Around Baltimore in 101 miles
Our next Ramble will be a compass survey of our environs: The Circumnavigation of Baltimore. Before I gave this ride its first check-out, I suspected that it might be a meaningless idea. Then I gave it a test ride in 2010 and was delighted by what an interesting tour it is. We begin in Fells Pt. (which is an interesting enough place at 7AM on a Sunday) and we move south, skirting the Patapsco through the industrial shipping corridors of Brooklyn and Curtis Bay. Turning right we come around to the hilly westside moving through the mill towns of Elkridge and Ellicott City. Here we’ll take a quick rest and warm up. Continuing on, we’ll roll up and over through the densely forested Marriottsville and into the unique natural landscape of Soldiers Delight. Lunch is in historic Reisterstown. Turning right again we venture in to Baltimore county’s beautiful horse farms and cross the northernmost point of our big circle. From here the land flattens a bit as we near the farms of lower Harford county. Soon enough, the property lines get closer together as we move around to the east. We’ll cross route 40, safely navigating the river towns of White Marsh and Essex and after crossing Back River on Eastern ave you’ll be able to catch views of the city skyline.
The Circumnavigation of Baltimore is a bit like a Jules Verne journey for bicycles. The last few miles feels different than just “getting back”- it’s the completion of the voyage.
Now, I must admit that the second time I rode The Circumnavigation of Baltimore- (also in February) I was not delighted. I was freezing cold. The only other rider, Isaias, lifted his outer jacket at the lunch stop to reveal crystals of frozen perspiration on his middle layer of clothing. Riding that day was not for the faint of heart. We did not complete the “voyage” that day. Instead we dropped south from Jacksonville through Towson. We will hope for weather at least as nice as we had last month, but to ride a winter century you MUST BE PREPARED. I won’t preach again cause I think everyone’s figured it out by now, but please be sure you’ve got your bike, your lights, your fitness and your clothing ready for a long cold ride.