Rollin’ On

Tom cruises no-hands down Springfield rd, south of Loganville, PA


We had another lovely ride last sunday thanks to great weather, a great route and great randonneurs. 
Thank you Dave, Isaias, Dave, Brian and Tom.

The ride report follows. My apologies- it’s long and rambling, like the ride. Read this instead of the New York Times or  skip to the pictures at the end. 

My ride began at my house in the city. I got out at 6:10AM late and headed to Dave’s house. He had bagels and coffee waiting for me. I’m not sure what I did to deserve this kindness, but I’ll take it. Thanks Dave. The two of us headed straight up Charles st.(fairly clear of fast traffic at that hour). Crossing the beltway interchange was no issue and we rolled up to the Hunt Valley start point a bit early. Isaias, Dave and a new face, Brian, were there to meet us. We hadn’t even started yet, but a lot of riding had already happened, Dave, Dave and I with 12+ miles, Brian with 15 and Isaias with over 20 to get to the start. Way to go! When Tom joined us a few minutes later he was regretting having driven. 

Ironically, we got a hard sell by a guy trying to get members to his nearby health club. He was hawking the indoor cycling equipment. With a big smile, I rejected his business card. We said goodbye to sales guy and goodbye to Hunt Valley hitting the NCR trail north. 

The trail felt good and fast and we moved quickly past the early morning joggers and were soon at Monkton rd and the first transition to the road. And, this stretch was one of the hardest of the day. I warned everyone and off we went. Wesley Church, Vernon and Stablersville roads warmed got the blood flowing and warmed up the chilly morning. As we neared the next road section I glanced around for my friend Dan Artley. He lives along Dairy rd. and was thinking about joining us for a stretch. No sign of him so we powered onto the trail again, northbound. 

The sign for Freeland rd was missing so we decided to regroup. Dave and Dave pulled up after a couple minutes. They said that Brian had headed south, saying he catch us for a full day in the saddle on a future Ramble. We took off as a group, but quickly separated on the hard climb up Freeland rd. There were many big rollers on this section, but nothing as steep as the previous hills and eventually the terrain flattened out nicely as we rolled into New Freedom just over the PA line. Some coffee to warm us up and give some pep and again on the bikes into the beautiful PA farmland.

These sections were my favorites- not too hard and beautiful scenery. Dark woods, sweeping descents, old cemeteries and ante bellum churches. Every time I roll into Glen Rock on my bike, I feel like I should just book a B&B and stay the night. A really lovely historic and bustling town. and then… back tot he trail. This time we’re on the PA Heritage trail with a different surface, quicker if it’s dry, but wheel sucking if not. It was kind to us today and we quickly rolled past families, joggers, bikers, farm animals and a landscape emerging with spring growth. 

We regrouped again at the transition onto Glatfeller Station rd our longest climb of the day- about 2 1/2 miles with numerous twists and turns hiding the continuing ascent. The beginning is steep, but you can get into a nice rhythm through the rest of it. Soon, we are up on top of the access rd across Indian Head Dam a wonderful and mysterious edifice built by the Army Corps of Engineers. I heard my stomach calling for lunch and rolled off towards West York muttering, “spaghetti and beer. spaghetti and beer…”

Our lunch was at Genova’s. A restaurant with great atmosphere, quick and friendly service and great food. We were all famished and fueled up for the ride back home. This ride goes easy on the lunch-digesting rider by giving you a little Main st. tour of York PA and then on to the trail. After a couple miles in we head through the hole in the mountain and the Howard Tunnel. I ate too much at lunch and still felt a bit bloated by the time we were back at Glatfellers transition. Unfortunately we were back to hard climbing again. I felt slow, but kept Tom within view ahead of me. We climbed out of Loganville, which I was glad to say goodbye to. The view of that town from Reynolds Mill road is the worst kind of sprawling cookie-cutter town houses almost to the horizon. Soon I was climbing more tough rollers to get back into Glen Rock and the reward of resting on the trail. 

Unfortunately, the wind was in our faces on this stretch and, maybe it was late day legs, but I think that this portion of the trail was quite slow. It did get me to a rest stop and regroup back in New Freedom. Dave2 decided his legs were done and chose to take the trail all the way back to the start. Not a bad idea and there aren’t too many routes that can give you that easy option. The rest of us head up into the hills again including a tough one on Gore Mill, then fly down Dairy rd to the trail. I was swapping riding buddies pretty regularly, spending  good riding time with Dave, Isaias and Tom. We regrouped with Dave2 in Monkton and had a great visit with Dan Artley out for a ride after all on his new custom rando bike built by Chris Bishop. a real beaut. The last road section contained a couple typical Balt county rollers and then the ride was at its end. Whoa! All those miles take a lot of words to describe. 

Dave and Dave were up for the ride home and so was I. We bid adieu to Isaias and Tom and hit the road for the final 12 back to the city. Some really great riding and adventuring all in one day. Amazingly, this was the second ramble in a row with no flats and no mechanicals. I’m not expecting that for next month’s Monument to Monument. I had a congratulatory beer with Dave for his personal best one day distance of 124 miles. A double metric. 

Thanks again all. See ya at the Monument on May 1st. 

Heres the pics on the flickr page: On/Off Again. 
Dave’s report: bikesncoffe
Isaias’ report:  I report





About randoramble

long distance bike rider
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