Read part 1 here…
I woke up somewhere between 3 and 4 with the chills. Looked at the thermometer and it was about 55° in the tent. I got inside my bag instead of laying on top of it and all was well. Next thing I knew it was 5:45 and the sun was out. Eh, why not roll over and go back to sleep for a little bit. Next thing I knew it was 6:45. At that point I decided the day could begin. I made quick work of breaking camp and was ready to hit the road a little after 8. Aside from a little stirring in the campsite next to mine no one else in the entire park appeared to be awake. The first few miles of riding were busy traffic. The shoulder was fairly large on the first part of 216 and I backtracked on small roads again at Lakeview/Smoketown. For some reason my randomly chosen route shuttled me onto 216 instead of Stone Church when I got to the intersection with the railroad tracks from yesterday. Even though the second leg on main routes 216 & 851 was kind of annoying with the weekday traffic I was glad I did it because I got a nice new view along W. Sieling Rd. This must be a popular route for cyclists and I imagine RWGPS is harvesting its data on popular roads to choose better routes for us when creating new rides.
Not 2 miles after that photo I was in New Freedom for my breakfast stop followed by the easiest riding for the day downhill on the trail. A cup of coffee does wonders to boost my spirits.
Once on the road again, the Etrex got confused about location from the out/back nature of the route. I tried recalculating a half dozen times and it still kept telling me I was getting further and further away from my next turning point. 3.4 miles, 3.5 miles, grrrrr. Even though I wasn’t in uncharted territory it was still frustrating to not have a confirmation and it removed my ability to estimate my progress. My legs were still in pretty good shape but I was getting a little worn down by my 3rd day of constantly being on the go (remember Saturday?). I kept an eye on the track and hung in there. The hills were a little tougher this time around and a headwind of about 10mph was building from the southeast. Still positive, but dragging a bit. Where was I? mile 75? 80? eh, about 25 or 30 to go. I can do that standing on my head.
Closer to home on Houcks Mill Rd. I gave up on the s240 route and set my unit to my 152/23 ramble path which was still programmed in. That did the trick and I was happier having a good estimate on how far I needed to ride. All was well until I got to Schuster Rd. south of Jarretsville and felt the back end start to get squirrelly from a sudden loss of tire pressure. #$@% again. I found a shady tree and started peeling the tire off the rim after checking in with home again. Even though I should know better than to try and patch tubes by the side of the road now I sat there for 20 minutes pumping and holding it to my ear while cars drove past and made it impossible to listen for the leak. For a second I thought I had it next to a previous patch which made it all the more frustrating. I finally gave up and grabbed my fresh tube again. The flat tire stop kind of put me in a bad mood and I was ‘done for’ from that point on. I skipped my back-roads-low-traffic diversion on Furnace because I couldn’t hack the thought of extra unnecessary hills thinking to myself “if traffic is busy on the main streets they’ll just have to wait for me.” All was ok and it wasn’t too bad. The wide shoulder on 23 was still a relief and with just the headwind left to fight I chipped away at the last 10 or 15 miles cross-county and through downtown Bel Air a little tired but not quite as annoyed at the world as I was trying to patch the tube. I stopped at Sonic again for lunch and by the time I was finished I felt rested enough to want to turn around and do it again. Not quite. An unintelligible decision to wear briefs under my riding shorts on day 1 had left me raw ‘down there’ and the shower was most definitely calling my name. I have deep respect for the people who go out for weeks or months at a time and ride across the country but that life is not for me. 2-4 days tops and I want a hot shower and fresh clothes. I put my tent up to dry out on the deck, hit the shower and that was that. Nice trip but I was glad to be back. I kind of rushed myself unnecessarily because I was feeling a little weak and didn’t want to get caught out at 5pm on Monday still trying to ride home. If I knew then what I know now I would have stayed a bit later and enjoyed the park and trail for 2 or 3 hours. The route was great and I’ve got this one dialed in for my new area code pretty well. Next time I’m going to run slightly wider tires, take a few of those back-roads diversions and have a little more fun exploring.
Distance: 104mi | time: 8:38moving | mv avg: 12.4 | ov avg: 10.6 | elev: 6204′
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