Looking for an “urban escape” to take your all-terrain bike or hybrid? Or perhaps a ride around town? Look no further than Washington’s Urban ATB Page, a web site run by James Menzies that provides detailed descriptions of local bike routes. The site contains reviews, cue sheets, and maps for routes in and around the D.C. area.
James started the site a year ago, after failing to find any resources on the Web describing area bike routes geared towards ATB’s.
“All I could find were some loose collections of cue sheets, and maybe one or two scanned-in maps,” James says. “I figured that if I was looking for this type of info, others would be too. So about a year ago, I started the Urban ATB page.”
The Urban ATB page is not geared towards hardcore mountain bikers - nor is it geared towards hardcore road bikers. Rather, it is geared towards the numerous bikers that have learned to love the flexibility ATB’s and hybrid bikes offer.
“I find there are too many restrictions using skinny tire bikes,” James says. “For example, you need to be careful about going over curbs,” as well as avoiding gravel and potholes. James has chosen routes which have varied terrain, although many can be navigated by road bikes.
Washington’s Urban ATB page contains descriptions of routes within and around D.C. For example, the “Zoo Review” route meanders around Northwest D.C., passing through Rock Creek Park and the Capital Crescent Trail, with an optional stop at the National Zoo. James rates this route as basically flat and mostly scenic, with some urban sections. Some riding in traffic lanes is also required.
Each route description contains terrain, traffic, and scenery ratings; an overview; a map; and a detailed cue sheet.
“Once I decide to add a route, I first ride it myself to record the directions and mileage,” James says. Route selections are usually based on personal experience but are sometimes based on bits and pieces of published information.
James has gotten a lot of positive feedback for his page and often sees 350 hits per day. He invites route suggestions from visitors, and is currently expanding the “Rail Trail” section of his site, which describes old railroad right-of-ways that have been converted to trails by the Rails to Trails Conservancy.
M. Scott Smith is the founder and Editor of DCSki. Scott loves outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, kayaking, skiing, and mountain biking. He is an avid photographer and writer.
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