Sunday was the big ramble day for me. Normally I carve some time out that evening and the next day to get all my thoughts down on paper, but this month it got away from me. Writing prose is not my forte so I’m resorting to outline form for some of it. Apologies–my brain can’t connect the dots. I’ll try harder next month.
- Up at 5am
- Out the door at 6
- In Baltimore and on the bike by 6:45. I was a few minutes early so I did a little 5 mile loop around my old neighborhood. Still looks the same.
- Met up at the common ground a little after 7. I brought an Apple Chocolate Chip muffin only to find out that it weighed about 8lbs upon having it passed to me. Didn’t stop me from eating it all.
- Conversation was good and we lost track of time which necessitated a brisk ride to the start down Falls Rd. Still made it by 8.
- Started out at the regular time + 15 minutes or so… Looked like a small group until we realized that there was a second pack of riders congregating on the opposite side of the monument. Dave #1 was counting off for the official tally–60… 70… Not sure if it was a record-breaker but it was a bunch. The group started to move somewhere between 8:20 and 8:30.
- Just as the herd was thinning out on the south side, Dave and I saw the renegade whose responsible for all the insanely useful trail markings downtown. Dave says “hey, that’s so cool, let’s stop and get his photo”, so we did. You would think something that well maintained was kept track of by a government organization with tons of resources, but nope, it’s just one cool guy. Thanks for making the trails easy to navigate.
- Intersected with Charlie and rode with him for a few miles in the beginning. Awesome to see you back on the bike!dave #1, charlie, newcomer ??? and mike ready to go after first rest stop.
- Dave and I did our usual sweep thing just like olden times. We encountered Mike, and Monica with a broken chain off Jessup Rd. I had a universal 9 speed master link in my fix kit, we got them back on the road and they joined us too. Good times!
And then there were 7…
- Chugging along at the regular sweepy pace of 11 or 12 m/h. It’s amazing how even when not pushing hard I start to get tired after 5 hours in the saddle. By the time we could see the Capitol Dome I was ready to not be on the bike. We found out when we got downtown that the couple we were riding with was staying in D.C. and not riding back so we said CYA and broke for lunch.
That was the morning–and about an hour of the afternoon. We skipped on the monument as we’d all seen it a dozen times before by bike and headed straight for the Dubliner. I was following dave because I had no idea where it was and he was weaving through traffic at the circle in front of Union Station like a fixie messenger for real. It was all I could do to maintain visual. Once there, I looked at the menu for 10 minutes and landed on a burger for lunch as all the sandwiches looked equally heavy and I certainly wasn’t in the mood for a full-on entree or salad. It was pretty good going down, but I was regretting my decision from mile 60 on. Let’s just say 1/3 pound of protein and fat doesn’t really digest as quickly as you need it when you’re on the bike. I skipped on the beer because I’ve been having problems with hydration lately.
untangling the bike pile after lunch
We resolved to make up some lost time and being the slowest member left I put the camera and other frivolities away to concentrate fully on riding. It was kind of hilarious for me because all morning long I wanted to sprint out of the gate but after lunch and sitting for an hour straight I just wanted to take a nap. The wind that was clipping us from the southwest in the morning curled around while we were at the pub to clip us a little harder from the north. But by the grace of God I made it to the rest stop and sat with my water and ice cream cone for 10 minutes.
After a few we all were ready to go again. Bob, Dave, P.J., Mike, Monica, and myself formed a group and rode the next leg together. Bob, Dave, and P.J. were moving a little quicker and started to break away. Knowing that Mike and Monica were headed towards west Baltimore, I resolved to pace the lead group as best as I could and managed to keep them in sight for a scant 3 miles until I missed the light at Jessup Rd. I waited 1 cycle before I realized I wasn’t triggering the sensor on the green. 1 right turn and 1 u-turn later I made a second resolution to just pedal by myself as best I could. The next 10 miles wasn’t strava-worthy, but I can live with it…
|Selection Distance:||9.8 mi|
|Selection Moving Time:||00:34:15|
|Max Speed:||31.7 mph|
|Avg. Speed:||17.1 mph|
Not bad for me after 76 miles. I got to the intersection of Hammonds Ferry Road and they were waiting for me at the gas station. P.J. told me they were only there for about 3 minutes or so and decided it would be more fun to get back to the Monument as a group. Plans were made for a drink after the ride, Bob had an o.j. and we hit the road. I was doing just fine keeping up on the flats and downhills but the little uphills were killing me and I confess to safely blowing one empty light to keep up. Dave needed to stop for a second off the GF Trail. Bob and P.J. soft pedaled ahead and I stopped on the bridge to snap a picture or 3 of the water and the overpasses.
Not 1 minute after I took that photo the end of the ride went to hell. We came out of the trail onto Warner. Construction has pushed the bike lanes out several feet into a section of the road with some diagonal rail tracks. Dave was in the lead, clipped the rail and went down hard. I was crossing rail one behind him and was just barely able to stop and unclip without falling on top of him. Not 5 seconds later Cathy(?), who I’d talked to for a few minutes at the start turned the corner, saw us and went down too–luckily not as bad. We got Dave’s first aid kit open to fix him up and quickly came to the realization that an ambulance was in order. Cathy made the call and with the situation under control after a few minutes bid farewell. Bob and P.J. backtracked to find us hanging out by the concrete barrier waiting for the medics. While sitting there a kid came by on a scooter and asked us for directions to the harbor. To add to the incredulousness of the situation we watched as he wiped out on the exact same rail as he was pulling away. Thankfully he was unscathed as well. I was starting to feel like riders were going to pile up curbside waiting for ambulances after watching the 3rd fall in 5 minutes. The group who came through while we were waiting for the ambulance probably wondered why we were all shouting at the top of our lungs to pay attention to the rails. 15 minutes passed and we made a second call since we heard sirens a while back and were worried they were lost. 10 minutes after that they showed up and 20 minutes after that they were ready to take him to the hospital. We locked his bike up in a hidden location, rode back to Hampden and drove back with Bob to retrieve his bike. Good news is he’s ok aside from 16 stitches but it really sucks that they can spend a fortune on a stupid casino but they can’t make the roads even marginally safe. By 8:30 I was ready to be home and to forget about it all.
Stats were all mangled by the events of the day and uninteresting in retrospect.
All photos for the day here
Hope to see you all again next month.