- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 23, 2001

Clubs offer recreational rides in area

Area cycling groups include many fine racing clubs, but these usually stress the competitive side of biking. Purely recreational rides for experienced and inexperienced riders can be found by contacting the following clubs:

• Bike & Brunch: This group of singles-minded Jewish cyclists schedules Sunday and midweek rides in the Bethesda area. See www.bikeandbrunch.com or call 301/881-2453.

• Oxon Hill Bicycle & Trail Club: Scenic rides in D.C., Prince George's County and Southern Maryland. See https://ohbike.org or call 301/567-6760.

• Patuxent Area Cycling Enthusiasts: Tours widely in Southern Maryland. See www.bikepace.com.

• Potomac Pedalers Touring Club: Rides across the entire metro region, from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Chesapeake Bay. Weekly Sunday Picnic Ride begins at Viers Mill Recreation Center at Garrett Park Road and Beach Drive, Kensington, at 3:30 p.m. mid-April to the end of October. No registration necessary. Bring potluck dish to share. See www.bikepptc.org or call 202/363-8687.

• Reston Bike Club: Rides in the Reston region and beyond. See www.restonbikeclub.org or call 703/904-0900.

• Washington Area Bicycle Association: The nation's largest and oldest bike advocacy group, is planning the biggest ride in D.C. history, BikeDC, for Sept. 23. See www.waba.org or call 202/628-2500.

Trails offer scenic setting for cyclists

Want to strike out on your own? Here are some of the more popular area bike paths.

• Capital Crescent Trail: Begins near the Key Bridge in Georgetown and curves like a crescent 11 miles to Silver Spring. It mostly follows the old B&O; Railroad bed, resurfaced with smooth asphalt, making the grade surprisingly easy. See www.cctrail.org.

• C&O; Canal towpath: Runs 185 miles from Georgetown to Cumberland, Md. Unpaved, its surface can become rough in places, and a mountain bike or a hybrid with heavy, cleated tires is recommended. See www.nps.gov/choh.

• Custis Trail: Connects the Rosslyn side of Key Bridge to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. See www.waba.org.

• Four Mile Run Trail: Connects the Mount Vernon and the Washington & Old Dominion trails. See www.waba.org.

• Mount Vernon Trail: Follows the Potomac beside George Washington Parkway from the Memorial Bridge 18 miles south to George Washington's Mount Vernon estate. See www.nps.gov/ gwmp/mvt.html.

• Rock Creek Park bikeway: Follows Beach Drive from Kensington down Rock Creek Parkway in the District. Many parts of it are closed to car traffic on weekends. See www.nps.gov/ rocr.

• Washington & Old Dominion Trail: This 45-mile ribbon of asphalt, named for the railroad that ran on the right of way it now occupies, begins in Arlington and ends in Purcellville, Va. See https://wodfriends.org.

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