Ride Leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Deb Reynolds, Linda Bankerd, Paul Bankerd, Sarah Clement, Rita Zeidner
(with a little detour that brought the total mileage up to 47.9)
Weather: 52, heavily overcast, damp and chilly with a 10 mph wind making things feel rather cold at the start, but as we started warming up the sky began to clear and by the time we had gone 20 miles the sun had come out, skies brightened and it felt much warmer. It got up to 62 by the end of the ride. Doubtful at the start, became absolutely delightful by the end.
Mishaps & Mechanicals: Just because you got a flat in your back tire yesterday doesn't mean you aren't going to get a flat in your back tire today, even if it's a completely different bike. This time, it was a wire, vs yesterday's thorn. Found and fixed in an even better place than yesterday: on a park bench in Mallows Bay Park. If you've got to have a flat, it's much better to have a great place to fix it, and to have company as well. As they did the day before, the folding reading glasses came to the rescue today. If you can but bring it into focus, a wire sticking out of the middle of your tire tread is easy to see... but if you're farsighted that's easier to say than to see.
You simply can't go wrong riding on Riverside. It's one of the most scenic areas in the whole metro Washington DC area. Today's route was a bit different, taking Gilroy across Rt 6 onto the "unknown" section of Chicamuxen between Riverside and Rt 6, then off Riverside on Sandy Point to Greenleek Hill and 6 to a "water stop" at the Nanjemoy Community Center. It's closed on weekends, but the water spigots are available; as it turned out today, we didn't need them, but it's good to know where they are.
After leaving the Community Center we detoured off the planned route by going right from Liverpool Point on Riverside about 0.4 to the entrance to Mallows Bay Park (gravel road, and there's a big sign). Jim and Jane told me this morning that a portolet had been put up near the park entrance just for cyclists, and we wanted to "check it out". It's exactly where Tim Roland of Charles County told Jim it would be, about 25 yards down past the park entrance "Don't you dare back up because it's going to eat your tires" thing, on the left in the tree line.
We waited a bit for Paul and Linda, but they never came into the park. After a while, we decided to take the gravel road (perfectly ridable, even for 23mm tires, just as Tim Roland said) all the way down to the Bay to check out the Ghost fleet of Mallows Bay
. It was worth the look (even if mostly what I saw had to do with finding and fixing that flat in my back tire). There are two more portolets and some benches down by the park as well. Note to leaders: it's worth adding the diversion to Mallows Bay to your Riverside rides as a way of adding a bathroom stop.
Riverside never disappoints, no matter what the season; neither did Holly Springs. Even Rt 6 and Ironsides looked pretty today. We took a third break in Friendship Landing Park, and this time I found the portolet (other side of the wooden rail fence just at the park entrance sign) unlike the one other time I've been to Friendship Landing. We stayed a while and had snacks, and all agreed that the appearance of Guu is thoroughly revolting and it shouldn't be considered a "foodstuff" at all.
The break at Friendship Landing seemed to refresh us and made the rolling section on Ironsides seem of little consequence (definitely not always the case), a nice warm-up for the delights of Durham Church Road, which was simply thrilling today. The remaining miles flew by, and we arrived at Pisgah just before 3.