The weather hasn’t been very cooperative with our rides this year. However, what we’ve lost in comfort, we’ve made up in adventure.
The June ride up to Taneytown was threatened by terrible weather forecasts– severe thunderstorms. The forecasters kindly added the word “scattered” the day before. That was good enough for Dave, Ken and myself. It was cloudy and mildly threatening when we headed out of town from Druid Park at 8AM. It has been a while since we’ve begun a ride on Franklintown and Dogwood roads. The two of them make for a lovely exit out of Baltimore.
believe it or not, we’re still in the city.
I’m not sure who was driving where, but the traffic began picking up as we got out into the county. And, for a Sunday morning, some of the drivers were surprisingly aggressive. That can weigh on your nerves. However, there were some really peaceful stretches as we made our way to Sykesville. Loved Marriottsville #2 and Arrington roads– thickly wooded and deep green. Our first rest stop was quick, and off we went into Carroll county hitting some wonderful remote gravel road stretches. The clouds were still warning us of nearby storms, but up to this point we were comfortably dry and cool.
gravel stretches of Roop rd were delightful on Hetre tires.
There was talk of pancakes as we rolled through Union Bridge, MD. home of the famous Pancake Interception Ramble, but we didn’t stop there. At this point we were finished with the worst of the climbing. I loved stretches of Hapes Mill and more fun gravel sections on Stover road.
A few miles further and I was rolling through Main st. in Taneytown. Tonys Cafe was in a strip mall near the east side of town. I tucked my head in the door to see what the interior was like and the woman at the bar surprised me by inviting us in with our bikes! Very cool. We had great service, great food and a well-needed rest and refill. Thanks.
After lunch on Trevanion rd, we hit a little more traffic. The temps were going up and I was thankful for the occasional shade. I was also wondering where those severe thundershowers were. At the top of unpaved Jasontown rd we re-grouped and took some pics of the corn and sky. This 3rd section of the ride was the longest, but we weren’t in a hurry. There was a lot of sunlight left in the day. On we rolled towards Reisterstown.
I was noticing the clear skies ahead of me all the way to Deer Park rd, but at some point I looked in my rear view mirror and saw black. Uh-oh. I was ahead of Dave and Ken at this point and didn’t feel like the courtesy of waiting up would do them any good, so I pushed ahead as hard as I could. I felt like I was trying to out ride a scary monster. And I thought I might out ride it, but it was too big and too fast for me. I felt cold drafts and the first few drops as I rolled down towards the Lake Liberty crossing. I didn’t even make it to the bridge when the sky opened up. I was soaked in 30 seconds. Alas. There was nothing else to do, but squish the pedals down the last few miles into Reisterstown. I got an ice cream and waited for Dave and Ken.
Safety first in the rain.
When they arrived, I realized how lucky I was to have gotten hit by the storm at the mostly traffic-free end of Deer Park rd. Ken and Dave got an ice cream and rested their frayed nerves. The rain cooled everything off and I started shivering even with a jacket on. Time to get moving! Coming back into town with wet roads was not comfortable and again we encountered a few super discourteous drivers, but we managed. Soon enough we were back in Hampden and ready for a congratulatory… (you guessed it) BEER!
Huge thanks to my riding buddies for the day, Dave and Ken. More of my pics below.
Dave’s got great pics and a short write-up HERE