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Posted at 11:55 AM ET, 10/29/2009

Beating Metro on my bike

By editors

By Ian Spivack

For the past five years, I have been riding Metrorail to and from work between Vienna and White Flint. Before the Metro accident in June, my rush-hour commute took one hour. Now, this same commute takes an hour and 15 minutes, sometimes a little more. That extra 15 to 20 minutes may not seem like much, but compounded over a month, it amounts to some 10 extra hours on Metro.

Recently, I began exploring the idea of bicycling to work, but I assumed it would take longer than riding Metro. After some exploration of trails and bike paths, I found my route. On my most recent ride home, I made the trip in one hour and nine minutes, six to 11 minutes faster than taking Metro. Admittedly, this was one of my faster days; I average about one hour and 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how many traffic lights I have to stop at.

I thought my story would be great to run in The Post to show that you can get from almost one end of the Metro system to the other faster by riding a bike than taking Metro.

By editors  | October 29, 2009; 11:55 AM ET
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Good article especially for those that are having a compute issue and want to get exercise at the same time.

Posted by: elndc | October 29, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

At the same time, I bought me a bike and started the commute from my 4th & O St SW condo to my office at 25th & M NW. The ride along the Waterfront, through the park, past the Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln Memorials is a beautiful ride. And, 15 minutes quicker than my MetroRail commute! Without being in the Dungeon of Danger, in a crowded, haphazard train system. Plus, I get to exercise and commute at the same time.

Posted by: Morgantoo | October 29, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Congrats! You are doing what many of us wish they could do but are too lazy to even contemplate. I'll be interested in your route and to learn how you're going to cope with bad weather specially in the winter.

Posted by: Jolibois69 | October 29, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Cool. More folks should give it a try. Maybe then local govs would make a few more safe routes around town and perhaps decide NOT to bulldoze the Custis trail in order to throw another lane for smog belchers on the 66 parking lot.

Keep it up and stay safe.

Posted by: pedalaround | October 29, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

It is good to see that there are people out here who are concerned about their health, their pocket and their planet. Wish there were more. Ride safe.

Posted by: Christtoo | October 29, 2009 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Effective 2010 the IRS allows pretax benefits for bicycle commuting. It isnt much maybe 25 bucks a month but you can pay for some of your bike, gear etc.

Posted by: mikey999 | October 30, 2009 7:12 AM | Report abuse

Fire John Catoe.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | October 30, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

It is an incredible story. By my quick estimation, I'm assuming you are not taking the beltway, a trip from the vicinity of the Vienna metro station to White Flint using Chain Bridge and the Capital Crescent trail would be around 20 miles.

That puts you averaging around 20mph on a fairly hilly and technical ride. You da man!

Please folks at home, don't expect to dust off the old Raliegh and do this in under 2 hrs.

Posted by: tkelley55 | October 30, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I've been commuting from near EFC Metro to Rosslyn every day for the past 25 months. My one way trip is five miles along the W&OD and Custis Trails before getting off on the Rosslyn streets. I make it door to door in a average of 22 minutes by bike or 30 minutes if I walk to EFC and take the Metro.

Posted by: ChrisR52 | October 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I bike commute most days from Arlington Blvd/George Mason to 14th & U. By bike it takes me 35 minutes to go the 7-1/2 miles. By bus it takes about 60 minutes (walk, wait for bus, Rosslyn, transfer at L'Enfant, U St Metro, walk to office).

The other advantage is consistency. My bike commute always takes 35 minutes +/- a minute. Metro on the other hand can take as long as 80 minutes on a bad day

Posted by: Alsatian1 | November 2, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse

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