What have experiences been like biking UP Germantown? I drive up and down it all the time, and I feel like with all the tight corners, while on a bike I might constantly have cars buzzing too close to me while I climb (especially during early evening hours). I have no problem taking a lane or anything, just curious on opinions, or if there is a better way to bike to Leif North trailhead from St Johns.
It ain’t great. I rode up Germantown a few weeks ago on a weekend and it was sort of hairy. A surprising number of Amazon trucks, plus a bunch of other vehicles. My takeaway was “oh right, that’s why I don’t do that.” Personally I’d prefer just about any other way to get up that hill to Skyline and then go to the trailhead, even though it’d add some miles.
I did it a few times when I first moved here, but only because I didn’t know any better.
Seriously, it is a super busy street with sharp corners, steep grades, and no shoulder space. I’d highly recommend against going up it ever… Unless you are super early in the morning on a Sunday or Holiday.
As for options from St. Johns:
– Newberry is just a few miles north and is much better. Then you can use Skyline to come back south and then down to the Leif trailhead on G’town.
– Climb up Springville. It’s super duper steep but it takes you right from the bridgehead to Leif. Make sure you have easy gears or you’ll be walking.
Saltzman is a few miles south of the bridge off Hwy 30 and is a wonderful climb up to Leif.
You can also climb up NW Harborton and then a few other fire roads (w really steep climbs) to get to Skyline and then come back to G’town.
hope that helps.
Yeah, I’d thought maybe in the age of COVID-19 it might be sufficiently less heavily trafficked, but I regretted it pretty quickly.
Helpful perspectives from both of you, thank you. Wasn’t sure if I would get a “somewhat unpleasant, but I do it” or a “heck no, never” - maybe I’ll give Springville a try - I’ve only run up that, so we’ll see how it is on a bike.
keep in mind it has a section of relatively loose gravel before you hit Leif. Have fun!
It is safe but just be careful while cycling. Have fun.
The problem with Germantown is it’s used as a cut through commuter road. While it is rideable going up, it’s not fun except at totally odd all times. Plenty of good nearby alternatives.
Going up Germantown was fine maybe 7-10 years ago, but the population and traffic growth has made it pretty unpleasant nowadays. The last time I had a pleasant ride going up was last Christmas morning.