Here we go again: the Monument to Monument Ride

This year’s M2M ride will be on Sunday, May 3rd.

100+ riders last year rolled out of Charm City. Wow!

100+ riders rolled out of Charm City last year. Amazing!

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 3rd, 2015. Meet at 7:45AM. Leave PROMPTLY at 8:10AM
  • Start Location: Baltimore Washington Monument
  • Map/GPS: Coming Soon (probably same as last year)
  • Cue Sheets: Coming Soon (probably same as last year)
  • Cost:  None. Bring $ for lunch and snacks at local businesses
  • Assistance/Sag:  None. (except help from fellow riders)
  • YOU RIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK

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. 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. Be prepared.  IMPORTANT! READ THIS BEFORE RIDING M2M IMG_1641_3

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A Hundred Miles of Fun

Geez, I had a great time riding up to Union Bridge last Sunday. Great roads, great friends, great weather. Thanks y’all.

Dave’s custom spoke card. Fantastic.

Thank you PJ, Sam and Tom

Thank you PJ, Sam and Tom

Serene View dr.

Serene View dr.

Thank you Dan and Vinny

Thank you Dan and Vinny

Beautiful John Owings dr.

Beautiful John Owings dr.

Thank you, Dave and Tom (and Andrew)

Thank you, Dave and John and Andrew (around the bend)

more of my pics here: Pancake Pics
definitely, check out Dave’s BikesNCoffee ride report HERE

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A Ramble with syrup on top

The Pancake Interception ride, scheduled for this Sunday 4/12, must be the the most eagerly awaited ride of the year. I’ve lost count of the times I wanted to launch this beautiful romp through Carroll county. We kept getting put off by winter weather.

illustration by Dave Hopkins. (Dave's got a sneaky plan brewing for this ride)

illustration by Dave Hopkins. (Dave’s got a sneaky plan brewing for this ride)

What’s the deal? Well first, I like pancakes and second, I like riding my bike into the rolling hills of the county, snaking along old river ways, between stone farm houses and getting suspicious stares from animals in the fields. For the Pancake Interception, we ride out of Mt. Washington along my well-travelled work commute route, take hilly, woodsy Marriottsville rd west and climb our way up to Sykesville for a quick stop. Then continue further northwest exploring the full length of Sam’s Creek rd (including the beautiful unpaved stretches) and finally up to the Union Bridge Firehouse. Inside you pay $8 cash for an all you can eat breakfast, and it is good, too. Back on the bikes and drunk with carbs, we’ll curve back around to the north and east for another stop near Reisterstown and finally end back in Baltimore.

This is a very pretty ride, but it is HILLY and it has several UNPAVED stretches. The hills are for you and your legs to conquer. The unpaved stuff should be fine on 28mm tires (even thinner, if you’re tough). IMPORTANT: you must bring $8 cash for breakfast.

DETAILS:
The Pancake Interception 97 mi., 5900ft. (hilly)
Date/Time: Sunday April 12th 7:50AM meet-up. 8:05 exit
Start: Mt. Washington Starbucks STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

from way back in 2013

from way back in 2013

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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 !!!

DETAILS:
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
Cue Sheet: CUESHEET
Exit from Baltimore is still the same: leaving Montebello at 7:30AM.

See ya tomorrow     -Bob

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