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Silver Spring - Bethesda bike commuting [Jul. 2nd, 2008|11:15 am]
A community for biking afficianados in DC


[mood |determined]

Hello all! I'm mostly posting to share my excitement at finally figuring out a potential way to get to work by bike (and a little bit of public transportation), and to see if anyone has any tips and tricks for any leg of my journey.

Today, I spent the morning perusing various websites in another attempt to find a better, cheaper, healthier way to get to work than spending an hour and a half to two hours in the car every day just to travel 22 miles. I live off Cherry Hill Rd, between Powder Mill and Rt. 29, up in that no-man's-land that isn't quite Silver Spring, or Beltsville (though that's my mailing address), or College Park. I work in the heart of Bethesda. Since biking down 29 is not an option (no paths, no shoulder, no sidewalks), I had despaired of being able to bike to work. There's just no safe way to get from our place to the inside of the Beltway without going many miles out of my way on an already long trip. Then, last night, I had a "DUH!" moment, and realized that I could theoretically bus part of the trip. All of Metro's buses theoretically have bike racks that are supposed to be really easy to use (though I haven't personally tried yet).

So today I pored over Metro, MoCo, and WABA pages, and figured out a potential route. The Z6 bus stops right behind the Target about a mile from my house, and goes straight down Rt. 29 into Silver Spring. The Capital Crescent trail starts just west of Silver Spring and dumps out just down the street from my office in Bethesda. The only even vaguely iffy part is getting from wherever I get off the bus in Silver Spring to the beginning of the trail, but someone thought of that, too. So really, the only question is how long it takes, and either how much earlier I'll have to get up to do it, or how much later I'll have to stay at work. Though getting up earlier has two added benefits - cooler temperatures, and less traffic on 29, which can be a parking lot. Of course, the whole "getting up earlier" thing is less fun. So we'll see. ;-) Also, a $2.50 per day commute as opposed to who-knows-how-much in gas and car repairs plus an average of $5.50 in parking garage fees = win.

I'm going to give it a try this weekend, and see how long it takes. Anyone have any tips, tricks, warnings, or suggestions for any part of my route? I figure rather than going all the way into Silver Spring, I'll just get off the bus at Spring Street at 29, and hop over to 2nd Ave from there, and thence to the CC trail.

I'll get in shape if it kills me, damnit! :-D

From: jennifer_zucker
2008-08-15 12:44 pm (UTC)

Bethesda Transportation Solutions

Another resource you should try is www.bethesdatransit.org. In the interest of full disclosure, I do work there, but we specialize in getting Bethesda employees out of their cars and turning them into devotees of alternative commuting methods. We have a whole section on biking to and from Bethesda, how to use the Ride-On bus bike racks, and a map of Bethesda's public bike racks. Should you need more info, we have a resident bike commuting expert in our office that would be more than happy to help you. Oh yeah, and all this is provided at no cost.
(Reply) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-07 04:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Bethesda Transportation Solutions

Great transportation site Jennifer! Though the sign-up for GRH seems to be broken:
http://www.bethesdatransit.org/commuters-guaranteed-ride%20home.shtml (click sign-up)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: (Anonymous)
2008-09-08 02:02 am (UTC)

Re: Bethesda Transportation Solutions

Noted. Will fix that ASAP. Thanks for letting me know!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)