About time to get ridin’

How ya’ been, Ramblers? It’s been a while.
Our next ride will be a long summer trip up to the Gettysburg battlefields.

Jack and Brian at Little Round Top 2012

Jack and Brian at Little Round Top 2012

RIDE DETAILS:
Route: The Gettysburg Campaign. 131 mi, 6500 ft. of climbing
Date/Time: Sunday, July 20th. 7:20AM meet up, 7:40AM push off.
Start: Rawlings Conservatory/Druid Hill STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring you one): CUESHEET

This is a long route. Not too climby, but you will need to be prepared for many hours in the saddle. Take care of any fit issues on your bike. Sunscreen, sunglasses and ample water is a must. We will be riding up to 30 miles between breaks. Moving steadily and conservatively will get you home without issue.

The Gettysburg Campaign is a beautiful, flowing route; a delightful way to tour the battlefields on bike. We stop and regroup every 30 miles and take a respectable lunch. There are several places to eat downtown. I will be at Garryowen Pub.

If you are not interested in the full 130 up to Gettysburg, I’ve made a nice alternate 100 miler here: GettysburgSHORT  …   CUESHEETSHORTVERSION. This short version bypasses G’burg to the southeast. The first and last rest stops are the same as the 130.

Questions? Worries? Tell me about it.

 

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A Two-Snowball Ride

Loved this ride.

As often happens with the Rambles, the fun began before the ride began. Andrew rode with me to the Carroll Park start. Andrew seemed unfazed that he was going after a ride of over 130 miles after having finished his first century only a few weeks before. No problem, right?

Nearing the park, I began seeing cars with bikes on racks. I thought, “hmm… this is a lot of riders for the Ramble”. Once into the park I noticed the signs directing riders to the start location. Wow! Wait a minute, the Ramble doesn’t have signs, this is the Tour dem Parks ride starting in the other corner of the park. Andrew and I sit down on bench and wait for more Ramblers.
Chesapeake Beach century

Several familiar faces, arrived most notably, Dave2 on his new ride, a Specialized Shiv. There is always a breadth of bike styles on our rides and I like that. However, this may be a first for a rider showing up on a aerodynamic carbon time trial bike. He got the new bike for good reason: he’ll be attacking the Lake Placid Iron Man Triathlon in July. Amazing. GO DAVE!
Chesapeake Beach century

Our little group pushed off to begin the day at 7AM as the ranks of TdP riders began to build. Volunteers waved and wished us a good ride not realizing we’d be putting in a 135 miles on different roads. TdP is a great event, BTW. I’ve ridden and volunteered for it several times in the past. However, I’ve gotten spoiled by riding self-supported routes- I find them more exciting and they’re free. As we pedaled down Washington ave, I glanced back to be sure we didn’t have any TdP riders accidentally following us.
Chesapeake Beach century

The ride to BWI was quick and uneventful. The sky was beautiful and the temps were still cool. The parking lot at Dixon was filled with bikes: groups of friends, families, other bike clubs and many Ramble riders ready to join us. A still recovering Janet G. buzzed into the lot and shouted “OMG, I’m so late”. She signed the ride sheet and was off with the rest of us, down the trail and south to Crain Hwy. Jeff and Nigel brought some friends along and they increased the pace as we hit New Cut and Gambrills rds. I thought of all the miles yet to ride for the day and knew we’d regret this early pace. I rode behind Isaias and figured he’d slow down soon. He didn’t. Along Muddy Creek rd I saw a young man waiting along the side of the road. As we neared, I realized it was Barry C. We yelled halloo and he quickly hopped on his bike. He’d started early and kept ahead of us until now. When we got to our 1st rest at Galesville I found out that many of the fast riders were not riding past the 50 mark so there was no need to be going so fast. Tiffany, on her fixed single speed caught up and passed us. Janet too, caught up and passed us. Barry pulled up a few minutes later.
Chesapeake Beach century

