Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Bike Ride to the Bay

Today was a perfect fall day:  bright, sunny and in the seventies.  Michael and I drove out to Northern High School in Owings, Maryland for a long ride.  From the high school, we rode generally northeast on winding backroads to the Chesapeake Bay. We passed yellowing tobacco and soybean fields and the leaves are just starting to turn.  We reached the Bay at 10 miles, where took a break and enjoyed the breeze and sunshine.

Our route followed the shoreline north for the next several miles, taking us around Holland Point.  Every now and then we passed wetlands with Great Blue Herons and Egrets.  Then we turned inland for a while and encountered a few surprisingly good climbs.  My idea of the area was completely flat, which turned out to pretty wrong.  I am not complaining; I love a good climb.  Every now and then, we got a good view of the bay from the top of the ridge, too.

We did 38 miles in total.  One of the challenges of riding in a new area with a cue sheet found on the internet is not knowing local traffic patterns or road conditions (Ideally, one would scout them with a car first, but, well, yeah, that doesn't happen).  A friend and I did a ride last year with a cue sheet that must have been written twenty years ago.  Several of the roads had been "improved" to the point that they were breathtakingly dangerous for cyclists.  Unfortunately, that cue sheet still lives on the internet.  Fortunately, today's ride had none of those problems.  The roads had little traffic, most of which was polite, and the roads were in great shape.

In other news, I'm having trouble with an old injury in one of my feet, which has made hiking long distances problematic for the moment.  Except for an upcoming weekend with Old Rag Mountain Stewards, I am going to be posting more about cycling for a little bit while it recovers.  

Pictures (click to enlarge):
 Sailboats on the Chesapeake Bay.
 An old tractor in a field.
 Aster sp. along a roadside.
The best roads always are...

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