Back on Track with the Pancake Intercept

The ride this Sunday is the Pancake Intercept, a ride up to Union Bridge for an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the firehouse. Rolling through old farms and craggy woods of Carroll county makes this a great Autumn ride. Somehow, it’s gotten more off-schedule than on. This puts it back in it proper season.

If you’re new to this ride, then you need to know a few things: it’s hilly, not crazy, but taxing for sure. There are unpaved sections on this ride- maybe 5-10 miles total. There can be some gravely parts or sections slippery with leaves, but it’s super fun and beautiful on any bike. You need $8 cash for breakfast. There is no ATM and nowhere else to eat in Union Bridge. The beginning of the ride is quick, in order to get to breakfast in time, the 3rd section is a long stretch with a break in Boring, MD. The last stretch will be familiar Balt. county roads home. Also, you will absolutely need strong lighting, front and rear.

The Pancake Interception 97 mi., 5900ft. (hilly)
Date/Time: Sunday November 8th 7:50AM meet-up. 8:05 exit
Start: Mt. Washington Starbucks STARTMAP
Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

Just look at that happy guy!

Just look at that happy guy!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Sometimes luck goes your way, and other times…

NOTE: Next Ramble ride will be on Nov. 8th to Union Bridge. Details to come.

I had a wonderful time riding the recent Olde Roads Ramble ride. Weather was perfect, clear and sunny with temps in the 60’s. We started with 4 riders (Mike, Jeff, Carl and me) in Hampstead. The roads were rough and wandering- just what we were looking for. But, you never know how your equipment will handle the abuse of sharp rocks, gravel, washboard bumps and gritty dust. About 25 miles into the route, Mike suffered a damaged frame when his rear derailleur tore itself loose. He’s been in great physical shape recently and I was sad to hear that he had to abandon the rest of the ride.

Mike and Jeff in the early miles.

Mike, Jeff and Carl in the early miles.

The rest of us pulled into Glen Rock for lunch at Mignano’s. Our beer patron for the day, Andy Hanson was waiting for us with some PBR’s. Another Glen Rock rider, Dave, was ready to finish the last miles with us. Pizza, pasta and subs were delivered to the table and devoured. Yum.

Well sated, we rode north on the NCR trail before heading west into the surrounding hills. I heard a loud bang behind me as Andy’s tire blew out, torn on a sharp rock. Luckily, it was patchable. A mile later another bang, in the same tire. Argh! The tire was not stable at this point and Andy made the right decision to limp home rather than continue. I was sad about this. But the tree-lined, car-free miles just kept coming. Wonderful old barns, stone houses, golden fields and big vistas of Autumn leaves showed off their beauty.


We caught the very beginnings of Fall tree colors

Unfortunately, we were not done with mishaps. Jeff was next with a flat. A few miles later I snapped a chain, Carl had rear brake problems and then Jeff got another flat! Wow, I think we got all of our bad luck out on one ride. Dave peeled off to head back to Glen Rock while Jeff, Carl and I soldiered on to the finish.

It was a demanding day of riding, but 100% worth it. Thank you all for enduring and persevering with me.

Carl, Jeff and I pushed on til the end.

Dave and Jeff on a typical gravel stretch

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

An historic, unpaved Ramble for October 11th.

The next Ramble, Olde Roads, is happening next Sunday.

Uncharacteristically, we begin out in the county in Manchester, MD. The route is a rough, hilly, beautiful tour of “unimproved” roadways in York, Adams and Carroll counties. It’s short for us (75mi.), but when I say hilly, I mean it. We’ll climb nearly 100ft. per mile on at times, loose rocky surfaces. The Rambles always have a easy pace, but you’ll still need the stamina to haul yourself up those grades.

Do not be deterred however. This ride is worth the struggle and we’ll wait for you to enjoy it. I mean, look at this pic from Dave’s recent version of the ride:


from Dave’s Olde Roads ride on Bikes n’Coffee (click photo for link to post)

Lunch is in Glen Rock, PA at Mignano Bros. You’ll definitely want a bike with minimum width of 32mm tires and low gearing for climbs. Be sure everything on the bike is tight or it’ll rattle loose on this route. Ask questions if you’ve got ’em.


  • Olde Roads 74 mi., 7400ft.
  • Date/Time: Sunday, October 11th. 8:15AM meet-up. 8:30 exit
  • Start: North Carroll Plaza in Manchester STARTMAP
  • Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
  • Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET
Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thank You September Monument Riders

We had wonderful weather for the 40-50 who rode installment #2 of this year’s M2M ride. Several riders had been on the ride in May too. Well done! Having not fully recovered from a nasty cold, I exercised my right to slouch and took the MARC back to Baltimore. That was a nice adventure for me as I’d never used the bike cars. Thank you to all who participated.

