Best of Brandywine: Trumps Hill & Patuxent River Park
Leader: Steve Palincsar
A foggy morning and overcast, low 60s at 10:30 but clearing and becoming a glorious sunny day in the mid-70s by noon. As gray as the morning was, I thought the 18 cue sheets I printed for the day would be far too many, but there were already cars at the fire station when I arrived at 10:00, and they just kept on coming: 21 all told.
Among those present were: Randy Schoch, Jim McDermott, Grant Bagley, Craig Turner, Darryl Lowery, Joan Oppel, Tom Roberson, Alan Kurzweil, Jane and Jim Hudnall, Barry Winkleman, Richard Harrington, Dave VanAmayden, Mike Bivens, Sharon Miller, Tom Short, Sam Perry, John Early (who joined us at Patuxent River Park), Kelly Bilak (visiting from Atlanta, GA) and one other whose name became a blurred water color when my water bottle leaked on the sign-up sheet on the way home. (And one other, who arrived without cycling shoes and went home without riding. Don't you hate it when that happens?)
A big group, and fast, too. I lost sight of the main group on North Keys three miles into the ride, didn't see them again until I arrived at Jug Bay. Turning left off Duval onto Croom Airport en route to Park Entrance Road I met Tom Short, who had been in the lead group, heading back home; if he'd gone all the way down to the rest stop, the leaders must have been at least 10 minutes ahead. Those at back of the pack arriving with me were averaging 15.6 mph at the time, putting the leaders up over 18.
The route was just under 39 miles long: down North Keys, back on Cross Road Trail to 301and Old Indian back to 301, down Trumps Hill to Croom up to the Mount Calvert Spur and down Mount Calvert and Duvall to a rest stop at Jug Bay, then back on Croom Airport and Croom to a second rest stop at the Nottingham store.
The last part of the route featured a 6 mile loop down Candy Hill to Nottingham, Tanyard, Brooks Church and Croom back to Candy Hill (that some skipped), returning on Molly Berry and North Keys. 39 miles, 2172' of climbing, and 14.2 mph at the back of the pack.
Photos are now up on Facebook