Leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Pat Sanders, Steve Palincsar, Jay Lewis, Barbara Butcher, Susan Golonka
New bikes: 2 - Barbara was riding a new Domane, and I was taking my new Checkpoint gravel bike out for its first real road ride.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26760642 - 35 miles from N Keys Park to Merkle and the picnic area at Jug Bay. We began by heading south down Martin, Molly Berry, Baden Naylor and Nelson Perrie, then turned east on Bald Eagle School. After one big hill on Croom Rd we took Tanyard, Nottingham and Fenno to a rest stop at the Merkle visitors' center. Then we climbed St Thomas Church, took Croom to Mount Calvert Rd, and headed down Duvall and Croom Airport all the way to the picnic area for another break. The final stint went up Croom Airport Rd and down Croom to the Duley Station-Cheltenham-Van Brady loop (with an ad hoc diversion on Bellefield), then took Molly Berry and N Keys Rd back to the park.
Average speed: 11ish at the back
Weather: A very pleasant fall day. Cloudless blue skies, sunshine and no wind with temps in the high 40s. We needed a few layers, but didn't have to bundle up too much to be comfortable.
Mishaps and mechanicals: A missed turn, a misbehaving cycle computer and a flat tire a few miles from the end.
Wildlife: A deer ran across the road in front of us as we rode through Merkle, reminding us to be more alert for them this time of year.
We enjoyed a nice bike ride on this Veterans Day. Jay and Pat were in the breakaway for much of the day, while the rest of us rode closer together, with several stops to regroup. We were never too far apart and were all together at the rest stops. Topics of conversation were wide-ranging and included bike bags, disc brakes, tire pressure and activities with Washington Women Outdoors. When Jay had a flat tire at the turn from Molly Berry to N Keys Rd, we all stopped for the repair. Pat provided a fresh tube and Steve shared his tip for lining up the tire logo with the stem in order to make it easier to find any sharp object remaining in the tire after locating the hole in the tube.
The start time of 11 am on November 11th was a nod to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. My grandmother's birthday was on November 11th, and she always referred to the date as Armistice Day. Many thanks to all who have served in our armed forces and to those whose family members have served.