You can cross at Memorial Bridge, but then you've got to get out of downtown.
Lots of hotels both at Crystal City and Rosslyn. Crystal City is usually a bit more costly, but neither area is cheap.
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The Schwalbe Marathon Dureme is made in a 50 cm version, the tread is still conservative but from what I am seeing, a wide tread is going to be more important than a knobbie. That patch in your photo looks tricky, but a knobby wouldn't really be useful unless it was muddy.
For anyone who uses master links, I highly recommend getting a Park MLP-1C tool for home use. It makes removal so much easier than doing it with just your hands.
While I like the internal compression straps, I am less than enthusiastic about the outer h-strap system. TSA at my airport doesn't have a large scanning machine, so they open bike boxes. Some employees have had trouble figuring out how to re-secure the straps. One time, I got the box back with two of the straps tied in a knot.