Ride leader: Steve Palincsar
Members: Pat Sanders, Mary Scala, Alan Kurzweil
Weather: Sunny, clear skies, breezy (~10 mph winds) 63 at the start rising to high 70s, almost 80 by mid-afternoon.
Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34389536 for the 37 mi route (which Alan did); https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34394042 for the 32 mi route, which the rest of us did. 1278' elevation gain on the 32mi route, 1662 on the 37 mi route.
Mishaps and mechanicals: none
AMS: just under 11 at the back.
Today's ride was a journey of exploration. It's been over 2 years since I was last on Surratts heading for Cosca Park, and that ride ended for me with a malfunctioning front derailleur that led me to turn back well short of the Rt 5 crossing, and for the past couple of years the road work at the Brandywine/Accokeek/MD-5 intersection has made riding there impossible. Today, after leaving Cosca Park and descending Thrift Hill, we planned to take Floral Park to Piscataway, swing around the steep ridge just south of Floral Park to the east, ride through The Preserve to Danville and then avoid the bridge work on Accokeek by taking McKendree to the WaWa for a second rest stop.
There were four of us, and we quickly broke into two groups: the Two Fast (Pat and Alan) and the Too Slow (Mary and me). The Two Fast flew through the single-lane tree work zone on Surratts, but we Too Slow not only got caught at the back of a long line of traffic, but also we were met by oncoming cars before we had cleared the work zone. It's always great when you get to use a classic movie quote; today's, from Cool Hand Luke: "What we have here is a failure to communicate." I kind of enjoyed yelling at that flag man, too.
We saw the Two Fast in Cosca at the tail end of their break, and stayed after they left. After the descent of Thrift Hill, we enjoyed the perfect pavement on Floral Park (how strange to be able to say that, after decades of complains about poor patching that was worse than the plethora of potholes). On our way through The Preserve we encountered Mike Saizan out riding. He stayed with us almost all the way up Danville, turning around just before it joins up with Accokeek Rd.
Some concern had been expressed about McKendree possibly being heavily trafficked because of the detour at the bridge on Accokeek, but the few vehicles we saw all were well behaved.
After the break at the WaWa we crossed onto Cedarville. Concern had been expressed about dump truck traffic on Cedarville -- in the past famous for narrow roadways and badly potholed pavement -- but we were pleasantly surprised to discover smooth new pavement from 301 all the way past Dent Rd, and even more pleased to see they'd extended the paved portion onto the shoulder well past the right side line, leaving enough room to make it possible to not have to ride in the actual roadway at all. As expected, there were many dump trucks (there is after all a sand and gravel mine between Dent and Ashbox) but most were going in the opposite direction and all were being driven courteously, passing us with plenty of clearance.