“Charm and Grace” the June Rando Ramble

Decoy Fest sign No. We’re not going to the Decoy Festival.

 

Sunday, the 6th of June. 7:50 meet up, 8:10AM push off.
Start: Canton Park. see here: http://tinyurl.com/283ejec

I was lucky to get in the “pre-ride” for the next Ramble on a stunningly beautiful spring day last month. So, I am biased in claiming that this ride is the prettiest I’ve routed yet.
It’s got everything except a visit to Grandmother’s house.

 

Ride ingredients include:

• 109 miles. You’ll be on the saddle for about an hour longer than our last ride, M2M.

• About 6,000ft. of climbing. Not a whole lot more than M2M however, most of the hills are in the last 20 miles. One of the worst being Satyr Hill at mile 97. You don’t need to mention it here, Isaias has already called me an “effin’ sadist” for that one.

• Start is at Canton Park. There are bathrooms, but they always seem to be locked. If necessary, you can relieve yourself at or on the nearby Starbucks. Easy parking, if absolutely necessary.

• Typical of my rides, the first and last 5 miles are urban riding- kinda harsh, kinda trafficky, kinda glassy. Outbound, we will be headed through the older industrial areas of SE Baltimore and the working class neighborhoods that abut them. You’ll get nice views of Charm City over your shoulder on the way out of town.

• Soon after crossing over Back River, we’re in the eastern ‘burbs of Essex. A few miles further, and we’ll be seeing fields of young corn and soy along Bird River and Vincent roads.

• This same alternation of working class suburbs and farmland is most of what we’ll get on our outbound stretch. We parallel the Baltimore National Pike and ride through the covered bridge on Jericho rd. We duck into lush protected woodlands, brush past the Bush River, cruise through Aberdeen and make a fast descent into the home city of the Decoy Museum, Havre de Grace, MD for our lunch break.

• Your dessert after lunch will be the 2nd worst hill of the day. It’s not steep, but it is a long grind up and out of HdG to the north. Really we’re just cresting a big lump of land separating the headwaters of the bay from the lower Susquehanna. The descent down to the river on the other side is as beautiful as it is rollicking and transitions to a long flat stretch running next to the river. The ascent away from the river is nice and gradual.

• At this point the ride gets really interesting. What that means is “WARNING: BOB IS TAKING US SOMEWHERE CRAZY” We cross the bridge over Deer Creek and quickly drop down to a beautiful stretch that runs along the creek. Most of this section is paved, but some is not. 1/3 mile along Glenville and 1.5 miles along Harmony Church are the unpaved parts. They are flat, hard-packed dirt with occasional loose gravel. It’s not difficult or dangerous (even if wet), but must be taken at slower speed. The day I rode it, it was just too beautiful to take out of the route.

• We abruptly come out of the woods and into the bright sunlight and the farms and suburbs near Bel Air, including a long and lazy section along the East West Hwy.

• Veering south we snake through Baltimore County, a few more hills, and numerous horse farms eventually dropping into Loch Raven.

• The aforementioned Satyr Hill rd gets us up to Harford rd, taking us into the city, past Patterson Park and back to the harbor in Canton.

 

I hope our weather is at least half as nice as it was for me during the pre-ride. You’ll like this route. I’ll buy the first round at Mahaffeys after the ride.

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About randoramble

long distance bike rider
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7 Responses to “Charm and Grace” the June Rando Ramble

  1. NoRacer says:

    Great ride yesterday-115miles. Wish I could process the GPS file but Bones In Motion doesn’t like the file size. #cycling

  2. The Rando Ramble says:

    Well, I’ve obviously jinxed our weather by writing that I wanted clear skies for this ride. Probably won’t happen for tomorrow. Here’s the drill: RAIN OR SHINE, THE RIDE HAPPENS. I will head out of Canton at 8:10am hoping for the best and ready for the worst. I seriously doubt we’ll have rain all day, but likely to get some strong showers at some point. The temps are high enough that we probably don’t need to be worried about getting cold, but you might want to bring a jacket just in case. Fenders are real nice, if you’ve got them. (my wet-weather bike is still not back on the road so apologies to anyone riding behind me) Running lights and bright colors are important for visibility. If it’s getting miserable by lunch we can decide as a group whether to short cut. -Bob

  3. NoRacer says:

    Hey Bob, it’s a pub, right, so… beer or view of the Susquehanna… beer or view of the Susquehanna… hmmm… hard to pick at the moment.

  4. The Rando Ramble says:

    Hey Isaias, When I rode my check out ride, I ate a nice lunch at Coakley’s pub. I would happily go back there, or we can go to your favorite lunch spot. What do you think? -Bob

  5. NoRacer says:

    Just a reminder about this century ride starting in Canton this Sunday.

  6. NoRacer says:

    BTW, I was in Havre de Grace, yesterday. Lots of people visiting the Promenade boardwalk, the Maritime Museum, the lighthouse, and for lunch–the Promenade Grill down by the marina. There’s a great park there complete with one of the best park restroom facilities you’ll find anywhere.

  7. NoRacer says:

    June 6th is the next Baltimore RandoRamble

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