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Posted at 12:29 PM ET, 09/29/2011

Get rolling with Capital Bikeshare

Capital Bikeshare has 1,100 bicycles at over 110 stations across Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA. The bikeshare program is growing and they are opening more stations. (Sarah L. Voisin - THE WASHINGTON POST)
Call it a revolution. Between the area’s growing number of bike lanes and the seemingly ubiquitous flashes of red-painted metal zipping down Washington’s arteries, the city now buzzes with the distinctive tic-tic-tic of spinning spokes. Women (with skirts carefully tucked under one thigh) head to work on weekday mornings, tourists in American flag T-shirts traverse the Mall and men in suits pedal home during rush hour.

In just a year, Capital Bikeshare — the bicycle-renting system with more than 100 stations in Washington and Arlington — has become an omnipresent form of transportation.

“It’s definitely more than we projected for the popularity,” says Chris Holben, one of two project managers for the D.C. branch of Capital Bikeshare. “I think that for the casual users — the visitors — we were about on course with that. But with the residents, it’s almost double what we projected.”

It’s hard to discern why Capital Bikeshare took hold so quickly, but one reason may be that bicycling often feels more pleasant than the unpredictable jolts of the 52 bus or the stifling Orange Line crush.

“I think that a big part of it is biking is fun,” Holben says. “These bikes are easy to use. You don’t have to wear spandex; you just hop on. It’s got three speeds, very comfortable seats, a nice bell and they look good.”

The annual and monthly memberships (which topped more than 18,000 in the first year) cost $75 and $25, respectively, while day-trip users pay $5. For those prices, cyclists can travel for up to 30 minutes at a time without additional dues, but once they reach the half-hour mark, the dollars start to tally.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of multi-stop excursions using Capital Bikeshare stations within 30-minute rides of each other. So whether you enjoy an afternoon of art or a night on the town, outdoor activities or a Sunday shopping, here are some ideas to get rolling. Click on the links for a detailed map and itinerary.

An arty afternoon

Night on the town

Outdoor adventure

Vintage shopping spree

More on Capital Bikeshare:

Photo gallery

How to sign up

Classes from the Washington Area Bicyclist Association

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