Dear Friends,

As noted in early August, this Saturday and Sunday we're resurrecting Jim Kuehn's EPIC "Ain't No Breeze to Breezewood" overnighter. We're scheduling an easy "recovery" ride from Thurmont for Monday (Labor Day). If you're not able to join us for the overnighter, feel free to come out and beat up on us on Monday. Info and description of Monday's ride is way down at the bottom of this long email. Sorry for the wordiness, but there's a lot of information. Please read it carefully if you're planning to ride to Breezewood with us.

"AIN'T NO BREEZE TO BREEZEWOOD," starting from Williamsport High School in Williamsport, Maryland. **MEETING TIME 7:30 A.M.**

We have 12 riders signed up for the 2-day ride to Breezewood, PA and back. If you haven't advised me that you intend to participate but would like to do so, please let me know right away, as I need a headcount ASAP. Unlike our typical weekend rides where you just show up unannounced and I distribute cue sheets and maps indiscriminately, for this ride I am only planning to have enough cue sheets and maps for those who have notified me in advance. Having said that, we would be delighted if you can join us for this 2-day bicycling adventure. Jim first led the ride for PPTC way back in 1993, so that qualifies it as an antique. We've been doing it every other year or so since then, and it remains on our list of top 10 favorite rides! We'll spend Saturday night at the Best Western in Breezewood, PA and return to Williamsport on Sunday. Both days feature an extravaganza of challenging climbs, delicious descents, and fabulous views.

Although my previous notice indicated that the ride would be completely unsupported, Kathy Dean has volunteered to transport our overnight gear to the Best Western in Breezewood (and back to Williamsport on Sunday). But to take advantage of this perk you must let me know in advance that you're coming and be at the ride start in Williamsport before we depart Saturday morning. And please pack lightly! Also, if you're staying somewhere other than the Best Western, note that Kathy will not be carting gear all over Breezewood. You can pick up your bag at the Best Western and carry it to your choice of lodging, and you'll be responsible for bringing it back to the Best Western Sunday morning before you leave.

Saturday's ride to Breezewood, starting from Williamsport, was designed by Jim Kuehn and is a MASTERPIECE! Heading west out of Williamsport, we pass Fort Frederick and then ride through the hilly and very scenic Indian Springs Wildlife Management Area. Next, after a particularly gnarly and notorious climb on Dyer Road, we'll swoop down into Hancock for a well-earned rest stop. The climbing resumes as we head north into Pennsylvania, and we'll tackle the first MAJOR climb over Town Hill before lunch. A long, fast descent into Crystal Spring follows, where we'll have lunch at the Cornerstone Café. After lunch, a few miles on Pleasant Valley Road will lead us to the next major climb over Sideling Hill. And no rest for the weary, as Kimber Mountain follows soon thereafter. After Kimber Mountain, a very long and luscious 6-mile descent takes us down into Hopewell, where we'll sit a spell at Linda's Little General Store. Then the terrain merely rolls for a few miles before our last major climb on Bunker Hill Rd, followed by a series of what Jim lovingly refers to as "little annoyances" on the way into Breezewood. Fact is it ain't over til it's over. 103 miles, with close to 10,000 feet elevation gain. There is a 10-mile optional shortcut on the way to Hancock (via the Western Maryland Rail Trail) that omits several nasty climbs. And leaving Town Hill there's a humongous optional shortcut that yields a 66-mile ride (or 56 if you take the rail trail to Hancock). But you'll be missing the best of it if you take these shortcuts.

Sunday's ride back to Williamsport is yet another scenic torture-fest. We'll ride through the historic Jackson Mills Covered Bridge soon after leaving Breezewood. A very steep short climb follows immediately, but the first real eye-opener is the climb over McKee's Gap at mile 17. Another climb over Sideling Hill will take us down into Warfordsburg for a rest stop. Several noticeable ups and downs follow as we work our way up to Pleasant Ridge and eventually climb over Scrub Ridge before descending into McConnellsburg for lunch. There will still be plenty of climbing after lunch, but it will be somewhat less intense. And those who have done this ride in the past will probably be relieved to learn that we've replaced the painful grind over Hanging Rock Road with the kinder and gentler climb over Fairview Mountain on US40. If this modification offends you, Hanging Rock is still there and you know the way. 102 miles, with a metric century option that eliminates all the major climbs after Warfordsburg. As Sunday's route has been revised since we last rode to Breezewood, I don't know the elevation gain, but it's certainly over 8000 feet, maybe 9000.

As indicated above, we'll be spending Saturday night at the Best Western in Breezewood. There are plenty of additional lodging options in Breezewood, a few of them listed below for your convenience. So, if you want to opt in for this weekend of spectacular riding (the more the merrier!), please make your reservations NOW and advise me that you're going to join us!

Breezewood motels:

Best Western Plaza Inn
16407 Lincoln Highway

Holiday Inn Express
16503 Lincoln Highway

Quality Inn
16621 Lincoln Highway

Wiltshire Motel
140 S. Breezewood Road


Directions to the ride start:
From DC Beltway, take I-270 north approx. 32 miles to Frederick.
Take I-70 west 28 miles to Exit 26 (I-81).
Take I-81 south (toward Roanoke) for 1.5 miles to Exit 2 (US11).
Take US11 south toward Williamsport.
In 3/4 mile, turn left onto S. Clifton Drive (traffic light)
Proceed 1/4 mile to parking lots on right.
Total driving time from Beltway approx. 1 hr. 10 min.


"ALL ABOUT ABBOTTSTOWN," starting from the McDonald's in Thurmont, Maryland. **LATE MEETING TIME 8:00 a.m.** Aaah, a mellow ride today, one designed by our beloved bard, William Shakespeare Smith. The route is a slight revision of one of Bill's old Frederick Pedalers Century routes--I think it was 2004. It's a delightful valley ride that heads east into Carroll County, MD and north into Adams County, PA, passing through Taneytown, Littlestown, and New Oxford on the way to lunch at Rigo's Diner in Abbottstown. On the way back we will have a brief encounter with Mt. Misery Rd but will elude the "miserable" molehill! We'll also pass through Taneytown a second time, so you'll have two opportunities for a Sheetz fix on this ride. 100 miles, with short options of 40 and 72 miles.

Directions to the ride start:
From DC Beltway, go north on I-270 to Frederick. Continue North on US15. In 14.9 miles, take the exit toward MD806/Thurmont (the last of three exits for MD806, the FIRST Thurmont exit). At end of ramp turn right @SS, then QR @ traffic light onto Catoctin Furnace Rd, then QL at "Weis Entrance." Park in the first lot on the left, across from McDonald's.