When starting from Newport News it is about 15 miles to the Yorktown Toll Bridge heading up Highway 17 and 100 miles to Fredericksburg then if you take Highway 1 into Washington it is another 45 miles to the bridge into Washington DC. Another way to go is to take Highway 17 from Yorktown Toll Bridge 80 miles to Highway 301 and cross into Maryland to Highway 5 and from there, well all roads lead to Washington DC as they say?
The roads in Virginia are not so bad and yet Highway One needs some work, watch those bike rims if you are traveling over 20 mph in places, you have to wonder what our tax dollars go for these days? The roads in some parts of Washington DC some would perhaps disagree with you if you called them; Actual Roads. As for traffic, I prefer to do this ride on a weekday if you have the luxury, less traffic. In Washington DC I prefer the weekends although traffic always is a bear.
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The best part about this route is that there are a lot of fellow cyclists at all points and if you have a major problem, catastrophe or second flat tire with no additional tube, getting a ride is fairly easy. Folks in Virginia are pretty nice and if you take the Maryland road as your last leg, most are fairly nice too, although fewer of them are driving pickups. There are many good stops along the way and it is a route you will enjoy and see something new each time. Explore it and consider this in 2006.