Our next ride is a bit out of the ordinary, beginning in Manchester and using about 50 miles of unpaved road. A perfect early fall ride. More details in the next post…


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

M2M one more time!

The 2nd installment of the Monument to Monument ride this year is Sunday Sept. 6th.

17384496532_bc3826cbf6_oMost of you reading this know the ride well enough: a fun, sociable, roundtrip bike ride between Baltimore’s Washington Monument and DC’s Washington Monument. Lots of friendly riders and lots of scenic miles.

If you don’t know the ride then here’s pics of the 1st installment in May.

  • Date/Time: Sunday, Sept., 6th 2015. Meet at 7:45AM. Leave PROMPTLY at 8:10AM
  • Start Location: Baltimore Washington Monument
  • Map/GPS: M2M Map/GPS  (click “export” in upper right for GPS files)
  • Cue Sheets: M2M CueSheet  (print one for yourself or ask me to print one for you)
  • Cost:  None. Bring $ for lunch and snacks at local businesses
  • Assistance/Sag:  None. (except help from fellow riders)

WHAT’S THE RIDE LIKE? M2M is a little of everything. There will be fast and slow riders, skinny and fat tire bikes, racers and bike party people. Last year there were over 75 riders. We ride a steady average pace of about 13MPH. There are some hills, but none more strenuous than a long ride through Baltimore. The roads to DC are as safe as riding in Baltimore. Most of the route is surprisingly scenic and the DC trail system is very relaxing. We’ll stop 3 times: a break at the 25 mile point, a lunch at Union Station in DC and a break at the 75 mile point. I will bring cue sheets, but mostly you will be following ride leaders. The main reasons why riders are unable to finish M2M are: crashes due to inattention, not having the fitness and experience for riding a century, and bike mechanical breakdowns. Be prepared.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Beach Report

(excuse the multiple posts. I’m catching up on my ride reports)

There were so many nice things about this year’s Chesapeake Beach ride:

I saw new faces (Dan, Gabe, Mike L., and Kathy) and familiar riding buddies (PJ, Isaias, Moji, Mike H., Tom and Janet). Temperatures were at least 10 deg. cooler than last year. The over-all ride pace was very reasonable (unlike previous years). Three new riders rode personal bests, 100+ miles in a day and Dan, finished 135! I was near the tail-end of the group by the end of the day (though I rode a quicker pace than last year), nonetheless the whole group was waiting for me at the 3/4 stop and at the end. That’s ride leader appreciation. Thanks y’all.

Isaias's lead out from BWI

Isaias’s lead out from BWI

First time century rider, Gabe, near the start.

First time century rider, Mike, near the start.

Mike and Dan in the early miles. Dan was also a 1st time century rider.

Mike and Dan in the early miles. Dan was also a 1st time century rider.

Leitch rd

Leitch rd

A first Ramble for a strong (much stronger than me), rider, Catherine.

A first Ramble for a strong (much stronger than me), rider, Kathy.

Nearing North Beach and lunch
Nearing North Beach and lunch

Lotta people playing in the water.

A lot of people playing in the water.

Along Dalrymple rd. I've photographed this barn in previous years.

Along Dalrymple rd. I’ve photographed this barn in previous years.

The final stretch back to BWI.

The final stretch back to BWI.

This is what I found back at the start. Snowballs!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Reapeat after me: “Yes, I’m riding the August Ramble to Chesapeake Beach”

Let your eyes follow the dancing chain. Yes!

Now that I’ve got you in my power, you will prepare by typing “Chesapeake Beach Ride” into your calendar for next Sunday, August 2nd. You will cast off your weekend chores and responsibilities. You will rise early on the 2nd, mount your bicycle and ride the path defined by your cuesheet. You will ride through verdant farmland and along historic Chesapeake waterfronts. You will chat with fellow riders so naturally they will not realize you’re under a spell.

Upon return to your home, you will wake up with a smile… and, sore legs.


  • The Chesapeake Beach Ride 102 mi., 4400ft.
  • Date/Time: Sunday, August 2nd 7:50AM meet-up. 8:05 exit
  • Start: Dixon/BWI STARTMAP
  • Route Map (click EXPORT for GPS files): ROUTEMAP
  • Cue Sheet (print one, or ask me to bring an extra): CUESHEET

IMPORTANT: There will be an earlier alternate start for those wanting to begin from Baltimore. Meet @7AM at Carroll Park (south corner). We will ride 11 miles to the BWI start.



Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 4 Comments