Author Topic: Getting out of Dulles Airport.  (Read 7344 times)

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Offline preston uk

Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« on: November 12, 2015, 04:40:37 am »
I'm arriving at Dulles at about 19.30 on the 1st of May . It will be dark by the time I get through customs and assemble my bike.
My plan was to find a quiet corner and doze the night away until sunrise and then head out of the airport on the Arianne way to hit the Dominion and old colonial cycle trail. Will I be allowed to hang about the airport/doze until sunrise or will security chuck me out.
Plan B was to ride out - in the dark - to the D&OC trail and camp there.
Plan C was to find a nearby hotel and ride there - in the dark- and spend my hard saved holiday money.
Has anyone got any suggestions ?
I'm not keen to ride in the dark and I doubt if I'd find a taxi willing to take my bike !
Many thanks.

Offline jamawani

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2015, 06:00:53 am »
Have you considered Warmshowers or Couchsurfing?

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2015, 08:20:08 am »
Minivan cabs have become more popular in major metropolitan areas, at least in the east. Back in September I arrived at the Atlantic City, NJ train station on a fully-loaded bike only to find that a drawbridge up the line was stuck open. People were taking jitneys to the next station, but my bike would not fit in one. A minivan cab driver was happy to take me to the station. Took off the panniers, the driver folded down one of the rear seats and we tossed the bike in the back. Even if there is no minivan cab around at the moment, if there is a dispatcher, you should be able to have them call for one.

One again through the magic of Google: http://www.flydulles.com/iad/washington-flyer-taxi-service

Seems Dulles has an exclusive deal with one taxi service. Check out the end of their FAQ page. They have large vehicles. You can make a reservation. Note that you can also use other cab companies but you will have to make reservations on your own as other cab companies may not solicit business at the airport. There is also a bus to downtown D.C., etc., that appears to have a bike rack on the front. There is other bus service that takes you to a train line, which may allow bikes.

http://www.flydulles.com/iad/about-washington-flyer
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 08:28:31 am by indyfabz »

Offline DaveB

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 12:36:00 pm »
I don't know specifically about Dulles but many big city airports have hotels right on the airport ground or even immediately adjacent to the terminal and reachable by walking.   They tend to be pricy but the convenience is great.  As to staying overnight at the airport, I expect it will be ok but i'd ask first.  Often stranded passengers due to storms or missed connections do just that.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2015, 06:20:48 pm »
One crazy idea: What about renting a car at the airport (or even better van) and sleep in it. Not driving it anywhere. Just sleeping in it on the parking lot :-).

When I arrived at Dulles a few years back with my bike: Went straight north on Autopilot Dr, then Materials, then Ariane, crossing Dulles Greenway and then turn left onto Old Ox Road=HWY 606. Old Ox is somewhat remote with scrubs and so on - maybe you can squeeze in a tent. But I went South towards Front Royal and then the SKyline Dr before catching up with the transam.

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2015, 06:46:40 pm »
Sleeping in an airport usually is not a problem in my experience.  I have done it a number of times.  It isn't the most comfortable though.  I have not used Dulles much and never  slept there.

Offline preston uk

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2015, 03:52:36 am »
many thanks for all advice. I've decided to stop being tight fisted and booked a hotel 3 miles away( which looks easy to find in the dark) with easy access to the W and OD trail.
]Bike freak : thanks for your directions . I am looking at the skyline drive as a way of linking to the transam. Are there any shops/cafes on the route ? i,ve found two campsites but no shops. Is it necessary to carry a couple of days food ?
Thanks

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2015, 04:00:48 pm »
When you leave Front Royal to climb the Skyline Drive, there are very few shops. As I remember there were 3 shops/restaurants - of course with limited opening hours. The shops only have snacks and so on. Remember, on the Skyline Drive you will probably see/encounter black bears :-). When you leave the Skyline Drive you will start on the Blue Ridge Parkway right away. The Skyline Drive finishes on some sort of mountain pass (Rockfish Gap) and you will need to bike all the way to the bottom to get food and all the way up again. I did not do that. On the Blue Ridge Parkway there are no shops/cafees whatsoever. First, when you climb down into Vesuvio in the valley. In Vesuvio there is a campground adjacent to a family fast food restaurant. Very pleasant - I stayed there.

