On a recent day-long (two nights, one day) business trip to Washington, DC, I had a few hours between a late-morning meeting that ended with lunch, and an evening commitment. Rather than my typical routine in such a case (working in my hotel room), I decided to spend part of the afternoon seeing what it’s like to bike in a city that is trying to become a model for bike friendliness. Plus, I knew it was going to be a late night and afternoon exercise would help make it more enjoyable.
I was staying near Reagan National airport in Crystal City and was happy to discover that within two blocks of my hotel, I had two options for renting a bike: Capital Bike Share and Revolution Cycles City Hub, Crystal City. If I were riding point-to-point (rather than an out-and-back) and wanted to drop off and pick up bikes along the way, I would have gone with Bike Share. My needs, and preference for the style of their bike option, led to City Hub. This turned out to be a great choice as I enjoyed chatting with the staff and picking up some helpful advice and a trail map. (Bike Share was a bit cheaper and I’m a fan of the concept, but it’s set up like a vending machine for picking up and checking in one of their fleet of bikes.)
I had a great ride, a very easy pace with a total distance of around 11 miles in all. Moreover, my ability to travel between the spots I wanted to stop and see — special exhibits at two different locations — was a snap and so much faster and easier than if I were in a car, cab or Metro.
Rather than tell you how to see DC via bike, I’ll point to the experts on that topic: On the website, BikeWashington.org, you’ll find information and links to everything you need.
Next time I’m staying in Crystal City, I may try out the 18-mile Mt. Vernon Bike Trail.