I get distracted during long rides.
Like a little boy exploring outside of his neighborhood, my routes are in search of something fun, something cool to look at. I want to see around the next corner. Once there, I’m titillated by the next corner. There is no specific end in mind (certainly not going back home), but the process of getting to the next spot is not clear either. It gets muddled in the distraction of what’s up next.
After getting home from checking out a new route, I want to show off what I found to my friends. So I make a cue sheet and schedule a ride. Friends show up and off we go. In my head, I’m thinking: “I went down this big hill and then there was this huge tree that must’ve crashed into that rotten fence over there. And then I saw a llama with a silly hairdo and then a farmhouse that had a cool rusty car in the front yard and then the scary house in the woods with the broken windows…” And it goes on like that for about 9 hours. By then, I’m back home. Meanwhile, all the friends I’ve brought along for the ride are suffering from sore legs after struggling to get over all the crazy terrain along the way. So, I’d like to apologize for misrepresenting, or actually, misremembering the barrage of hills on this one.
I did a decent job of warning the 8 riders at the Druid Hill start about the 1st one, Dogwood hill with a 20% grade at the start, is an alarming wake up. But then, hills just keep coming. Spout Hill up and out of historic old Sykesville, Hawks Hill bisects acres of old farmland and Dollyhyde hill, an abrupt surprise around a wooded corner taking us on a long and wandering tour of the beautiful country southeast of Libertytown.
I don’t use a altimeter on my bike, but those who do, were telling me that we’d hit over 5,000 feet of rise before the lunch stop in New Windsor. That number shocked me enough that I began to second guess that we’d ever begin a descent back into Baltimore. But we did. After lunch the temperature rose a bit, the sun came out a bit and the horizon tipped down a bit to make the ride home more pleasant. I love the long stretch of Deer Park rd down towards Reisterstown. By the end we’d hit almost 7800′ of rise.
All the riders who finished this ride are strong and resilient and I enjoyed their company immensely. Thanks to Dave, Denise, Mary, Janet, Dave, Charlie, Isaias and Tom. Hope to get you all on another Ramble.
more pictures of the day here: ISO_Liberty