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:

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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Rambling along the waterways

Coal loaders along Keith ave.

Coal loaders along Keith ave.

It’s been a little while since I’ve scheduled the Point to Point ride. This was one of the first Ramble rides. It’s scenic and flat, following the ins and outs of the northwestern shore of the Chesapeake and tributaries. Beginning in Baltimore, we visit scenic water views all the way north to Gunpowder State Park.

Local and federal governments seem to be fussier than ever about us cyclists trespassing on public properties at Sparrows Pt and North Pt (two of my favorite parts of the old route). So, rather than giving us all criminal records, I decided to re-vamp the route, adding new parts, and removing others.

A couple of weeks back, I gave the new route a test ride and I like what I’ve got. It will be our first Ramble of the new year, scheduled for Sunday, January 4th 2015.

I will give the link to the final cue sheet soon, but for now:

Date: Sunday January 4th, 2015
Start time: meet up at 7:50AM, roll out at 8:10
Start Location: Federal Hill Park.

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A quick hello to the capital city.

After two days of rain, Sunday opened with a chilly and dry morning. The rain had been blown out of town, but the wind that pushed it remained. A good thing really, since wind does a fine job of drying roads. I rode off to the start having met Dave 1 and 2, Ken and PJ at the local coffee house. A little before eight, Eli, Dan and Sam arrived. Eight starters for a December ride is very respectable.

This route took us south on St. Paul st and onto Light st. There was very little traffic at that hour. South of town we crossed the Potee bridge and onto the BWI trail at Camp Meade rd. PJ had domestic engagements and said goodbye. As the group rolled down Hammonds Ferry towards Andover, we saw seven more riders, eyeing us as we headed towards them. As I got closer I recognized the faces: Jon, Bill, Charlie, Laura David, Tom and Mike. Wow! Now this is really a good group for a December ride. Before the day was done, we’d add Barry to our rider list for a total of 16 riders for the day.

IMG_2005_2Off we went to the namesake, B&A trail. Our roll south was nice and uneventful. The trail was mostly clear of water and bike traffic. We stopped to re-group at the Big Bean. I recommend the peanut butter cookies. After a couple more miles of riding south we leave the trail and headed east. This was the first of the scenic bypasses off the trail and it was worth it. A long roll down College parkway and into Sandy Point St. Park, where we were treated to a dramatic view of the Bay bridge and frothing white caps on the water. After all the proper photos were taken, we turned and headed towards Annapolis.

I’ve ridden into the capital city many times, but this ride is the first time I’ve rolled through it without stopping. Around the main circle, past Ego Alley and south along the coast, eventually the route took us out onto the tiny finger of rock known as Thomas Pt. There is a gate which must be opened to go inside the park. About a mile of dirt/gravel riding gets you to the very tip. From here you can view 270 degrees of water, the Bay bridge is visible again, this time from the south, and the eastern shore is straight out past Thomas Point lighthouse. The wind was really whipping the water as well as the cyclists here. Dave managed to get a photo of the group. I don’t believe anyone other than myself had ever been there before.  A fantastic way to see the great Chesapeake.

IMG_2011_2Back on the bikes, we backtracked towards town. I designed this stretch along trails with a couple wooden foot bridges that made the riding adventurous. We stacked up the bikes to the side of Fado, an Irish pub. Food was great and the Guinness better, but it was after 2PM when we left. This meant that we weren’t getting home before dark. I guess I was expecting that anyway.

We all made decent time along Generals Hwy and Veterans Hwy to come up around the Severn river from the southwest. We reconnected with the B&A trail again and regrouped at the 75 mile point. It didn’t matter what the temperature, it was “the ice cream stop”. Dave and I opted for a classic: the Drumstick. Back on the bikes, we managed a few more miles in the sunlight. At the end of the B&A trail, we took the BWI trail to the west and used Stoney Run and Ridge rds. to get us to Elkridge. In the darkness we said goodbyes to the several riders heading over to Ellicott City. The rest of us, with lights blazing, headed off on the final miles into Baltimore.

When designing this route, I was thinking it would be a safe and short “fill in” to the Ramble schedule during the winter, but I was pleasantly surprised at how strong a route it is. Thanks to all 16 riders who came out to play.


More photos of the day HERE

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The B&A route

The December Ramble is Sunday, the 7th to Annapolis. We’ll be using the Baltimore and Annapolis trail mostly. However, I’ve routed several spurs off the trail to visit other scenic spots along the Chesapeake Bay, Severn and South rivers. 95 miles and fairly flat, this route should be a mellow one. We’ll have lunch at Fado, Irish pub and take two quick watering stops at the 25 and 75 mile points. Come on out and ride.


A shiny new COHO on the B&A trail in 2009

Route: The B&A. 95 mi, 3600 ft. of climbing
Date/Time: Sunday, December 7th. 7:50AM meet up, 8:10AM push off.
Start: Baltimore Washington Monument in front of Peabody (east side) STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring you one): CUESHEET

Ask questions if you’ve got ‘em.

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