I'm considering a long-weekend bike trip with a few friends in the next few months and am looking around for possibilities. We all live in the Washington, DC area and don't want to do the obvious, which is the C&O Canal path. It appears we could shorten the Tidewater Potomac Route by crossing the Potomac River on the Rt 301 bridge near Newburg, MD. The fact that that bridge is a two-lane bridge with no bike or pedestrian lane is a little worrisome. The rest of Rt 301 on either side of the bridge is a four-lane divided highway so is less problematic. I have no hard data but am guessing a shortcut like this could reduce a normally 378-mile, 6-7 day ride down to a do-able long-weekend ride.
Has anyone attempted a shortcut like this? If so, would you be willing to share your experience with the shortcut, the Rt 301 bridge, and possible back roads that would enable us to re-join the regular ACA route east of Fredericksburg?