On Again/Off Again again.


the Daves northbound on the NCR from 2011

Ready for spring? Me too. The Ramble has been around long enough now that I’m starting to repeat myself. Not just in routes, but in scheduling too. This month I’m running On Again/Off Again again.  Although I’ve made made many changes in the ride since I first designed it back in 2008, the current version feels like a final state.

On Again/Off Again uses the NCR and Heritage rail trails as well as the wandering roads on either side to take us up to York, PA and back. We alternate back and forth from trail to road in ten mile stretches. By the time you get tired of the trail, we move to pavement. By the time you’re tired of climbing, we transition back to the flatness of the NCR. The trail is bumpy and the surrounding roads are quite hilly so you’ll be most comfortable on a relaxed road bike with your widest tires.

This ride is a great seasonal excursion. We’ll have all-day views of the trees bursting out in green as well as great vistas from the tops of our climbs. There is always a lot of entertainment from farm animals along the trail and great old country churches tucked into the surrounding woods.

Make no mistake, this is a hilly ride. Tweaking over the years has flattened it considerably, but there’s still about 5,000 ft. to climb and those feet are nearly all in the fifty road miles since the trail is almost flat. One very nice thing, however, is that you can shortcut the ride at any of the five crossovers. We’ll have rests in New Freedom at 25 and 75 mile points and lunch at Genova’s in York, PA. 

Start: Sunday, April 1st, 2012. Meetup at 7:50AM. Push off at 8:10AM (firm)
Place: SE corner of York and Ashland rds. Hunt Valley. start location
Map/GPS/Metrics: On/Off Map
Cue sheet: On/Off Cue

Beware, this time of year can be devilish for long distance riding. Weather can vary wildly, so be prepared with multiple clothing options and dependable equipment.
I hope to have you along for the ride. 



About randoramble

long distance bike rider
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12 Responses to On Again/Off Again again.

  1. Charlie says:

    Hey Justin: I can’t make a final decision until early morning due to the puppy dog. So if you need me to bike, better drive a car. I still have to figure the distance, probably another 30 or so. I’m leaning towards car. Charlie

  2. The Rando Ramble says:

    Yep. Easy parking at the center.

  3. jwink3101 says:

    If I do decide to drive, where is the best place to park? Just that shopping center?

  4. jwink3101 says:

    Charlie, I am still considering riding to the start. If you wanted to ride, I could easily be persuaded to also ride. Otherwise, I will drive too. It sounds like Bob is driving, and he was kinda my last hold-out on riding.Let me know if you are interested. Otherwise, I will probably just drive to the start, or near to it.-Justin (aka Jwink3101)

  5. The Rando Ramble says:

    Charlie, the tide has swung to most of us carpooling up to Hunt Valley. I don’t know of anyone who’s riding up from hampden.

  6. Charlie says:

    I’m in. Where are you guys starting? Not the “official” start but the ride to the start? We have anew puppy so I gotta deal w/ him which may force me to drive. Maybe drive to Hampden. Are cars allowed in Hampden??

  7. Tom Moore says:

    Got someone to work for me i should be there!

  8. Tom Moore says:

    Picture is actually of heritage trail, no existing RR on NCR trail.Still want to make this, but not sure if i can get anyone to work for me.If I come I will take you up on 1st comment.Tom

  9. The Rando Ramble says:

    Three comments:1. If you are not ready for all the road climbing on this ride you are absolutely welcome to ride the trail and intersect with us during the day. A rider on the trail will be faster than the On Again/Off Again riders. 2. Bring glasses and/or a brimmed cap. The bugs are out in force along the trail. 3. Buy, borrow or steal a bike bell. The warm weather will bring out a lot of trail users and you will need it. -Bob

  10. dave says:

    hey jwink, I’ll be riding to the start for my metric and getting there a few minutes early, for an egg sandwich @ bagel works ahead of time.

  11. The Rando Ramble says:

    I haven’t made my mind up yet.

  12. jwink3101 says:

    Can’t wait! Are you riding to the start?

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