Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Tom Short, Jim & Jane Hudnall, Joan Oppel, Tom Roberts, Linda Bankerd
Weather: initially, cool and cloudy -- very low 60s and heavily overcast -- with roads that had only just dried from early morning rain and fog, brightening to what the old photo film exposure guides used to call "Cloudy Bright" and warming, until by early afternoon we had bright sun, blue skies, no clouds at all and 80 degree temperatures. Pretty much what was predicted, except for the 80: it wasn't supposed to get nearly that warm.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/13453011 41 miles and 1800' of elevation gain, some of which was distinctly challenging. Starting at the Accokeek Firehouse, we headed east on Accokeek Rd, then took Livingston down past Accokeek Academy.
We turned off Livingston at Taylor Ave., trading the traffic and constrained riding space on Livingston Rd. for low-traffic suburban residential streets and at least one serious climb (about 1/4 mile long, 200' elevation gain and a grade over 12%) that had us removing a sweat-soaked layer at the top. After a tour through the neighborhood (punctuated by a driver who abruptly backed out of his driveway nearly running into me -- thanks for warning, guys!!!) we crossed Indian Head Highway only to find Linda had a flat, reported on below.
After the flat was fixed we headed into Fort Washington, first visiting the Lighthouse (for the view and for the climb back up) then taking a break at the Visitors Center. We left the Fort and replicated a bit of the old Tour de Tantallon route with a diversion on streets east of Fort Washington Rd, then crossed 210 and climbed Livingston and headed north on Old Fort, taking Allentown and Steed opposite to the "usual" direction to a lunch stop at Miller Farms.
After that break we went down Thrift Hill and took Floral Park to Old Piscataway and a direct way through The Preserve to Danville. Tom was in a hurry to get home to cut his grass, so he elected to go straight up Danville instead, shortening the ride by a mile and a half at the cost of that well known and little loved climb up Danville. The rest of the route was straight back, with a couple of us taking a brief portolet break at Accokeek East Community Park.
Mishaps & Mechanicals: Linda Bankerd had a flat tire just at the crossing of Indian Head Highway at Old Fort Rd. Joan with her usual aplomb took charge of the situation and soon disposed of the problem.
AMS: low 12s for me, higher for everyone else (as you'd expect, considering the riders). Although they were obviously faster, the group did a great job staying together, regrouping as necessary.
In all, an excellent day for a bike ride and a surprisingly nice break in what looks to be an extended siege of dismal weather.
Jim took photos.