"Seasonal" weather returned, bringing sunny skies, temperatures in the 60s, March winds somewhere between "breezy" and "$#@!*&" depending on which direction we were riding, with tree pollen at record levels. In other words, a beautiful late March day!
In the group were Larry Peed, Patricia Sanders, Richard Harrington, Grant Bagley, Jay Lewis, Mike Bivens, Jeff Brady, Jim McDermott, Sharon Miller, Alan Kurzweil, Dave VanAmayden, Ken Meredith, Ken Williams, Sam Perry, Erica Kane and guest Matthew Huch, while John Early made a cameo appearance as his route doing errands overlapped with ours on Surratts and Thrift roads.
The route today was another variation on Surratts backwards to Cosca Park: down North Keys and Martin, up Van Brady, across 301 and Surratts across Rt 5 (where Jay headed back, on the Rt 5 shoulder) to Brandywine and Thrift (where Dave VanAmayden experienced his flat tire and his flat replacement tube) to a rest stop at Cosca Park.
After the rest stop the route went down Thrift Hill (into a head wind that reduced the speed of the descent by at least 10 mph!) to Floral Park and Danville, where a car fire brought a fire truck and an ambulance blocked traffic for a while; up Danville hill (a genuine hill, that one) to Accokeek and McKendree to a second rest stop at the WaWa.
From there it was a flat, fast trip along Cedarville with the wind at our backs, and a brutal slog into the wind heading back on Brandywine, relieved only by diversions along Gibbons Church, North Keys, Old Indian Head and Tower that cut sideways across the wind.
Averages don't mean much on a ride where you spend a quarter hour waiting for rider with a flat tire and another stuck in a line of traffic waiting for the Fire Department to open up the road, but a B or better was maintained by all.