The Four Reservoirs Tour. An unsupported Baltimore century ride.
Hello summer-tuned and tanned Ramblers. I hope the wheels have been rolling well for you throughout all this heat and humidity. I can’t tell you that the next Ramble will keep you cool because there is a lot of typical Baltimore County climbing in it, but I can tell you that it is as nicely shaded a route as you can get in these parts.
The self-named Four Reservoirs Tour exits Baltimore City from the Druid Hill Park Botanical Conservatory. There is safe and easy parking along the park road across from the Conservatory and there are bathrooms and water at a nearby location in the park. The metro has a stop 1/2 mile away if you do that kind of thing.
We will head due west on the freshly paved Gwynns Falls Pkwy then drop down to Franklintown rd. I love this wooded stream-side stretch of road because it always seems to surprise those unfamiliar with it that we are still in the city. Franklintown becomes Dogwood rd, a bicyclist’s thoroughfare to the west. BEWARE the Dogwood hill beginning immediately after you pass Hollofield rd. You’ll make a sharp right and you better be in your small chainring when you do or you’ll be standing still in a moment. This is the hardest climb of the day. Sorry that it’s so early in the morning for it, but hey, it’ll wake you up. Stay steady on the climb and do your best to keep a straight line- you may have a car or two wanting to pass you on the way up. I promise to regroup at Old Court rd.
We continue to head NW, crossing Lake Liberty on Liberty rd and coming up along it’s western side. Then the route begins to curve off to the east rolling through Boring and Upperco, MD eventually crossing our second reservoir, Prettyboy, on Beckleysville rd. Lunch is at Wally’s at Rayville and Middletown pike. After lunch, we get a nice stretch downhill to the dam and then a long and meandering climb back out. There is a lot of tree cover and pretty views of the water along here.
Continuing east we eventually cross York rd and ride the full length of Corbett rd. getting us to Jacksonville for a water break. Blenheim and Dance Hall curve us back to the south and to Loch Raven reservoir which we cross along the Dulaney Valley bridge. Up another grind on Old Bosley and into the Cockeysville area. We cut through historic Lutherville and take Seminary, Thornton and Ruxton rds to Falls rd. south. One more climb up Lake ave and a roll back to our start passing the oldest of the day’s reservoirs, Druid Hill.
This is a fun route. I guess I’d rate it above average difficulty. Other than Dogwood, there are no climbs here that are particularly steep, but there are certainly a lot of them.
Email me if you have any questions or concerns about the ride. I hope to see you sunday.
Sunday, August 8th, meet up at 7:45AM. push off at 8:10 sharp
Leaving from the Druid Hill Park Botanical Conservatory (map here)
Cue here: 4 reservoirs tour
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