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March 8 - Best of Brandywine - Croomium Plus

Thu, March 08, 2012 10:30 AM | Stephen Palincsar
March 8 Best of Brandywine: Croomium Plus. Leader: Steve Palincsar. Today the lamb roared. As promised, it was indeed sunny, temperatures getting up to the low 70s, but you'd never have known it except when climbing the "sunken road" section of Molly Berry, out of the wind, when it felt like 90. We had a big group today: Patricia Sanders, Grant Bagley, Mike Bivens, Ken Meredith (on his new custom Titanium Seven - and it really looked like his size, too!) Holly Carr, Alan Kurzweil, Tom Roberson, Richard Harrington, Diane Harris, Thomas Short, Paul and Linda Bankerd, Jane and Jim Hudnall, Sharon Miller, Sam Perry and David VanAmayden -- 18, two more than the number of cue sheets I printed. Normally that's no big deal, given how well most of the Thursday Regulars know the roads around Brandywine, but today it didn't work out for Sharon, who had no cue sheet and lost contact after turning back to the parking lot. She called Jim, who went back, linked up and met us after the break at Magruders. The route included Croom, more Croom, even more Croom, and a few extras for good measure: an initial 13 miles with only 160' of elevation gain and loss of 200', including a stretch on Malcolm riding directly into a 20 mph headwind doing all of 8 mph; followed by the Croom Rollers and Magruders Ferry Rd. with their 14+% grades, some more rollers on Croom, then over Nelson Perrie, up Molly Berry and a loop around Candy Hill and Nottingham to a second rest stop at the Nottingham Store. Normally going north on Croom from Aquasco is "The Hard Way" (14.6% grades do have that effect on you) but today, with 20 mph winds and 40 mph gusts behind us, Croom seemed pretty easy. Not so Magruders Ferry and North Keys, though: gusting, irregular cross winds whirling around in every direction made for very hard work indeed. 38 miles, 1734' of climbing, overall average in the low 13s. Overall summary: "The Seagull, with hills." [Note: photos up on the OHBike Facebook page]

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