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Reply to Road to the hotel
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Avi from Murrysvile pa on 7/26/2020 6:11:29 PM:
We are planning a Bicycle ride from west newton pa to DC. Most of our trip is planned the only place I didn’t make hotel reservations is Leesburg VA. Seems the nearest hotel is in downtown Leesburg the distance from the whites ferry To the hotel is about 4.5 mile. Is there a bike trail or bike path for this section. or the only way is to ride on route 15 which it looks like a highway. Looking forward to advice Thank you, Avi

 
Rivnuts from Homestead. PA on 7/26/2020 7:12:23 PM:
There is no bike trail from the Whites Ferry Landing to Leesburg. See the responses to a similar question asked under the previous forum discussion topic whose subject was "Whites Ferry to Leesburg" posted on July 20.

 
Richard from Washington DC on 7/26/2020 9:19:06 PM:
The only way to bike from White's Ferry to Leesburg is unfortunately Highway 15. You are only on 15 for about a mile. It has a wide shoulder. I used to ride it all the time. The downside is that traffic is going 60 mph, so if a car veers off, doesn't see you, or wants to be vicious, you're toast. You might try riding against the traffic. At least that way, you will see the car before it hits you. But the northbound lane, leaving Leesburg in the morning, is trickier. Probably best to ride in on the southbound lane with traffic behind you and ride back the next morning on the same lane facing the traffic. You might also think about seeing if an Uber or Lyft can get your bike in the trunk. I want to stress that the road is plenty wide, but you have very high speed traffic. Some drivers seem to think the should can be used to pass slow cars on the right side. Take a look on Google Street View and see if you would feel comfortable riding the shoulder.

 
JM from Central Florida on 7/27/2020 7:32:45 AM:
I know the previous comments are well-intended, but it's never safe (or legal) to ride a bike against the flow of traffic. Ride with the flow of traffic and use a mirror to see what's happening behind you.

 
Richard from DC on 7/27/2020 8:35:02 AM:
I wasn't lightly advising to ride against traffic by leaving town on the southbound lane. A stranger will have trouble finding the safest route to the northbound lane. Instead, they will take what appears to be the shortest route out of town, and they will require them to cross four lanes of 60 mph traffic. That can be exciting but not the way you want to start your day. And the "safe" route still requires you to ride about 200 yards across a grass field and then another 100 yards on a section of Route 15 that doesn't have a shoulder, where you are on the road with 60 mph traffic. So I thought I would simplify things and suggest people leave Leesburg on the same Southbound lane they rode in on. You're riding against traffic but it's safer than taking the northbound lane. I don't know that it is illegal in Virginia to ride against traffic but it may be illegal to ride a bike on a divided highway anyway.

 
JM from Central Florida on 7/27/2020 9:33:33 PM:
Richard, as I said previously, I know that your comments are well intended. But, just to be clear, it's illegal in every state to bicycle against traffic. The League of American Bicyclists summarizes the laws this way: "In all 50 states, people on bikes are required to follow the same laws as other drivers. Here are a few key principles that underpin all US traffic laws: .... Ride on the Right In the United States, everyone must drive on the right-hand side of the roadway." In Virginia, the relevant statutes are Va. Code Ann. §§46.2-100 and 46.2-800.

 
Dan from Pittsburgh on 7/30/2020 10:43:41 PM:
There is a Best Western in Leesburg. They will pick you up at the Whites Ferry crossing. It’s a good service. I used in June. You can hose off your bike and the hotel will store it inside. The hotel is clean Last year I did the same with the Hotel in Downtown Leesburg. I forget the name of it. I don’t recommend that one. The shuttle is a small pickup. My bike was damaged and they would not pick us up at the ferry. We had to instead bike out to the highway and waited 45 mins The B W was great!

 
Jim Days from Columbus Ohio on 7/31/2020 8:35:38 AM:
I rode from Cumberland to Brunswick. I found a grocery store in Brunswick about 2.5 miles uphill on acceptable roads from the towpath. That is about my "limit" on what I consider as convenient to bike to from the towpath. I then continued on the towpath to Point of Rocks. There was a small convenience store there and a banana was a dollar. I got scared about this and returned to Cumberland. I saw your post about Leesburg. Is there a grocery store (not convenience store) that is convenient to the towpath? About how far from the towpath? If there is no convenient grocery, what is the next town towards DC that has a grocery store that is convenient to bike to? I need to get to a grocery store every day to buy certain things. Also, is mile 15 the last free campground? I won't ride more than a few miles past the last free campground, where ever that is. Thank for any info.

 
Richard from Washington DC on 7/31/2020 3:24:23 PM:
To Jim Days. Brunswick is the biggest town on the Maryland side of the river, so that was you best bet. There is nothing close to the towpath between Point of Rocks and Georgetown except the "store" at White's Ferry. The Montgomery County section of that is the Agricultural Preserve where stores are unwelcome. I've never been inside the store at White's Ferry, but I think it is mainly soft drinks, maybe beer, and sandwiches. People who are waiting for the ferry get out of their cars and pop in for something to snack on. It doesn't sound like that's what you are looking for. Same thing with Harpers Ferry. Old Harpers Ferry, which is the part on river level, caters to tourists with restaurants and shops. You have to climb up Bolivar Heights to find anything like a store. The shopping areas of Leesburg are much farther from the towpath than what you found in Brunswick.

 
Jim Days from Columbus Ohio on 7/31/2020 4:43:28 PM:
OK, according to what you said, there is no easy to get to grocery after Brunswick. Can you tell me what is the last free campground? Is it at mile 15? If there is a free campground at mile 15, I could stock up on groceries in Brunswick and then ride to mile 15,camp for the night, turn around and stock up again in Brunswick on the way back to Cumberland. For info for anyone else, I found good nearby grocery stores in Cumberland (Savealot, Martins), Hancock (Savealot), Shepherdstown (Food Lion), Brunswick (Weis).

 
Mark from Cleveland, Oh on 8/4/2020 10:24:20 AM:
Stayed in Leesburg once and they provided a shuttle from near the ferry landing.