The recent snow and ice storms really did a number on Washington's bike paths. The Mount Vernon Trail and Custis Trail were particularly bad earlier in the week, with long stretches essentially too dangerous to ride on or simply unnavigable. The good news is that yesterday's surprise of unseasonably mild temps started a great thaw.
Riders over on the forums at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) report that the Mount Vernon Trail between Crystal City and the Tidal Basin is in pretty good shape, with the only really dicey stretch at this point being near N. Lynn Street in Arlington. As of Tuesday riders were advising to not even try it without studs. Now just about any tires will do the job, says one commenter.
The Custis Trail sounds to be improving but it still hasn't cleared. Even though plenty of the snow has melted, there are certain spots where the trail is covered from side to side with no passable lanes. And yesterday's thawing cut both ways: Some of the snow may be gone, but some of that melted water has turned into black ice. Maybe tomorrow's projected high of 43 will finally put a nail in the coffin.