Commuting to Work on Two Wheels – DC to Fairfax Edition

The route

After trying out my route on a weekend, I’ve biked to work a couple times. Rolling into the office I realized I didn’t have a lock for the rack, so I kept my bike in the office. With my trusty steed residing in my room, my co-workers had some questions.

  • How did you find a route? WABA cue sheets. On WABA.org, they’ve got about 15 common commuter routes.
  • 18 miles is far, how long does it take? An hour each way.
  • How does that time compare to driving? Driving: wake up at 7:10 AM, at desk at 8:30 AM, total: 1:20. Riding: wake up 6:40 AM, at desk 8:15 AM, total: 1:35. The main difference is that when I ride, I  get up and go. On the other hand, driving, I wander around the apartment, stare out my window, take a long shower, and so forth. I end up saving that dilly dally time. Morning commute: 15 minutes longer by bicycle. Driving in the evening takes a bit longer than driving in the morning. This time is canceled out by the time it takes me to change into my gear. Evening commute is about 20 minutes longer. Overall, biking to work takes 35 minutes longer, but I get 2 hours of exercise.

I admit I’m not the typical rider. I’m more of an enthusiast than most. However, that doesn’t mean you can pull it off too. I reverse commute from DC to Fairfax. if you are driving into the city in the morning and out in the evening your driving times are probably longer than mine, so bicycling might be faster even though your ride time won’t be the same.

Not ready to bike the whole way? Try biking to the Metro first. Try driving half way, parking, and biking the rest. All I’m saying is give it a shot. For me biking is definitely more fun than sitting on the Parkway in bumper to bumper traffic watching other people ride, canoe, and run.

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