Hi folks, I’m hoping there is some local knowledge of the Washington DC area in here. I’m in the military and am starting work in the Pentagon in mid July. I’m privileged in that I can live anywhere as I get a pretty generous rental budget (even for DC), but I want to try and commute almost entirely by bike and am happy with up to about an hour physically in the saddle each way. I’m pretty fit with an FTP of 319 and am looking forward to getting some ‘free’ miles under my belt rather than sitting in a car each day.
So I have a couple of questions:
I’ve heard horror stories about DC weather. I’m Scottish but currently live in Las Vegas so I’m used to wind, cold and rain back home but have been softened up in my last few years in the sun.
Considering I’ll have a shower available at the Pentagon when I arrive for work, and notwithstanding snowmageddon events, is it feasible to bike commute year round if I can tolerate being slightly uncomfortable on the bike?
I’ve heard, and experienced first hand, DC traffic. I assume I want to avoid the surface streets if at all possible and look for something along one of the shared use trails? In my research so far I’ve seen the W&OD Trail and the Custis Trail, are there any others that I should be aware of?
Assuming I live within a close distance of one of the trails, what speed can I expect to make along them and therefore how close to the Pentagon would I need to live to keep within an hour’s commute? I’m making the assumption that other users on the trail and any road crossings will be the major speed limiter rather than my fitness.
Is there anything else I’m missing? I’ll probably look to stay on the VA side of the city to be closer to Dulles as I’ll be traveling back to Las Vegas at least once a month as my kids are staying here.
Thanks for your time and looking forward to seeing what the East Coast has to offer on two wheels!