Road Closures for Bike DC Event on Sunday

by Katie Pyzyk May 11, 2012 at 9:30 am 4,496 55 Comments

Arlington County Police will help with road closures for the Bike DC event this Sunday, May 13.

Bike DC is an annual non-competitive bike ride through the District and Arlington. Participants get up close looks at parts of the metro area they typically might not be able to while riding a bike.

A portion of the proceeds for the event will go to the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. The full ride is 24 miles long, and the family ride is 11 miles long.

Road closures will begin around 6:00 a.m. and end around noon. The following streets will be closed:

  • Route 50 East & Westbound ramps to Meade/Lynn Street
  • Northbound Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Rosslyn
  • Southbound Route 110 from Rosslyn to Crystal City
  • Marshall Drive between Meade Street & Route 110
  • Eastbound Washington Boulevard from Memorial Bridge to Columbia Pike
  • Westbound Columbia Pike from the Pentagon to the Air Force Memorial

Residents who live in the affected areas will be given reasonable access to their homes when there is a break in the action. Those who live along N. Meade Street adjacent to the Marine Corps Memorial will be allowed to come and go with police assistance.

The cost to participate is $40 for an adult full ride, $30 for an adult family ride, $25 for a youth full ride, $15 for a youth family ride and free for children 12 and under. Registration is available on Bike DC’s website.

  • i’m pumped for this!!! see y’all out there!!! *howls*

    • bobco85

      I’ll be there, too! (I don’t have this profile pic for nothing!)

  • shelley

    Instead of, or at least in addition to, lists of roads to be closed for events like this, could you include a simple map?

    • or u could just take the long route via 2 extra mouse clicks to find it on the bike DC website. jeez.


      • WeiQiang


        It looks like the ride goes up GW Pkwy. Does that mean that USPP will have its own list of closed roads?

        • Hi

          I believe it’s only being closed in one direction, though I’m not sure which way.

          • cyclist

            If so, most likely northbound.

      • WeiQiang

        I checked the USPP and NPS/GWMP sites and there is no road closure info that I could find. I’d just look at the map and figure that Rock Creek Pkwy and GW Mem Pkwy will see closures.

        • bobco85

          Only the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway will be closed (they separate the lanes to make it two-way for the cyclists). The southbound lanes will be open to normal traffic.

          For the Rock Creek Parkway, from looking at the overview map I figure they will close the northbound lanes.

  • 1RLI

    Will the roads have “rolling closure times,” as is done for marathons, or will all roads be closed the entire six hours?

    • bobco85

      Usually in DC they will have the temporary closures since the cyclists are still close together near the start of the ride, but in Arlington the closures will be the full 6 hours as the gaps between riders increase in size.

  • MC 703

    Water available for drinking in Potomac River according to map

    • Greg

      Also, it looks like all you can eat Potomac River brown trout.

      • Eet Moor Trout

        … and trout testicles

  • KL

    So, how many of these recreational events can we expect every year? There are places my children have to be and bicycling is not an option. Also, who are benefiting financially from this public street closure? For-profits? Non-Profits? Individuals?

    • Corey

      Drive your children on another road.

      • PT


      • Driver

        OR, the bikers could use less traveled roads for their outing.

        • cyclist

          They use downtown roads that are low-traffic on a Sunday morning, and the GW Parkway, which is a PARK, not an interstate highway.

          • Agent Michael Scarn


    • The A-R-L

      Arlington County is benefitting from the street closures. Race organizers have to pay $X for each officer per hour, and it’s usually a 2 officer minimum per intersection.

      It’s not cheap.

      • No

        The county government is benefiting financially, but the citizens are not. By your logic, we could shut down the schools and instead rent them out to private companies for $$$, and that would be a benefit to “Arlington County.”

        Keep your toys off my roads.

        • cyclist

          They are MY roads too, son. You can handle keeping your toys off for a few hours.

          Do you complain about parades too?

          • Corey

            Knowing people on this board, they undoubtedly do.

        • Corey

          They aren’t “your” roads.

        • SomeGuy

          Clearly the county thinks it’s in the best interest of the county’s citizens to promote bicycling, based on their adoption of Capital Bikeshare, bike-friendly streets, Car-free Diet initiative, and a whole web site that can be found at http://www.bikearlington.com.

          In other words, they don’t see bikes purely as toys the way you do, and maybe supporting an event like this in which the county’s initiatives align with another organization that promotes cycling (WABA) isn’t such a bad idea.

          • WeiQiang


            It’s interesting what a little different perspective can bring. Before moving to ArlCo, I lived in PG County and worked in Crys City. To avoid the hassle of traffic, I would ride my bike over to the C&O and head north and come back in an hour or so. I was amazed [I’m easily entertained] how close Carderock and Great Falls were, in time and distance, on my bike. The experience got me in the habit of exploring DC, NoVa and MD on my bike.

