DC is eminently bikeable. Level pathways circumnavigate the National Mall and the parkland where all of the memorials are located. A paved path parallels the Potomac River leading in one direction through Rock Creek Park, in another through West and East Potomac Parks, and in yet another, across the river to Virginia and a trail that travels all the way to George Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon. Plus, DC keeps adding bike lanes to streets throughout the city.
If you’re an avid biker, you just might want to check out the regional bikeshare membership program, Capital Bikeshare, which operates more than 370 bike stations and 3,100 bikes throughout the capital and its nearby Northern Virginia and Maryland suburbs. Membership options range from 24-hour to year-long periods of use.
But if biking is just one of many activities you plan for your visit to DC, Bike the Sites is likely a better choice. Bike the Sites does rent bikes, which come with helmet, lock, and pump. But its primary operation is guided tours, the most popular of which is its 3-hour, 7-8 mile Capital Sites tour, which takes you past museums, memorials, the White House, the Capitol and the Washington Monument. The nighttime version is especially cool. Your lively guides narrate the tour with anecdotes and historical facts.
Bike and Roll’s main rental location is at Union Station, where you can also have bikes serviced and repaired. Tours and limited rentals are available at a location across Independence Ave. SW from the National Mall, at 955 L’Enfant Plaza SW, North Building, suite 905; tours only depart from the south entrance (National Mall side) of the National Museum of American History.
Metro: Union Station on the Red Line for rentals. Smithsonian on the Silver, Blue and Orange Lines (Mall exit) for tours and limited rentals.