Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Karen & Stuart Morgan, Sheila Harron, Bill Lowe, Melissa Watson
Weather: Sunny, breezy to windy (12-14 most of the time, higher at Rose Haven), low 40s/feels like 38 at the start rising to 48/feels like 45 or 46 at the end. Guess what, it's still winter - who knew, after the past couple of days' assaults on the record readings almost at 80? Today it was back to winter gear: balaclavas, warm gloves, winter jerseys and tights and booties & shoe covers. It felt a bit chilly getting ready in the parking lot, but a jaunt to the portolet by the tennis court behind the Middle School made it clear that the wind was responsible for the chill. Fortunately, it was behind us at the beginning, and by the time we were riding into it the day had warmed up. In all, a glorious day, and a fine day for riding.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19133405 35 miles, 1465' of elevation gain. We took Flint Hill and Chaneyville Rd to Lower Marlboro (BTW: the Harbor Master's house is still for sale) and from there the "Ghost Bike" route via Briscoe's Turn and Skinner's Turn to Mt Harmony and MD-260. We turned off 260 through a development onto the Chesapeake Railway Trail into Chesapeake Beach and rode to North Beach to a rest stop at Sweet Sue's. Brownies were marvelous as usual, although the sign on the door sent us back to the Welcome Center to use the rest room. Sweet Sue's was sheltered from the wind, and it was very pleasant sitting outside in the sun. By then the day had warmed a good bit.
We fought the wind past Rose Haven and Herrington Harbor, rode past the Bay at Fairhaven, climbed Leitch and then turned left on Franklin Gibson (happily skipping the sharp dip at Trott's Branch) crossed 2 onto Jewell, descended Wilson and climbed back up, then crossed back over 2 and headed south on Old Solomons to a second (unnecessary but pleasant none the less) rest stop at the Shell station at MD-260 (and yes they did let us use the rest room, never mind the "No Public Rest Rooms" signs on the door). We crossed MD-2 onto Grovers Turn, enjoyed the new traffic light that helped us across W Mt Harmony onto Fowler and crossed back across MD-4 and into the school.
Mishaps & mechanicals: none
What a marvelous day for riding! Things have changed at Northern HS: the woods and the parking area we used to use are now a huge building site. There's still plenty of parking, so no need to shift to the Middle School (and there must have been some activity there today, because there were plenty of cars parked in its lot) - at least, not yet. The portolet at the tennis court around behind the Middle School seems to be a year-long permanent fixture, although they moved it a few yards from where it was last fall.