Beckie Bikes with BikeArlington: Personal Bike Train Edition

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Beckie Long Tweet us July 19, 2016 0 Comments

Beckie Long is the former marketing director of Arlington’s active transportation programs, including BikeArlington, WalkArlington and Capital Bikeshare and an Alexandria resident capitalizing on a multi-model commute to keep one more car off the road.

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20160620_180705-minWhen SafeTrack Surge #3 was looming around the corner, I knew my every-day Metro commute (King St. to Rosslyn via the Blue Line) was about to get a rude awakening. Determined to find the positive, I asked, “Why not try biking home, right?” There’s a Capital Bikeshare station two blocks from the office. Check. But, now what? Where’s the best route? How exactly am I supposed to bike to Alexandria? And, preferably only using trails since I’m still building some biking confidence?

My commute home

Insert awesome cyclist-colleague from BikeArlington who would help show me my journey home. On the day of my biking experiment, I, of course, tried backing out. “It’s really hot, maybe we should wait for another day.” His response, “drink some more water!” Yup, I officially committed to doing this ride. Picking up my Bikeshare near the Rosslyn Metro was quick and easy. And, who knew within minutes I could be on the Mount Vernon Trail? As a trail newbie, it was terrific to ride through green space, past prime airplane-landing viewing and down hills. (Yes, I’m still working on easing my brake death grip, but it was still a lot of fun.)

Ride with friends

Riding with a veteran biker made connecting to the next trails, Four Mile Run Trail and Potomac Yard Trail, very simple and now I know my path for future rides. One challenge: the hills. The hills were…well, simply put, difficult. But, coupling my commute home as a workout was one of the aspects that drew me to try biking, so I knew a bit of strength and sweat were well worth it.

Arriving at the King St. station, I was greeted with such a great feeling of accomplishment. (Wow, did I really just bike 8 miles home? Yes. Yes, I did!) Biking home was no longer this scary, what-if-I-get-lost idea, but instead, it was another way to go home, probably the first option that actually allows me full control of my own schedule. Since my first ride, I use Capital Bikeshare to go home twice a week, one ride from Rosslyn and another from the Crystal City station (for a shorter ride), and plan to continue it through the summer and fall. Hope to see you out on the trails soon!

BikeArlington offers custom bicycle trains/guides to anyone living or working in Arlington. Please email us at if you’re interested in going for a ride!  Not in Arlington? Check out WABA’s Bike Buddies regional bike pool!

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