Leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Patricia Sanders, Karen Morgan, Stuart Morgan, Stephen Cohen, Tasha Harris, Alan Kurzweil, Peggie Tyree
Guests: Doreen Dotzler, Terry Leonard and Blythe (Peggie's friend) who did not sign in.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/30906629 - 47 miles, 2000 feet of climbing. We started with a route that we enjoyed a few months ago which was designed to maximize scenic roads while avoiding the steepest climbs. Then we modified it into two new routes: a shorter one for Steve to lead for Cs and a longer one for CCs, with the main rest stop moved to Mount St Mary's. Both routes shared the same three rest stops and the longer route had a few extra miles added in several places to give us a good chance of both groups meeting up at the rest stops.
The CC route meandered around Lewistown, Angelberger and Wilhyde Rds on the way to Loys Station, then took Appolds and Mumma Ford to Sixes Bridge and Sixes Rd, then turned on Simmons and followed Keysville and Dry Bridge to the second stop at the Mount St Mary's Student Center. For our third stint we meandered a bit down Old Frederick and up Mud College and Orndorff to Old Kiln and a stop at the Roddy Rd Bridge. Then we finished the ride by taking Apples Church, Main St and Jimtown to Hessong Bridge, Layman, Wilhyde and Angelberger, back to Hessong Bridge, Utica and Old Frederick.
Weather: Almost perfect. Temps in the 70s, blue skies, a fair number of big white clouds. The only negative was a breeze from the NE, forecast at 5-10 mph but feeling stronger as it blew across the open fields during the first half of the ride. Fortunately headwinds in the beginning meant tailwinds at the end.
Mishaps and mechanicals: One rider missed a turn but corrected quickly. Two riders had a series of issues which delayed them at the start and possibly also along the way, but they had an enjoyable ride nonetheless.
Average speed: just under 13 mph at the back, probably a B pace at the front.
Farm report: lots of brown cows and calfs, a few roosters, horses and ponies, some grazing sheep. Along with lots of (very tall) corn and soybeans we passed a pumpkin patch with some fairly large pumpkins.
Floral report: Bright yellow sunflowers and lots of black-eyed Susans.
The weather forecast said sunshine, comfortable temps and no chance of rain. The past few weeks have been really not good at all for a certain ride leader. Time for a restorative ride in the shadow of the Catoctins! Luckily Steve was also up for an excursion to the north, so we worked out routes that gave us a good chance of multi-group socializing along with historic bridges and miles of quiet rural back roads. As noted in his report, the plan worked out well and the groups came together several times even though there were some genuine Bs in the CC group.
For the first half of the ride, we were split into the fast group, two cyclists riding a CC pace and two who started late due to some mishaps. I stopped a couple of times in the first few miles but never saw the two riders who started late. A phone call at the first rest stop confirmed that they were fine and just riding slowly. (We did not see them at all on the ride but did see them at the park afterwards -- hopefully next time we'll be able to all ride together.) The remaining Bs and CCs rode together from Mount St Mary's to Roddy Rd, and then split up again for the last part of the ride but all finished within a few minutes of each other.
Overall it was a lovely day and a great bike ride with much pleasant conversation. Many thanks to everyone who joined us! Special thanks to Pat for helping out with communications with the two lagging members of our group, and apologies to Harry for not realizing that he was waiting to photograph us on the other side of the Roddy Rd Bridge!