Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Patricia Sanders, Pat Walthers, Ron Altemus, Joan Oppel, Darrell Meyer, Tom Short and joining us from Accokeek, Sam Perry
Weather: Sunny, windy (gusts up to almost 25 mph and constant winds around 20), high 30s at the ride start rising up to around 48 by early afternoon.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/26949519 38 miles, 1400' of elevation gain -- but a lot of that elevation gain was riding directly into the wind, and that's got to count for something. This route was an interesting wrinkle on the journey to and from Fort Washington, taking many of the well-established routes backwards and venturing into almost never seen territory.
Mishaps and Mechanicals: Crossing MD-210 at Old Fort I noticed my back tire was getting soft. We stopped at the church just west of the intersection, a fine place away from the noise of Indian Head Highway that we've used before to fix flats en route to Fort Washington. I couldn't find an embedded sharp today, no more than I could find one on March 3, but when I got home I found the leak to be in the exact same place as the one on the 3rd so whatever it is, it's still in there.
As Fisk adverts used to say back a hundred years ago,
it's obviously time to re-tire.
AMS: 11.4 and we earned every bit of it.
We lost a weekend day and Tuesday's forecast threatens rain (or even snow) so I posted a Bryans Road ride for Monday. Some riders even showed up for a 10:00 am departure, although I listed it for 10:30 hoping for a little local warming. We could have used it, because even at 10:30 riding into the wind on Marshall Hall Road it was nippy and even wind-chill skeptics were riding their brakes on the big downhill before Barrys Hill Rd to keep the frostbite away. For some reason, by the time we climbed Barrys Hill we were a lot warmer -- and pleasantly surprised to find Sam Perry riding towards us to join the group, having started from Accokeek Firehouse.
The route went down Farmington, across Indian Head Highway and up Livingston to Piscataway, then left on Gallahan. According to RWGPS, that 160' climb on Gallahan gets up to around 8.5% but riding into 25 mph headwinds made it seem a lot steeper and much higher as well.
We crossed 210, fixed my flat (thanks, Joan!) and took Old Fort to a rest stop at Fort Washington.
Leaving the fort, we turned right on Asbury and took Tantallon, Lira and Lampton through the neighborhoods back to Old Fort just before the church we'd stopped at before. There's a fair amount of climbing on Tantallon and Lira but everyone thought it was much better than climbing Livingston after crossing 210 at Swan Creek. Crossing 210, we took the "Taylor Avenue Bypass" through the neighborhoods down to Livingston; in this direction, the 12% grade is a descent, but there are still a couple of challenging little climbs on Taylor before you get to Livingston Road.
We wound our way through The Preserve onto Danville and found that virtually all of it except for the roughly mile and a half before Accokeek Road has now been repaved. The map shows a couple of new roads through The Preserve, Lusby Ridge and Gardner cutting the corner between Danville and Accokeek Roads, but on today's satellite imagery it looks like dirt to possibly not even there yet, although when you ride by Lusby Ridge the entrance to the development is clearly paved. Someday we'll have to explore it: cutting miles off Accokeek Road's generally a good thing.
We stopped at Accokeek East Community Park for a rest. No portolets (it's well known to parks departments everywhere that no one needs a portolet in the winter time) but we made do and enjoyed the break from the traffic and the wind, then finished the ride following an abbreviated version of the Tour d'Accokeek route.
It was a challenging day, but an excellent ride. Everyone enjoyed the route, too. Going this way substitutes a hard climb for a thrilling descent on Gallahan, but the change of perspective more than makes up for it.