Spring Break-out

We had 7 riders on the “Not Quite to Frederick” ride this last Sunday.

David zooms down one of the big rollers on Frederick rd

David zooms down one of the big rollers on Frederick rd

It was a not-too-chilly start which improved into a beautiful sunny afternoon. The first half of this simple route though, is a tough workout. From Baltimore, we climb almost 2500ft. in a little over 30 miles to get to Mt. Airy. Add to that 15mph headwind and you see how tough it is. I struggled along, out of shape, on my heavy studded-tire winter bike, telling myself that this was exactly what I needed to build fitness for upcoming longer, steeper Spring rides. I enjoyed the whole day.

We all reached the Mt. Airy Inn for various tasty foods and beers and were back on the road headed east by early afternoon. The beginning miles home were hard after the long lunch break, but once past Lisbon the downs get bigger than the ups, and with wind at our backs, the trip back to Ellicott City was quicker than I expected.

Since the trolley trail was not passable, we had to grind our way up the steep hills in Oella. Our approach into Baltimore brought 2 mechanical issues- Dave’s fender rolled into his rear brake and I busted a spoke. Both were managed without too much issue. 

I think all of us on this ride were happy to get out of the house and stretch out on a long ride in the country and this fit the bill. Bikeable weather has been hard to come by this winter. I’m glad we were able to jump on this one. A few more pics of the day HERE

Next month (4/12) we’re making another attempt to ride up to Union Bridge Firehouse for their last scheduled public breakfast. This is a super fun route with 5 or 10 miles of beautiful unpaved roads. If you haven’t been riding, you better get at it. This next one is hilly. Also, Monument to Monument is coming up quick: I’ll pick a date soon, but it’ll be 1st or 2nd Sunday in May.

See ya!

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Halfway to Frederick

I’m ready to ride tomorrow.

I’ve decided to shortcut the To Frederick, On Frederick route. We’ll stop at Mt. Airy, have a lunch and a beer at Mt. Airy Inn and head home. Depending on where you begin, it should give you a metric century for the day.

We’ll meet at Carroll Park at 8AM and REMEMBER to set your clocks ahead TONIGHT !!!

Not Quite to Frederick 64 mi., 4200ft. (hilly)
Date/Time: Sunday March 8th 8AM meet-up
Start: Carroll Park. SE corner STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

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Winter Weather Woes

This Sunday is our scheduled Ramble ride. I’d really like the chance to ride up to Union Bridge for pancakes at the firehouse, but the lingering winter has beaten some of the optimism out of me. Nonetheless, I wanted to communicate my thoughts and plans.

The Union Bridge ride is a very fun route, full of great views and unpaved roads. I’d rather not ride the route when the roads are still in iffy condition. It would just ruin the fun. In the next 48hrs I will work on a variation of the route that should be safer, but still scenic. That would be one option.

There is still a lot of nasty weather yet to arrive between now and Sunday so, I’m considering using “To Frederick, On Frederick” as a second option. The road conditions on Frederick are much easier to predict, and this is an easy ride to short cut.

I will post a decision as soon as I can, BUT I am planning on one of those two routes.
And by the way, we had a very nice truncated ride last month up to Bel Air. Here’s some pics:

your's truly with new Rambler, Vinnie

your’s truly with new Rambler, Vinnie

The SOMA Smoothie on Bottom rd.

The SOMA Smoothie on Bottom rd.

scenic Bottom rd.

scenic Bottom rd.

Dan crossing Bottom rd. bridge

Dan crossing Bottom rd. bridge

ah, Pancakes.

ah, Pancakes.

bike pile at Bob Evans

bike pile at Bob Evans

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Shortening the Ride Tomorrow

Tomorrow’s weather forecast has been consistently calling for snow in the late afternoon. I guess I’ll finally take their word for it. So, with Dave Hops’ inside knowledge, I’ve shortened the route to 50 miles. We’ll have to settle for brunch at Bob Evans and leave Havre de Grace for a later date.

New Route Map: ShortedWintersRun
Exit from Baltimore is still the same: leaving Montebello at 7:30AM.

See ya tomorrow     -Bob

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February ride details

Our ride is called Winter’s Run. Lake Montebello to Havre de Grace in 90.3 miles, named after a lovely road we’ll ride on and it’s namesake meandering creek.

Winter’s Run 90 mi., 4900ft. (hilly)
Date/Time: Sunday Feb. 1st. 7:20 meet-up, 7:30 exit
Start: Lake Montebello school parking lot STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

If weather becomes an issue, I will post any updates here. Check the blog before you go.
With crossed fingers.  -Bob

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Pics of the Points and February rambling

Next Ramble will be on February 1st. A 92 miler to Havre de Grace. (more info below)

A big thanks to my January riding companions, PJ and Tom. We left Baltimore not exactly sure what the weather would bring us. The air was saturated with moisture, but somehow it never unloaded it’s rain on us. The heavy cloud cover made me wonder whether I’d see anything at all at the vista points. Surprisingly, we were given a great show of mysterious and moody water views and occasional glowing skies from the sun beyond. Temps were quite reasonable and other than one early flat, we had a pleasant trip.

from Rocky Point looking south towards Cuckolds Point.

from Rocky Point looking south towards Cuckolds Point.

Tom decided to ride his first century on a fixed gear bike. I was on my fixed gear Surly. Feeling challenged, PJ decided to ride the whole route without shifting gears. Derailleurs? Who needs ‘em! We enjoyed a nice 2-beer lunch at Carsons Creekside and decided to take a shortcut home. The three of us stayed together all the way back to Fells Point making it back before dark and still getting in about 85 miles each. A good day of riding.


Tom and PJ heading into North Point State park.

many more pics here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/27976837@N00/sets/72157649725187190/

Our next Ramble will be February 1st: Lake Montebello to Havre de Grace in 92 miles. This one is a new route created by combining Charm and Grace and the Pylesville Winter Warmer. I’d like to get us all back before dark (and before Super Bowl craziness), so I will start this one at 7:30AM. Apologies to those riding in from outside of town. If you need it, there is easy parking at the start.

The cue sheet still needs a lot of work and I’ve got at least one spot I need to check out by bike. I’ll make a new post with links and details as soon as I can.

Hoping for good weather. See you on the 1st.    -Bob


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Point to Point, 2015

Rain or shine, we ride this Sunday.

Point to Point. 93 mi., 2000ft. (short and flat)
Date/Time: Sunday Jan. 4th. 7:50 meet-up, 8:05 leave
Start: Federal Hill Park STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

A few notes about the new route:
The start is at Fed Hill park. We’ll be exiting from the south of the park. There’s no specific area for a meet up, but the park is small so I’m sure we’ll see one another. Parking will be difficult in that neighborhood as permits are required. Try street parking further south near Riverside park or the parking garage at West st. between Light and Charles. Our new lunch stop for this route is Carson’s Creekside in Middle River. I think you’ll like it. The ride will end in Fells Point- not back at the start. You can easily ride back around the harbor to Fed Hill. Probably smart to bring a lock if you want a beer at the end. This is a rugged ride with lots of rough pavement. Choose your tires accordingly. Ask questions if you’ve got them.

RIP Tom P.


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