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  1. #1
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Visiting and need some intel...

    Hello from the PacNW,

    I'm going to be out in Falls Church visiting my folks the first week in April and wanted to check out some of the local goods (i.e., Fountainhead, etc.). Anyone have a recommendation for bike rentals nearby?

    Also, I've heard of Fountainhead -- who hasn't -- and that's the top of my list. What else would folks here recommend for a Seattleite seeking the highlights? Where do you take the out-of-towners when you want to impress...?

    Finally, I checked the MORE calendar, and it doesn't look like there's scheduled work parties when I'm there; but I love throwing dirt so any suggestions for volunteer opportunities would be appreciated as well.

    Gotta say, I'm excited to ride in DC since it looks like the scene has really blown up since I moved out to Seattle in the mid-90s. Thanks to everyone who's helped to make that happen!

    P.S. Plz no neg rep for the whole hawks-skins thing...fwiw, I was so conflicted I couldn't even watch the game...

  2. #2
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    Talk to olde town bicycles in Fredericksburg. They have demo bikes but not sure if they rent for multiple days.
    2013 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
    2012 Giant Anthem x2

  3. #3
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    Old town also has a location in Woodbridge which would be closer.
    2013 Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
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  4. #4
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    It's a short ride to Patapsco if you're into XC. Awesome, huge park with miles of trails.


    Or if you want some AM kinda' DH action you could hit the Frederick Watershed but you'll need some locals to show you around there.

  5. #5
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    The Bike Lane in Springfield also does demos, but I don't know about multi-day. I demo'd a Niner Jet9 from them.

  6. #6
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    Also, I've heard of Fountainhead -- who hasn't -- and that's the top of my list. What else would folks here recommend for a Seattleite seeking the highlights? Where do you take the out-of-towners when you want to impress...?
    Depends on what kind of riding you want to do. But since you are trying to rent a bike locally, I'm assuming you will be sticking to XC. I'd choose Patapsco over Fountainhead any day but it definitely helps to have someone who knows their way around Patapsco too.

    On the VA side, aside from Fountainhead, there's also Quantico and the new Meadowwood trail. https://www.facebook.com/TheMeadowoodProject?ref=ts that are interesting. Sadly, most of the local VA trails are on the beginner side though. If you want East Coast tech, you've got to travel outside the metro area and definitely have a guide.

  7. #7
    I am the owl
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    I highly recommend shipping your bike out to your parents house via FedEx or UPS. Rentals are hard to come by in this area and you will be much happier with your own bike - and it will likely cost you about the same or less depending on how many days you wanted to rent.

    No spring work days have been planned yet, but there likely will be some in April.

    As others said, depends on what type of terrain and riding you want to do. Lots of options, but I'd recommend Patapsco, Gambrill/Frederick Watershed and Elizabeth Furnace/Signal Knob if you are willing to travel a bit.
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  8. #8
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Rad! Thanks for all the good suggestions. I checked out Old Towne and The Bike Lane, and it's worthwhile to ship my bike out if I'm riding more than a day (thanks riderx).

    Looks like the chromag is going to have an east coast adventure...

  9. #9
    I am the owl
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    No problem. Shipped my bike a lot in my travels and learned a few things. Here is the number one thing to do: Make sure it comes under the dimensions for an extra charge.

    Most bike boxes are right on the edge of this sizing, so to insure a hasty employee does not measure that extra inch that doubles your charge, set up a free account with the carrier and fill out the forms online ahead of time. Print out the form and drop the whole thing off at the local office, you'll breeze through and won't get nailed for the oversize fee.
    SingleSpeedOutlaw .com
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Hello from the PacNW,

    I'm going to be out in Falls Church visiting my folks the first week in April and wanted to check out some of the local goods (i.e., Fountainhead, etc.). Anyone have a recommendation for bike rentals nearby?

    Also, I've heard of Fountainhead -- who hasn't -- and that's the top of my list. What else would folks here recommend for a Seattleite seeking the highlights? Where do you take the out-of-towners when you want to impress...?

    Finally, I checked the MORE calendar, and it doesn't look like there's scheduled work parties when I'm there; but I love throwing dirt so any suggestions for volunteer opportunities would be appreciated as well.

    Gotta say, I'm excited to ride in DC since it looks like the scene has really blown up since I moved out to Seattle in the mid-90s. Thanks to everyone who's helped to make that happen!

    P.S. Plz no neg rep for the whole hawks-skins thing...fwiw, I was so conflicted I couldn't even watch the game...
    Hey GeePhroh,

    Since you are staying in Falls Church, please do visit the newest and hottest bike shop in that town: Bikenetic - Bikenetic leads the Tuesday Night Rides at Wakefield Park. Also, on Thursday nights the rides are led by the Bike Lane. Both nights bring out great riders or various skills. Check it out!

    As far as Trail Work Dates, you have come to the right place. I am the MORE Trail Liaison for Wakefield Park, and I can attest to you that there are indeed work dates scheduled for many months to come. I know that between Wakefield, Lake Fairfax and Meadowood, we can keep an army of volunteers busy doing trail work. Its awesome that you are interested! Thanks!

