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Sometimes a walk on the Mall just won’t cut it.

Brimming with parks, sporting events, museums and restaurants, the Washington, D.C., area offers no shortage of weekend diversions. And like other enthusiasts, mountain bikers — or those looking to just try it out — will not be disappointed.

“If you put a pin in the middle of the city and fanned out, there are at least 40 quality places to go within an hour and a half,” said Martin Fernandez, a veteran mountain biker and author of “Mountain Biking the Washington, D.C./Baltimore Area.”

Although offerings inside the Beltway are sparse, Fernandez says District-bound beginners can pedal to their heart’s content on the C&O towpath route, which begins in Georgetown and runs nearly 185 miles into Maryland.

Washington, D.C., Mountain Biking 101

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