Healthy Living: How to Bike Around GW

Maybe you just finalized your schedule and realized that you have agreed to travel from the Elliott School to 2020 K St. in 10 minutes.

Or maybe you are sick of the gym but would still like to stay fit.

The solution to these dilemmas is the same: hop on a bicycle. Here is some key information to get going on that bike:

Where to bike:

Two of the more popular bike trails in the area are the Capital Crescent Trail and the Rock Creek Park Trail, both of which are only a short distance from Foggy Bottom.

The Capital Crescent Trail is more appropriate for the casual biker, starting at the Key Bridge in Georgetown and ending in Silver Spring, Md. The entire trail runs about 10 miles.

More adventurous bikers will enjoy the 20-plus-mile Rock Creek Park Trail, which originates at the Lincoln Memorial and ends at Lake Needlewood Park in Montgomery County, Md. Only those ready to spend a full afternoon riding should consider completing the course.

How to keep a bike safe at GW:

There are several options to prevent your bike from being stolen at GW. Bicycle theft is a common crime in the Foggy Bottom area, and both the University Police Department and the District of Columbia suggests students register their two-wheelers. UPD records each bike’s serial number to identify it and also gives owners a D.C. registration sticker. They also offer the option of engraving a driver’s license number on the bike to help recover it should it be stolen.

But these preventative measures are not foolproof. The registration can only be used to identify the bike if it has been recovered, which is not a common occurrence. UPD advises students to securely lock their bikes and avoid leaving them outside for very long, even if they are locked.

Where to buy a bike/get a bike serviced:

If you are unlucky enough to have your bike stolen or you simply need some work done or some new parts, there are several quality bike shops in the area. They include Bicycle Pro Shop and Revolution Cycles, both located on 34th and M streets near the Key Bridge. Just watch out for all that M Street traffic if you decide to ride your new bike home from the store!

How to rent a bike:

If you don’t want to buy a bike or just don’t want to risk keeping it in D.C., then there are still options. The University rents bikes to students, faculty and staff for free at the Lloyd Gymnasium on the Mount Vernon Campus. You must have a valid GWorld card.

A new company called SmartBikeDC now also rents bikes from 10 different locations spread out around downtown Washington, including one next to the GW Hospital. Interested customers must sign up for a yearly $40 subscription, in return for unlimited access to the bikes. Some of the other locations are near the Metro stops at Metro Center, Judiciary Square, Farragut North and McPherson Square.

Bicycle Information

Bicycle Pro Shop
3403 M St., N.W.
(202) 337-0311

City Bikes
2501 Champlain St., N.W.
(202) 265-1564

Revolution Cycles
3411 M St., N.W.
(202) 965-3601

Big Wheel Bikes
1034 33rd St., N.W.
(202) 337-0254

(800) 899-4449

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