Chesapeake Beach century
There are fewer than 20 miles between Galesville and Chesapeake Beach. It’s always exciting to catch the early glimpses of the water. Andrew, riding strong, was still smiling. Lunch was at Subway and they were busy. I took a long lunch. I didn’t mind chatting with everyone. We left together as a big group towards one of the biggest hills of the ride, Summer City rd. At the top, there’s a nice long meandering roll down Dahlrymple. Love that road. The temp was certainly heating up. Jeff Adler and friends slowly pulled ahead. I remained with the C group still moving at a steady 14mph. I got to chat with Mike H and Dave2. Andrew was still visible behind us. He was smiling, but slowing on the hills. We stopped briefly at a “rest stop before the rest stop” gas station. We’d caught up with Isaias. He and the rest of us looked a bit over heated. I knew what I needed: a snowball from the official rest stop. We met another Baltimore Bike Club group who’d already finished their ride and was carpooling back into town. Great crossing paths with them. It was then I noticed a bottle of water with a note: “Ramble water  -D”. Whoa. What could it mean? There was no one with a D initial in our group. The answer, I found out later, is HERE

Chesapeake Beach century

Chesapeake Beach century

Our C group stayed together (mostly) for the final miles. As our energies faded, we each took time drafting and more efficiently rolled through the beautiful wooded roads of Anne Arundel county. Jeff and some other riders were packing up their bikes in the parking lot as Nigel, Dave and I rolled into Dixon. I spied another snowball stand and said to myself, “oh, what the hell, I’ll have another”. Andrew rolled up a moment later for another quick rest. Then began the ride back to Baltimore. Andrew was still smiling, but I could see some pain in his eyes too. This had been a long day. He led us through the difficult stretch of city between pigtown and midtown. Finally we were on familiar Falls rd and back to Hampden.
Chesapeake Beach century

Thanks to all the riders on this route. Another great day in the saddle.

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All the way to Calvert county

This Sunday, June 8th, the Baltimore Bike Club Ramble rides to Chesapeake Beach all the way down in Calvert county.

This ride can give you whatever you’re looking for- speed on flats, great water views, a great first attempt at a century, a fixed gear/single speed ride. There are a few hills, but not many. There are some beautiful farms, forest and views of the bay. If you’re not riding one of the numerous other rides the same day, come on out.

THERE ARE TWO DIFFERENT STARTS:
• the 120 mile ride will start from Carroll Park at 7AM. We ride to BWI to meet with …
• the 100 mile riders starting from BWI Dixon Observatory at 8AM
• Map/Metrics/GPS files: ChesBchRte
• Cue Sheet: ChesBeachRouteCueSheet
(Do NOT use the RideWithGPS pdf cuesheet- use the one linked above)

 

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Thanks M2M riders!

Thank you to all the M2M riders for your company on this ride. I counted exactly 70 signatures on the sign-in sheets and we had to have added at least 20 more outside of town. Amazing! Thanks to Dave Hops for his great write up HERE.  If you know of any other ride reports out there I’d happily link to them.

Next ride is to Chesapeake Beach on June 8th. I’ll post separately with details about that. Best.     -Bob

(click a picture for large view)

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Riding a bike to DC, Chesapeake Beach, or Gettysburg

The Monument to Monument ride is a great time: ride from your home city to a neighboring city under your own power and be back home in time for dinner and a beer.

BUT, it’s not the only ride like that. Next month on June 8th, I’ve scheduled the ride to Chesapeake Beach. The first time I rode it, I’d never even been to Chesapeake Beach. I just wanted to see what it was like down there and I knew I could get there on my bike. After many years of improvements, the ride to Ches Beach is perhaps the 2nd most popular Ramble. And, in July, we’ll ride a long one to see the battlefields of Gettysburg, another destination I’d never been to until I tried it on my bike. It’s really amazing how far you can go when you spend a whole day on your bike. Look at the ride reports section for all the places we’ve been before. Hope to see you on a future single-day bike adventure.

FIVE MORE THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW FOR SUNDAY’S M2M

  • a bike lock is generally not needed. there will be many riders to guard your bike
  • if you have a bike bell, bring it. we’ll be riding many miles on the DC trail system
  • print yourself a cue sheet. see the links in the previous post
  • bring a ziplock baggy to store things in case of rain or excessive sweat
  • if you’re tweeting, instagraming, etc. use #bikem2m

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Monument to Monument, the little big ride.

