Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Patricia Sanders, Chris Roell, Sarah Clement, Walter Measday, Lou Dallorso, Jane & Jim Hudnall, Deb Reynolds
Guests: Hans Hauke
Weather: an amazing spring day. Sunny, breezy, Low 50s at the start, quickly warming up to the 60s and beyond: by the time we finished, it had reached 71 degrees. People go to far away tropical countries to find such weather in February, and all we had to do was go to Brandywine.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/18507578 35.5 miles, just under 1500' of elevation gain. After a little initial noodling around on Gibbons Church and through the neighbourhood between Cheltenham and Dyson Roads, we took a fairly standard route on Old Indian Head, Duley Station, Mt Calvert and Duvall down to the pavilion at Patuxent River Park, where we had a rest stop.
What followed next was anything but "fairly standard" as we took the Critical Area Driving Tour along the Patuxent, stopping to visit the woodland Indian village and climb the observation tower on the bridge, then followed two miles of gravel road to a second rest stop at Merkle. Only 6 miles from the first to the second rest stop, but those six felt about as hard as the first 17...
Leaving Merkle we took Fenno to Nottingham and Tanyard, then took Croom down and back up the big dip at Spice Creek to Bald Eagle School and back on Nelson Perrie to Molly Berry and a final stretch on North Keys -- which basically meant we more than half the elevation gain happening in the final third of the ride.
Mishaps & mechanicals: none
Great news: the portolet is back at North Keys Community Park! Thanks to all those responsible, it was wonderful to have it there today. It's been perhaps 10 years since I was on the CADT, and I couldn't help but wonder what the surface was going to be like. No ruts, no puddles, no muddy spots, no washboard, but lots of . A fair amount of loose over hard; I think most everyone did a certain amount of sliding around, and I wasn't the only one who dismounted and walked a few yards on especially loose rises. Still, everyone made it just fine, including the riders on 23 and 25mm tires.