyond the beltway and into the suburbs.  The easy and normal approach is to ride it to the end and head home, a nice 25-miler from NW DC.

On a longer day one might cut west across Bethesda, connecting with River Road en route to Poolesville.  It's a good ride.  Not, though, on a weekday morning, when traffic is not pleasant and cars are not respectful.  (As well trained as DC drivers are on weekends, they are surly on weekdays.  I guess some people are just pissed to be heading to work while I'm out for a ride.)

So for the first time I continued straight from the end of Beach, picking up Dewey to Viers Mill, then Turkey Branch Parkway, connecting to Independence and Parkland in Wheaton Maryland.  This is a collection of residential through-streets and school zones that made for empty roads and quiet pedaling.  Zooming in on the map shows lots of possibilities for extensions from here.  36 miles or so includes an extra loop around the lollipop head at the far end.

[In truth, I've been on these roads before.  There was a gosh-awful 200K permanent from Bethesda that Sam and I did in 2006 on a super hot day.  Sam may recall - he was on a cheap Bikes Direct fixie with spokes that kept working loose.  Pretty sure that route had us on these same roads, for a while at least.]

1 comment:

sam said...

It's always fun to discover a new route in your backyard. And I recall that 200K well. Pretty sure that's my first and only 200K on a fixed-gear. Also probably my last. Though I feel confident we'd have saved 2 hours if not for stopping to tighten that damn wheel every 5 miles. I'm disappointed that it somehow didn't make it on my Strava.. Apparently my 2006 total is at least 125 miles light.

I've found quite a few new nearby roads by tooling around on the Paralane. Suddenly all those gravel roads that indicated a u-turn on a road-ride now beckon for a little bit of adventure. There are some descents that I remember riding 15 years ago, white-knuckled on my original Habanero on 700x23s that are now quite reasonable, if not quite comfortable, on a 700x35 with suspension seatpost and stem. And of course traffic is non-existent.

I guess there aren't many roads like that in metro-DC though!