    Other places to consider within the confines of Fairfax County are (with maps included):

    Lake Accotink
    Fountainhead
    Lake Fairfax
    Laurel Hill
    Wakefield

    Just west of the Great State of Fairfax you will find these golden gems:

    Conway Robinson
    Elizabeth Furnace

    In Maryland:

    Black Hill
    Fairland
    Gambrill
    Greenbrier
    Hoyles Mill
    Rosaryville
    Schaeffer Farm
    Seneca Ridge

    Enjoy!
    PHX, AZ MTBDOC MTB Customs and Repairs

  11. #11
    i'm schralping yer thread
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbfyrefyter View Post
    Since you are staying in Falls Church, please do visit the newest and hottest bike shop in that town: Bikenetic - Bikenetic leads the Tuesday Night Rides at Wakefield Park. Also, on Thursday nights the rides are led by the Bike Lane. Both nights bring out great riders or various skills. Check it out!
    Nice! Thanks for the tip -- never ridden Wakefield either. Looks like I should bring some lights, too...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbfyrefyter View Post
    As far as Trail Work Dates, you have come to the right place. I am the MORE Trail Liaison for Wakefield Park, and I can attest to you that there are indeed work dates scheduled for many months to come. I know that between Wakefield, Lake Fairfax and Meadowood, we can keep an army of volunteers busy doing trail work. Its awesome that you are interested! Thanks!
    Cool...I'll keep an eye on the MORE calendar and probably check in with you when my trip is a little closer. Cheers!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeePhroh View Post
    Nice! Thanks for the tip -- never ridden Wakefield either. Looks like I should bring some lights, too...



    Cool...I'll keep an eye on the MORE calendar and probably check in with you when my trip is a little closer. Cheers!
    No problem! My contact info is in my sig. If I am not leading a work date, someone local will be. Yes, for April rides, I would say a night light would help out. The Tuesday and Thursday night rides at Wakefield are fun, consider the trails totally XC, and on the beginner to intermediate levels. There are usually different levels of rider groups that head out, from casual to not so casual. Overall, the object is to go out with like minded people and have a fun time.
    PHX, AZ MTBDOC MTB Customs and Repairs

  13. #13
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    Not trying to ruffle any feathers here, but Wakefield would definitely be at the very bottom of my list in terms of "places to impress out-of-towners". Aside from the 495 dirt jumps near by, you're basically just dinging around a small park that happens to sit right next to a heavily congested and polluted highway. It's good for people just starting out or to get a quick ride in during the week for those that live within/near the beltway. If you are visiting for only a few days, I think your time is better spent at any of the other trails around here...just my $0.02.

  14. #14
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    Want flow or rocks?

    I didn't catch what your preferred riding style is. For my friends that like technical trails...the watershed is where I'd want to take them if they were visiting. If they don't like tech and just like to go fast...Rosaryville. Fountainhead and Patapsco works for both types of visiting out of town friends. For the ones that like all day anything goes rides and we had the time...I'd head to Harrisonburg and do both Dowels Draft and Braley Pond in the same ride...the two best trails i've ridden in VA. Not quite as fun as dowels/braley but closer and doable as just a day trip...Google the "Figure eight of hate" in the Elizabeth Furnace area of the GWNF near Front Royal.

    For more detail keep reading....

    I lived (or more appropriately, my stuff was there) in Port Orchard from 2009-2011.

    My impression from what I got to ride while my stuff was there...a lot of the rides on either side of the sound seriously lack flow. So, I'd suggest looking for rides with some flow around here. In my opinion you can find a lot more flow here than I was able to find in the Seattle area.

    Fountain head does have good flow in the beginning and end. As good as it is...it is only about 10 miles...so if you are looking at fitness/training as part of the goal...you'd need to do some combination of multiple laps there (easy to do as the loops are stacked).

    As a previous poster pointed out, I too think Wakefield should be nearer the bottom of the list. Except for the power line stuff, I'd liken it to an XC version of colannde...just as noisy and it feels to me like it occupies the same area (in reality wakefiled has more sq ft, but it doesn't feel like it to me). If you have ridden Banner Forrest over on the Kistap Peninsula, I'd say Wakefield is no more fun than Banner. Riding there solo is hard to have fun. It can be fun if you aren't solo and have someone fast to chase...or increase the fun factor by decreasing reaction time via night riding. That being said, like Colannade, it is great that it is right there in the middle of everything. And, better than Colonnade...if XC is your flavor...you can always look to connect it to other XC rides in the area via the Fairfax cross county connector trail (CCT) and rack up the miles.

    If you want rocky goodness, gambril state park and the Frederick Watershed are where you need to go. But, your best bet is to post up here or check out the MORE and LORO forums to see if anyone is willing to show you around. Alternately, if you have a mapping garmin...you can look for tracks on the various GPS file hosting sites and try to follow someone elses route on your own. Word of caution...though routes you may come across may seem short with not a ton of elevation gain...the effort level there is high due to frequent high power output sessions negotiating rock fields. 10 miles at the shed feels like 20 or more at fountainhead or patapsco and it isn't because of elevation.

    If you want to mix the flow with intermediate climbing and intermediate natural trail features, Patapsco state park ridden from the rockburn park side is your ticket...though it can be tougher to navigate than say fountain head. I consider it just plain good intermediate fun.

    As for bike rentals, can't help you out except to say that I fly with my bike. I have a crate works corrugated plastic cardboard bike box. My bike has flown cross country at least 6 times in the box and a friend used the box on a trip to New Zealand. Some airlines are more friendly to bike boxes than others in terms of $$. Frontier and Southwest are usually the cheapest...and have always been cheaper than shipping via UPS or FEDEX. There are even some companies out there that rent bike boxes to travel with or ship. There are a couple of new web based services for shipping bikes that might make it cheaper than flying with southwest or frontier...but since I have the box and like to have my bike with me when I get to my destination and get home...I haven't gone that route.

    One more bit of advice...rain and riding here isn't like the PNW. Most trails here turn to complete mush with moisture and trail damage is highly likely if places like fountainhead, patapsco, or rosaryville are ridden frequently when it is wet. Fountainhead trails are actively managed....the trail gets closed if conditions are poor.

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