Photo by joshuadnadas
Biking around Town is written by Josh Nadas (@dcliterate), a daily bike commuter & avid rider who works for the National Park Service, and lives in Mount Pleasant. Josh previously wrote about Beach Drive.
Ride to a hike.
I was trying to think about a fun weekend activity for this installment of riding around town, and I settled on the idea of riding to a hike. Naturally, Teddy Roosevelt Island came to mind as an urban destination, so I pumped up my tires and was on my way. for this ride I made sure to wear regular shoes because you can’t ride the island – you have to hike it.
I started the route at Washington Circle, because that is a convenient location for accessing the trail that I want to take. Head south on New Hampshire Avenue, and enter the traffic circle. Continue riding towards the Kennedy Center on 25th street, and get onto the sidewalk the first chance you get. It’s okay – it’s a bike route. You’ll follow the sidewalk all the way around the center. There is a small access path that is paved, but ignore it, because the path you are on will deliver you to the parking lot for Teddy Roosevelt Island. Also, be advised that this bike route is more or less exactly the width of two bikes, so there is room to ride two abreast or opposed, but use good communication and slow down when passing. Every commuter that I encountered was really courteous.
This path continued along the Teddy Roosevelt Memorial Bridge, where there is an awesome view. It is similarly narrow, and on the interior side (towards the cars) there are exposed support beams under the railing. I mention it because I caught my pedal on one and it was not pleasant. I didn’t have an accident, but there was a terrific metal on metal clanking sound. So, take it easy on the bridge – it’s not le tour.
The bridge eventually connects with the Mount Vernon trail, and you’ll just merge right along a wooden bridge on the trail. Head further along that path, and you will arrive at the parking lot for Teddy Roosevelt Island, where you will be able to see the trailhead. There are some bike racks to lock up your bike (remember a lock, you won’t be able to bring your bike with you).
This ride is pretty short, only about 20 minutes for just over a mile and a half of distance using my route. Additionally, it’s an easy ride, there aren’t too many intersections to deal with, and the path is relatively flat. Hiking around the island is pretty cool if you have never been, I had fun taking pictures of the bridge and around the island. Enjoy!