Leader: Ron Altemus
Members: Patricia Sanders, Pat Walthers, Randy Schoch, Steve Palincsar, La' Tasha Banks, Chantal Briere, Bob Thompson, Jim Hudnall, Sam Perry, Donaro Gardner, Larry Peed
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29456177 Original route (40.5 miles; 1254' elevation change) had us taking Bumpy Oak to Hawthorne, then Ripley, Poorhouse, and Burch to Blossom Point and a rest stop at the Goose Bay Marina. Returning via Mill Swamp, Firetower, Annapolis Woods, Poorhouse, Pisgah Marbury, Chicamuxen, Hawthorne, MD-210, and Chapman's Landing. Minor changes by several riders eliminated Pisgah Marbury by staying on Mason Springs to Chicamuxen, then going straight up MD-210.
Weather: Lots and lots of sunshine, temperatures starting in the low 40s and reaching the low 50s by ride's end, and NW winds between 10-15 mph.
AMS: swept at 11 mph
Mechanicals/Mishaps: At the Ripley/Poorhouse intersection, Jim noted his tire looked somewhat flat. Since he had plenty of helpers at that time, a tube swap was quickly accomplished.
Report: This ride was advertised as an opportunity to determine if Spring is finally approaching and checking on its arrival at everybody's favorite destination, Goose Bay. Indeed, there were sights and sounds of warmer weather - daffodils in bloom on Brentland, crocus on Lower Wharf, and cacophonies of spring peepers/ tree frogs in the many stretches of new marshy areas following our wettest winter ever. Hopefully the tadpoles from the anticipated frenzied frog matings will feast on mosquito larvae and we won't be bit so much once it does warm up.
As to the ride proper, there was the usual split into fast, medium, and slow groups. All of us were at Goose Bay at the same time before once again breaking up. The NW breezes pushed us quite smartly down to Goose Bay; the headwind on the return was a bit of a slog at times, leading to the shortening of the original route by some.