BY DANIEL GOMEZ
As the calendar turns to April and the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, I thought it was the perfect time to share with our readers one of my favorite bike routes in Washington, D.C.
As many of you know, the District is tailor-made for bikes/bikers. The close distances, wonderful views, and wide lanes, all offer biking aficionados one of the best cycling experiences in the United States.
Besides being a great workout, biking outdoors helps improve endurance, stamina, and is perfect for anyone operating on a tight budget. Whether you have a bike of your own or rent one from the numerous Capitol Bikeshares (although probably not the best option to use to workout) in the city, biking in D.C. can be one of the funnest and most challenging activities to perform on a daily basis.
Now, several people have their own favorite routes, so designating any other as the best is subject to discussion, but this is my personal favorite:
The route is roughly 10 miles long, depending on your stops. But in the time you spend admiring the beautiful surroundings, your legs barely feel the strain.
- Georgetown Waterfront Park
- The Lincoln Memorial
- The Washington Monument
- The White House
- The Capitol
- The Jefferson Memorial
- The King Jr. Memorial
- Back to Georgetown Waterfront Park
Since I frequently visit the Georgetown Waterfront and take in its beautiful view of the Potomac, I have noticed that the park is an excellent place to start any bike route, especially during the morning or late afternoon. Riding along the waterfront, you see such sites as the Kennedy Center, Watergate, and arrive at the Lincoln Memorial within 10 to 15 minutes.
From Lincoln to Washington is a breeze down the Mall, and cutting to the White House from the Washington Monument is the best way to go if you eventually want to take advantage of the smooth two-way bike lane right down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Along the way, you see such sites as the Newseum, the Trump International Hotel, and the Capitol, as it is displayed in all its glory.
At the Capitol, I tend to take a short break, but not long enough to where my legs tighten up. From there, I head over to Jefferson, where a majority of the workout is actually felt, as you trek down long, hilly, winding streets. The punishment is just enough to the point where I can continue pushing forward.
From Jefferson, there is a couple options to consider: 1. you can either return the bike (if it is a Capitol Bikeshare), if you’re tired; or 2. you can follow the route back into Georgetown, where you can reward yourself with dinner and a movie after you have finished your ride. I always choose the latter.
That being said, the route itself is not a killer, and is perfect for anyone on a budget who is still unsure if they want to commit to a gym membership.
It is ideal for weekends. And compared to biking in a gym, it is actually one of the best options for people who need that push to start working out consistently. And considering the wonderful views Washington, D.C. has to offer, experiencing that feeling for the first time is definitely worth the time and energy.
So, whether is it the On the Glow bike route or any other route, if you enjoy riding a bike, be sure to take advantage of all the options the District has to offer. Make sure to stay active and get out there while the cherry blossoms are still in bloom, even if it is just for a couple days a week. Believe me, you won’t regret it.