Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Linda Bankerd, Sherwood Byers, Pano Gianniotis
Weather: mostly cloudy at the start, windy and 33 degrees. By mile 10 the clouds were gone and it had warmed up to the low 40s, where it stayed all day. The wind stayed as well.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/17589955 40 miles, 1400' of climbing. We started in La Plata, heading south on Glen Albin and Springhill Newtown, then Rt 6 to Cooksey. The route went up Cooksey, down Newport Church, then back on Bowling and Trinity Church to a rest stop at Gilbert Run Park. Returning from the park we went down Kentucky, then took Bowling back to Stein's Store and Allen's Fresh and then climbed Penn's Hill (140' elevation gain and 9% max grade, the most notable hill in the area) descended Cooksey, then took 6 back to La Plata (into the wind all the way).
Mishaps & mechanicals: 5 miles into the ride, having completed the descent on 6 we heard a POW that sounded like a .22 cal pistol. Sherwood's back tire had developed a cm long vertical cut. The tube poked out and blew. He booted the tire but neither he nor Linda had a lot of confidence in the repair because last year on the Indian Head 100 Linda had had the identical blowout and in her case the boot didn't last a quarter mile before failing again, so they both turned around and rode back to the ride start, abandoning the ride. Pano and I continued on.
It was windy today and chilly at the start. Even if we hadn't been living under the threat of a snowstorm there would have been no doubt winter was back. But with the right clothes and the right attitude, a day like this can be a great day for riding, and today was just that. Pano was out with his new Rivendell custom. The frame had been featured in Rivendell's blog a couple of weeks ago and had generated much discussion on a couple of mailing lists I'm on, and it was a treat to see it in real life. It seemed like a perfect bike for Pano today. The ride was made even more special knowing it would likely be the last good day for riding for a while. I hope the contingent heading off later this week to Bike Florida will actually be able to travel! At least my snow shovels are still on the front porch ready for action, where they've been all this "spring" and "summer"...