I suggest that Adventure Cycling makes a connector from Dulles to the Transam. Dulles is such an important hub both for Americans and foreigners and every year new people ask how they get their bikes from Dulles to Yorktown. It would be MUCH easier to have a connector - unless you require to dip your bike in the ocean.

Lucas

Offline preston uk

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2015, 07:18:23 am »
Thanks for the advice on the Skyline. It looks like a tough way to ride my legs in, even training doesn't seem to ease the shock of a loaded bike. . I have also been  looking on Google earth at  R 11 out of Winchester , down to Staunton and then to join the Transam at Vesuvius. It looks like a pretty quiet road  unlike the 340 which seems to have a lot of traffic. There will also be some shops ! Thanks for the info about bears !  In the UK I've only been disturbed by mice.
I've found all the advice I've been given REALLY helpful in planning my trip.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2015, 01:13:47 pm »
I'll admit it will go up and down MANY times on the Skyline Dr :-)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2015, 02:19:00 pm »
Ease into your tour a bit!  Get a motel room close to the airport; most motels have shuttles that will take you and your luggage (including the boxed bike) to the motel.  Tip the driver a fiver and you'll get super service.  Then you can take your time unpacking and rebuilding the bike in the motel.

(I think there's one decent way out of Dulles, but I've never seen it in a rental car.  Dulles is one of the most inaccessible airports I've been into or out of; there's a limited toll access road, what you'd call a motorway, another entrance to the south that looks a lot like another one for the last couple miles in, and if you look really hard at google maps, there might be that other back door.)

U.S. 11 is busier than you might think.  There's way more high speed traffic on it than I expected a couple years ago.

Skyline Drive is easily doable in two days (camp at the 30 mile point - Big Meadows?).  There's a store and cafe every 15 miles.  Climbing out of Front Royal will probably be enough for one day, else you could do the whole thing in a day.  Hang your food and you won't have any problem with the bears overnight; they're unlikely to cause any problems during the day.

Rockfish Gap down to Waynesboro isn't bad either way.  It's a four lane with a turn lane road that was built before the interstate was completed. Now the interstate carries all the traffic.  It's not a problem coasting down or taking the lane on the easy climb back up.

Offline BrianW

Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2015, 11:24:25 pm »
Skyline Drive is really nice, but definitely hilly. The climb out of Front Royal is a pretty good sustained climb. There are campgrounds at mileposts 23, 51, 57 and 80. Food is usually nearby these locations too. Stealth camping is not allowed without a permit, and you have to be a half mile off the road. But it is a beautiful place to ride, especially if you go during the workweek when traffic is light.

I agree about the Hotel near Dulles. Out your bike box in a shuttle and build it the next morning at your hotel. If you arrive on a weekend sometimes you can get really good deals at Dulles area hotels if you shop around.

Offline preston uk

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2015, 07:26:18 am »
Thanks for info about R11 and Skyline Drive.  The hotel I've booked does have a shuttle but I thought a bike box might be a bit too big for  it. In the past I've used a delivery box from the local bike shop. Skyline sounds better now and from Google it looks like a bonny ride.

Offline BobG

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2015, 07:30:16 pm »
When I arrived at Dulles a few years back with my bike: Went straight north on Autopilot Dr, then Materials, then Ariane, crossing Dulles Greenway and then turn left onto Old Ox Road=HWY 606.

I second BikeFreak's suggestion to look for Old Ox Road, VA 606. I haven't cycled it but I've driven in that way with my brother who used to drive a taxi in the area and knew the back roads. Something like this...

https://goo.gl/FJwngA

The further west you go towards Route 50 the more rural it gets...

https://goo.gl/mHoAaK

You're on your own from there! Avoid Route 28 at all cost.

edit: if you're headed for the W&OD just follow this map far enough to get you out of the airport.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2015, 08:12:53 pm by BobG »

Offline BobG

Re: Getting out of Dulles Airport.
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2015, 07:31:03 am »
If you take the W&OD all the way to Purcellville here are some secondary country roads to continue on to Front Royal. Just short stretches on the busier VA 7 and US 50. I've driven the stretch from Route 50 to Front Royal along the Shenandoah River, I've not traveled from Route 7 to Route 50 but it looks nice on Street View. Probably lots of hills but that is to be expected in the Blue Ridge Mountains!

https://goo.gl/rCnwVY