Leader: Brad Francisco
Members: Lynne Blake-Hedges, Blake Altman, Steve Koegle, Rob Smith (joined in route - per prior plan)
Guests: Rob Golding, Jill Patterson
Route: White Marsh - Sotterley (with modifications - see report)
Weather: Upper 30's and sunny at the start. Lower 40's and gloomy by the end. Freshening headwinds going to the rest stop @ McKays. Rain looked like it might begin at 1pm, but looked like it wouldn't amount to much (about 1/2 mm).
AMS: 19.1 mph for the leader, everyone else a bit faster
Report: Lynne rode the 20 miles to the start. Wasn't feeling like even doing the shortest short version of the route (30 miles) that I had put together in case the ride needed extreme shortening.
I had three versions of the ride prepared (54.4, 45, and 30 miles). We decided to do the longer (original route), but at the rest stop decided to switch to the 45. Jill has a race tomorrow and frankly Rob G, Jill, and Steve were killing us.
The shortened route removed the loop past Sotterley and the Sandgates loop. It also kept us on the rail trail longer to remove the ride along Lockes Crossing Rd and a busy section of Thompson Corner Rd.
The ride: The ride leader needs to get his eyes checked, or wear his glasses. He/me thought one road at the beginning was another resulting in confusion that got sorted out quickly. Lynne turned off and headed for home when we got to Trinity Church Rd. Then we got sprinkled with something (rain/snow/sleet or combination thereof). That didn't last long. Then this quite large group of Pax Velo riders went by going in the other direction, more on them later.
Everyone took turns at the front of our group. Steve and Rob appeared to be having trouble containing their energy, but they would slow down and let us ride with them eventually.
We had an uneventful trip to the rest stop. We decided to streamline the route on the way back using my 45 mile alternate route. We were not crazy about all the miles that we would be on the rail trail, but it worked out great since there was hardly anyone using it.
Our rest stop was a short social event and then we went of looking for Rob Smith. We didn't have to look long. As soon as we pulled out of the parking lot here comes the Pax Velo contingent and Rob S. pealed off to join us. They had caught him heading south and he joined them for a good number of miles.
A lot of chatting and catching up as we had not seen Rob S. in quite some time. On Rt. 235 a passing pickup was pulling a trailer that was dropping pennies - they hurt!
The basically unused rail trail was taken advantage of. We chatted as we rode leisurely along it two abreast.
A great ride with strong riders. We finished with the same number of riders that we started with. Maybe next time we will finish with the same riders that we started with!
Rob S. earned a few PR's on Strava. It is great to see that he is recovering from his shoulder surgeries.
Jill had a slew of QOM's and she was taking it easy today. For the Strava segments that she didn't QOM, she was in the women's all time top ten for all but two.
Rob G. only earned one top ten trophy and one PR. But then his name is on a large number of the segments in the top ten already.
As to the threatening rain. Yes, it did start at 1pm. It splattered the windshield of my car shortly after I left the ride start heading for home. Not enough to need the windshield wipers. But it might have been enough to cause Rt 231 to be closed heading back to my house in Calvert County. I had to U-turn and return home by way of California (Maryland).