Ride leader: Debby Bowman
Members: Steve Palincsar
Apologies: to anyone who would have joined us at the rescheduled time if I had only been organized enough to give more notice. I owe you one!
Route: I had three options ready: the hoped-for 51 miles with the ride up to Harwood at the end, a 45-mile version that skipped Harwood, and a 40-miler that took the shortest route back after the second rest stop. We ended up (mostly) doing the 45-miler: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28480967. It was a counter-clockwise loop. After a brief ride on the other side of Route 4 we headed east on Bay Front Rd and south on McKendree-Jewell-Wilson, then south again on Old Solomons Island Rd and the shoulder on Route 2. From there we went east on Dalrymple and Old Bayside and up Bayside through Chesapeake Beach and North Beach. The final stint was up Friendship, Fairhaven, Town Point, Leitch and Franklin Gibson, then west on Bay Front with a brief diversion on Brooks Woods and Little Rds. With gray skies looming and thunder and lightening in the distance, we then went off-cue and took the shortest route back to the start on Southern Maryland Blvd. Total miles = 44.
Mishaps and mechanicals: A flat tire discovered as we were about to leave the Chesapeake Market, and my bike's mystery noise is back.
Average speed: somewhere between 12 and 13 mph. A true CC ride with no segments or KOMs.
Weather: Crazy! There was a big blob of heavy rain in Virginia on the radar at 5 am and it seemed destined to arrive in southern Maryland around the original start time of 8:30. So I canceled the ride. As time passed the Big Blob of Rain (BBoR) was in PG County but was smaller and more blue and green (lighter rain) than the reds and yellows seen earlier. I decided to take a chance, un-cancel the ride and start it at 10:00. Steve saw my email and called to say he'd be there. We drove to Waysons Corner under mostly gray skies and felt a brief spritz of rain as we rolled out, which was all that remained of the BBoR. It moved so slowly that we rode through it again a few miles into the ride, but as we turned south we left it behind. After that the sky cleared to blue and we had sunshine for almost the entire ride. It was warm and humid, but actually not uncomfortable and overall a beautiful summer day! Until we were riding up Brooks Woods Rd and noticed a storm to the west. A few sprinkles fell as we reached the park and ride and loaded up the cars, but the heavier rain stayed just to our north until after 4 pm (as I was finishing a sandwich at Subway). We were very lucky!!
Report: We saw several other cyclists out on the roads today. There was car traffic on the main roads where we had shoulders to ride on but most of the route was pretty quiet. The beach and boardwalk in North Beach were surprisingly empty -- where was everyone? Fairhaven Rd smelled of honeysuckles. The crape myrtles are still in bloom, with vibrant reds and pinks. We weren't sure if there was a public restroom at the 7-11 on Dalrymple, and were pleased to find one there. We checked the weather whenever we stopped and at the Chesapeake Market noted a new BBoR over Waldorf, which we hoped did not ruin Linda's ride.
Thanks to Steve for joining me today for our lucky ride! I will schedule it (or something similar) again soon and hope for no more BBoRs.