After two days of rain, Sunday opened with a chilly and dry morning. The rain had been blown out of town, but the wind that pushed it remained. A good thing really, since wind does a fine job of drying roads. I rode off to the start having met Dave 1 and 2, Ken and PJ at the local coffee house. A little before eight, Eli, Dan and Sam arrived. Eight starters for a December ride is very respectable.
This route took us south on St. Paul st and onto Light st. There was very little traffic at that hour. South of town we crossed the Potee bridge and onto the BWI trail at Camp Meade rd. PJ had domestic engagements and said goodbye. As the group rolled down Hammonds Ferry towards Andover, we saw seven more riders, eyeing us as we headed towards them. As I got closer I recognized the faces: Jon, Bill, Charlie, Laura David, Tom and Mike. Wow! Now this is really a good group for a December ride. Before the day was done, we’d add Barry to our rider list for a total of 16 riders for the day.
Off we went to the namesake, B&A trail. Our roll south was nice and uneventful. The trail was mostly clear of water and bike traffic. We stopped to re-group at the Big Bean. I recommend the peanut butter cookies. After a couple more miles of riding south we leave the trail and headed east. This was the first of the scenic bypasses off the trail and it was worth it. A long roll down College parkway and into Sandy Point St. Park, where we were treated to a dramatic view of the Bay bridge and frothing white caps on the water. After all the proper photos were taken, we turned and headed towards Annapolis.
I’ve ridden into the capital city many times, but this ride is the first time I’ve rolled through it without stopping. Around the main circle, past Ego Alley and south along the coast, eventually the route took us out onto the tiny finger of rock known as Thomas Pt. There is a gate which must be opened to go inside the park. About a mile of dirt/gravel riding gets you to the very tip. From here you can view 270 degrees of water, the Bay bridge is visible again, this time from the south, and the eastern shore is straight out past Thomas Point lighthouse. The wind was really whipping the water as well as the cyclists here. Dave managed to get a photo of the group. I don’t believe anyone other than myself had ever been there before. A fantastic way to see the great Chesapeake.
Back on the bikes, we backtracked towards town. I designed this stretch along trails with a couple wooden foot bridges that made the riding adventurous. We stacked up the bikes to the side of Fado, an Irish pub. Food was great and the Guinness better, but it was after 2PM when we left. This meant that we weren’t getting home before dark. I guess I was expecting that anyway.
We all made decent time along Generals Hwy and Veterans Hwy to come up around the Severn river from the southwest. We reconnected with the B&A trail again and regrouped at the 75 mile point. It didn’t matter what the temperature, it was “the ice cream stop”. Dave and I opted for a classic: the Drumstick. Back on the bikes, we managed a few more miles in the sunlight. At the end of the B&A trail, we took the BWI trail to the west and used Stoney Run and Ridge rds. to get us to Elkridge. In the darkness we said goodbyes to the several riders heading over to Ellicott City. The rest of us, with lights blazing, headed off on the final miles into Baltimore.
When designing this route, I was thinking it would be a safe and short “fill in” to the Ramble schedule during the winter, but I was pleasantly surprised at how strong a route it is. Thanks to all 16 riders who came out to play.
More photos of the day HERE