Northern Virginia is blessed with great options if you like to bike. If you “need the speed” and have a road bike, the trails in the area (in particular the Mount Vernon Trail and the W&OD trail) will give you plenty of mileage, all you need to do is put on your shoei motorcycle helmets and get going.
If a racer is your thing I would suggest starting in Herndon or Ashburn and go westward to get a true “flow” feeling. Between Herndon and Leesburg is really where you start seeing great uninterrupted stretches on the W&OD.
For local mountain biking there are great areas in Reston around Lake Fairfax and trails down Difficult Run or up to Great Falls. And, not to forget the mixed surface 40 mile Cross County Trail from Great Falls Park all the way to the Occoquan Regional Park.
If the W&OD is too crowded for you on the weekends there are great, quiet (and winding) country roads about 30 minutes away from Fairfax County westward out on I-66. Small towns like The Plains, Marshall and Delaplane are very popular on early weekend mornings – it is easy to end up going 40-50-60 miles on your road bike surrounded by beautiful Virginia countryside (particularly if you decide to pass by Sky Meadows and up to Mount Weather and down through Bluemont.)
If you want to do some serious mountain biking few places beat Fountainhead Regional Park near Lorton. The single track trail is just awesome and it has three interconnecting loops of increasing difficulty (green, blue and black.) The trail has been continuously updated over the years. If you decide to try the black loop be very very careful the first times or end up with a broken chain, wheel, ego or worse.
The Fountainhead trail is single-track directional and you can get a good hour or three of continuous riding out of it. The loops are physically demanding – lots of ups and down. The trails are also beautiful and goes back and forth up the hills on sometimes banked turns, over streams and down near the lake. Truly a perfect and strenuous trail.
Below is a video from parts of that trail.
If you are looking for a home by a mountain bike area like Fountainhead (or near one of the many bike paths) please let us know. We know Northern Virginia real estate and can help you find the perfect home in a great location.