            If some people get exercise, some kids see things from a different perspective, people slow down for a few hours, cyclists learn some tips on how to be safe, and a few businesses see some addtional patronage on a Sunday, I for one am down with it.

          • Kathy


    • SomeGuy

      Consider your statement that “there are places my children have to be.” If they’re children, where do they “HAVE to be?”

      When I was a child, there was nowhere I ever “HAD” to be other than school on weekdays. Playing took place in my yard, a neighbor’s yard, or a nearby park, and it didn’t require an organized league with umpires/referees and such, nor a scheduled “play date.” It merely required friends who also wanted to play. Besides, most of their Saturday mornings should be for sleeping in, breakfast, and cartoons.

      So perhaps this event’s schedule is not the real problem your children face.

      • WeiQiang

        mmmm … Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch.

      • drax

        You never had swim lessons, or piano lessons, or birthday parties?

        • SomeGuy

          None for which the directness of my route was as dire for my parent as it appears to be for KL.

    • Chuckles

      You children have to be where..work?

      To answer your question, I dunno how many of these recreational events we can expect to have each year. How many children can we expect all you whiners to have each year that will need Arlington public schooling?

      You and yours are just as burdensome as afternoon of cycling, that is not, by the way, free. It costs money to participate in the ride.

      • Biking is a tiny odd subculture.

        Cycling and the public schools. Sure. Exactly the same. I totally see your point.

  • DarkHeart

    This part should be fun.

    Westbound Columbia Pike from the Pentagon to the Air Force Memorial

    • MP

      I do this all the time since I have to get up that hill to go home. Doesn’t get any easier.


    On Sunday, May 13, 2012, beware of roving packs of fat guys in spandex.

    Sent by Arlington County OEM to All users (e-mail) through Arlington Alert

    ….powered by Cooper Notification RSAN

    – You received this alert because you registered for Arlington Alert.

    • DarkHeart

      +1 Chortle.

  • Joe Hoya

    Kind of sucks that they scheduled this for Mother’s Day. I’d love to have the chance to pedal around the city on my bike, but I’ll be helping my kids make burned waffles for Mom.

  • CW

    Can anyone who has done this before tell me how crowded it is and when’s best to get there? I’m a semi-fast rider but not at all super serious – no carbon, no spandex. But I don’t want it to be the cycling equivalent of the Cherry Blossom 10 miler where you feel like a molecule of water in a river. Is there an optimum placement in the crowd to be able to get a little open road in front of you?

    • cyclist

      You’ll be fine after the start. It spreads out fast. If you don’t like crowds, hang back a few minutes and wait for the fast cyclists to go ahead.

    • MB

      Route’s a little different this year, but I presume it won’t really start spreading out until Rock Creek Parkway. If you want to ride the GW Parkway at any kind of speed, I suggest going off the front (you’ll have plenty of company, but it’ll be competent company).

      That said, it’s not a fast ride (and isn’t meant to be). Lots of families and groups riding. I approach it as a nice lazy weekend roll.

      (If you want fast, check out the Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal Ride next month. Lots of open road (closed to cars) and no shortage of swift riders.)

      • CW

        Thanks all. I’ll look for where the carbon starts to change over to steel and hang out there. I do really want to get after it on the parkway, though.

        • cyclist

          How’d it go?

  • DarkHeart

    Who are the usual suspects in these bike events? Marathons usually have: juggling guy, guy in military boots, guy in cartoon outfit, guy with multiple kids in stroller, etc.

    I propose: Couple on tandem, Big Wheel, recumbent and bakfiet guy are examples I’ve seen in Arlington. Surely there is a fixed gear guy with mustache and pipe wearing tweed out there.

    • cyclist

      Old guy with beard on a bike and equipment he bought in 1979 and never once upgraded, couple on tandem with two kid trailers attached, chick with whimsical fabric animal face attached to helmet, kid about 10 on a road bike going way faster than you.

    • CW

      Yeah, I think the victorians will probably be out in force.

  • TKL

    “Reasonable access to our homes when there is a break in the action”? Take your expensive adult toys and ride them in an un-infilled, uncongested suburb somewhere else.

    • cyclist


      • Biking is a tiny odd subculture.

        Do you have one of those awesome dental mirror type rearviews on your helmet? Betcha do.

        • R. Griffon

          And the problem with that is what, exactly?

          • Mirrorless Dentist

            Drives up the cost of health care due to increasing the demand for dental instruments……duh !!!!

        • cyclist


          Do you have back pain, stress and extra fat from driving all the time? Betcha do.

    • R. Griffon

      So you’re basically fine with it as long as they inconvenience someone else? Narcissistic much?

      And exactly which houses are they along these routes which are totally unreachable by any other route? I’d like you to point them out. The vast majority of this route has no homes at all.


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