A belated thank you to all of the Pancake Interception riders. Another wonderful autumn day rolling through the woodsy terrain northwest of Baltimore. Ten riders congregated at the Mt. Washington start. It was a chilly, cloudy morning with temps in the high 30’s. There were many familiar riding buddies, (Dave, PJ, Mike, and Charlie), four new faces (Sigi, Jon, Dan and Jim) and a much awaited return of Dave who’s been stolen away from us by triathlon training.
The beginning of this ride is my regular route to work and I probably took it at commuting pace instead of century pace. Going too fast from the start can be a beginners downfall, especially on a hilly ride like this one. All of us eased up as we got into the sharper hills around Marriottsville. Soon enough we were in Sykesville where we regrouped with the rest of the group. They were not far behind.
As the full group headed off to Union Bridge, many of us were pulling off thicker gloves and unzipping jerseys. The morning was warming up faster than I expected. On a long ride, it’s much nicer pulling off clothing because you’re too warm than feeling the sting of the cold all day because you didn’t bring enough. The trick of dressing this time of year is covering your head, hands and feet and wearing easily convertible layers on your torso.
Breakfast at Union Bridge is a great combination of friendly locals and cyclists (many from the BBC ride). The quicker riders in our group stayed long enough that the back of the group caught up. Many pancakes later we all headed out together. Tom decided to ride with us, even though he’d injured his ribs two days before. He’s a tough rider, but I saw him wince several times during climbs on the ride back to Baltimore. Our group settled into A, B and C groups. Jim, Tom and I formed the B group for most of the trip back to town. We rolled into Mt. Washington, tired and satisfied with our day-long bike adventure. It was about 4:30PM for a 9hr century. The quicker riders were probably 30 minutes ahead of me and the tail of the group about 30 behind me. Excellent riding, all.