On Sunday May 4th we’ll be riding the historic Baltimore to Washington, DC Ramble, the Monument to Monument ride.

from M2M 2012

Lotta smiles from M2M 2012

 

M2M is a 97 mile round-trip single day ride from Baltimore to Washington on lightly trafficked roads. We keep it slow and steady, enjoying the company of fellow riders and the excitement of arriving in another city by bike.

  • Date/Time: Sunday, May 4th, 2014. Meet at 7:45AM. Leave PROMPTLY at 8:10AM
  • Start Location: Baltimore Washington Monument
  • Map/GPS: M2M2014map click Export in upper right corner
  • Cue Sheets: M2Mcue print a copy for yourself. I will bring some to the start
  • Cost:  None. Bring $ for lunch and snacks at local businesses
  • Assistance/Sag:  None. (except help from fellow riders)
  • Awards/Medals:  None. (well, bragging rights)
  • You ride this at your own risk

WHAT IS IMPORTANT

  1. Riding a dependable, familiar bike
  2. Flat resistant tires
  3. Using lights w/fully charged batteries
  4. Having ridden a 50+ mile ride in the last 6 mos.
  5. Riding at your own steady, even pace
  6. Concentrating on the road around you as you ride
  7. Helping out other riders in need
  8. Having your bike, clothing and supplies ready the night before
  9. Having a cue sheet and a cell phone
  10. Respecting drivers, pedestrians and road laws
  11. Assessing all intersections for yourself
  12. Pointing out hazards to other cyclists
  13. Keeping your break time (off the bike) as short as possible
  14. Having a way of getting home if a problem forces you to not finish

PLEASE Don’t worry about:
• The type of bike you ride • How you look • Riding fast • Finishing in a certain amount of time • Thinking you’ll get left behind • Blowing thru intersections to keep up • Pace lines

HOW TO BE READY

Ride your bike 50 miles. Then take the bike to your favorite bike shop and have them fix and adjust all the things that annoyed you during that ride. Check the weather the night before the ride and bring appropriate clothing. Be aware of the road around you as you ride. The main reasons why riders are unable to finish M2M are: crashes due to inattention, not having the fitness and experience for riding a century, and bike mechanical breakdowns. 

WHAT’S THE RIDE LIKE?

M2M is a little of everything. There will be fast and slow riders, skinny and fat tire bikes, racers and bike party people. Last year there were over 75 riders. We ride a steady average pace of about 13MPH. There are some hills, but none more strenuous than a long ride through Baltimore. The roads to DC are as safe as riding in Baltimore. Most of the route is surprisingly scenic and the DC trail system is very relaxing. We’ll stop 3 times: a break at the 25 mile point, a lunch at Union Station in DC and a break at the 75 mile point. I will bring cue sheets, but mostly you will be following ride leaders.

GOT QUESTIONS? PLEASE ASK.
meanwhile, here’s an iconic picture of Bosun to inspire you:

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On Again/Off Again wrap

… or, “I forgot how damn hard this ride is”

biker gang on their way to York, PA

biker gang on their way to York, PA

Many years ago, when I designed the early version of On Again Off Again, the mapping software I used made a poor calculation of 5,000 feet of climbing. Easy, right? Except that half of the miles (those on the trail) have very few feet of climb AND the more accurate calculations are closer to 7,000 feet overall. Ugh is right.

I’m glad I forgot how damn hard this route is. It’s a great ride and definitely worth the struggle. Many of our starters finished the route as cued and many didn’t, but it seemed that everyone made it into a ride they could enjoy. There are so many crossover points that allow one to decide whether to put in 10 more miles of incredible climbing or 10 more miles of bouncy trail. Slower riders can leapfrog ahead of those faster. Halfway through the day, I couldn’t tell who was in front of me and who was behind.

The stunningly beautiful landscape, the thankfully comfortable weather and all the friendly camaraderie will be kept tightly in my memory. And, like I did last year, I’m hoping I’ll forget all about the pain.

Lots of pics from the day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27976837@N00/sets/72157644026919604/
Great write-up from Dave at bikesNcoffee

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