Leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Jay Lewis, James Rauch, Janell Saunders
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/27658322 - 32 miles, 1600 feet of climbing. A modified version of the 35 mile route to be used for the Patuxent River Rural Legacy Ride, with the ride start moved to Mattaponi Elementary School and the stop at Magruder's Ferry eliminated. We did the Cheltenham/Old Indian Head/Van Brady thing to Molly Berry, then took Baden Naylor and Nelson Perrie to Bald Eagle School and a left onto Croom. After some rollers we took Candy Hill down to Nottingham and stopped at Merkle. Then we rode up St Thomas Church and Croom to Croom Airport and a second stop at the Jug Bay picnic pavilion. From there we rode back to the school via Duvall, Mount Calvert, Croom and Duley Station.
Mishaps and Mechanicals: The ride leader, who did not devise the route, did not realize that we were supposed to turn left instead of right onto Bald Eagle School.
Weather: Warm and humid.
Average mph: don't remember exactly; low CC.
Report: With the Patuxent River Rural Legacy ride just a week away, we gathered to give volunteers a chance to enjoy the route. And enjoy it we did. For the most part we rode together, with stops to regroup a few times. We reached Merkle 5 minutes before the visitors center was scheduled to open, but the park ranger must have seen us because she flipped the sign from "closed" to "open" a few minutes ahead of schedule. Some of us hadn't been there in a few months, and we were impressed by the progress that has been made with the new landscaping. After climbing St Thomas Church Rd, Jay decided to skip the ride down to Jug Bay so he headed straight back on Duley Station. Janell, James and I found the picnic pavilion empty and the gates closed, but the restrooms were open.
Overall it was a good ride, just long enough to enjoy a sunny June morning but ending before the day became too hot, with enough hills to give our legs a good workout. Casual Conversation topics included farming and crops, whether it's good or bad for ride with gps to tell us in advance how hilly a ride is, birds, and the fact that there were nuclear missile silos in the Croom area back in the day.
Thanks to everyone for joining me, and welcome to James, who has returned to the area after living in Dallas for the past two decades.