Despite it being tax season, the Sunday calendar was kept clear for my only ‘can’t miss’ April event — The Rando Ramble. The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer. Hopefully my schedule will improve so I start riding more than one ride a month, but what a ride it was!
Stepping out at about 6:15am there was cool temps and a mist in the air. I fired up the gps and rode past the coffee shop where local pre-ride meetings occasionally occur. The lights were on, but no one was home so I kept moving. Next stretch was straight out to the start up Charles Street through Timonium’s finest commercial and industrial district. Worried I would be late I ended up arriving 40 minutes early and almost rolled out to get a head start on the group when our newest rambler Brian pulled in the parking lot. While chatting, half an hour passed and the rest of the group arrived. I went across the street for a bagel and coffee with some of the guys and we even endured a sales pitch from the ambitious owner of a spin cycle studio on the other end of the shopping complex.
By then it was ‘about that time’, and we started up the trail. I remember years ago when you would go out on an April morning and there wasn’t a soul in sight. Nowadays the NCR is a real hotspot for runners and my trail bell got a good workout. Glad to see so many people getting out!
This month I ditched my favorite camera for my cheapest one so I’d bring it out of the bag and snap a shot or 2. Great decision as I actually have pictures this month. A little fuzzy, but better than nothing…
The roads were just wet enough to make me think twice about bombing down descents like I normally do. When Dave & I reconnected with the trail at Dairy Rd. We saw Brian for the last time as he was prepping to turn back towards town. It was good to meet you and we hope to see you on another ride soon!
If you’re in York, go to Genova’s for lunch. A full plate of food laughs and challenges me to finish it, but it picked the wrong day to mess with me. In retrospect, ordering a pound of cheese followed by a pound of ham followed by a pound of dough was probably not the best choice. Mid-lunch I treated everyone to the ‘charley-horse-dance’ I do when my legs lock up from riding for 6 hours then sitting still too long…
Déjà Vu. New Freedom Rutters again…
The route as cued was a slackers dream come true. At any point along the way you could bail on a road section and catch up with the rest of the group down the pike. I resisted temptation until the second-to-last trail diversion. The final on-road section north of the Maryland line kicked me around a bit and it was followed by that monotonous 5 mile 1% uphill grade from Glen Rock to New Freedom. All I could think of after that was the fact that it was after 4:30 and I was still 1 state over (a major conceptual leap for me). The rest of the group veered off the trail at Mt. Zion road and I just kept rolling. Given the option of moving in a flat-to-downhill straight line of crushed limestone or a hilly piece of well-manicured asphalt, the Trucker and I mutually agreed to option A. Pulling in to Monkton I had time to pace around for 3 minutes before the leaders showed up. We bumped into Dan Artley and some others from BBC while regrouping. He was taking his BEAUTIFUL new Bishop Bicycles custom for a spin. A great looking bike with a fantastic mix of retro and NOS parts… Way to buy local!
While hanging out at Monkton I was on the fence about the last section. On one hand I felt good and it was only a few miles, but on the other I was thinking about how I was going to get from the ride finish to home (and how long it would take as the sun was already hanging low). In the end I took a peek at the hill and made a snap judgment to keep moving down the trail. Good call for me. I literally coasted back into Baltimore on fumes after climbing the hill on Charles Street and saved myself the humiliation of waiting for the light rail to shuttle me home. Dave offered to host us for a few beers at his place, and I was loath to decline, but it was way too late for me. Having to be at work the next day sucks some times.
Numbers: 10:48’ | miles – 127.25 | average – 12.4 | elev gain – 5999′
(miles/time/avg from the cateye, elev from etrex)
garmin connect part 1 | garmin connect part 2 | garmin connect part 3
The more I experiment with Garmin the more I learn to take it with a grain of salt. Fiddling with trackpoints in files and turning elevation corrections on/off can move elevation totals one way or the other by more than 1k. The unit showed 5352′ when I got home, and the sum of 3 segments imported to Garmin Connect with ‘elevation corrections off’ was 5999. Go figure. The out and back multiple figure-eight style of the route was enough to confuse the routing more than once, but I got the hang of fiddling the unit back on track. My cuesheet mentality was developing nicely before I dashed it on the rocks of technology. It’s still good info to have and well worth the $$ — especially when it comes time to remember the details of a ride for a write-up 2 days later and I have a ‘crumb trail’.
Final Word: I bailed on 2 sections but don’t feel too disappointed about it. 127 miles is my longest ride to date by a few and my first 200 (Although I still have to finish one as cued in an official 13h 30min timeframe. Conversation was too good to rush the day and not have fun). Thanks to Bob for coordinating a great route and the rest of the group for a great ride!