Dear Friends,

We have two great rides on the schedule this weekend, not to be missed!

Paul Donaldson (WGR) is leading our special Halloween ride, "GHOSTS, GHOULS AND GRAVEYARDS," starting from Gathland State Park, Burkittsville, Maryland.  MEETING TIME 7:30 a.m.  This exTREEMely scary and challenging ride (~9700 feet elevation gain) visits at least 24 historic cemeteries and graveyards, mostly in Frederick County's beautiful Middletown valley.  You'll also commune with the ghosts of fallen Civil War soldiers and see if you can elude the terrifying Snallygaster and Snarly Yow (better ride fast)!  See http://wesclark.com/jw/snallygaster.html and http://wesclark.com/jw/s_yow.html
There are some incredible views, of course.  102 miles with plenty of shortcuts, but you dare not take any of them lest the Snallygaster have his wicked way with you!

Directions to the ride start:

From I-495, DC Beltway, go North on I-270 north 31 miles to Frederick. 
West on I-70 west toward Hagerstown, then 
Exit 52 onto US340 west toward Charlestown/Leesburg. 
In 12 miles take the MD17 exit toward Burkittsville. 
Bear right onto MD17 Burkittsville Rd. 
In 4 miles turn left onto Main Street in Burkittsville. 
In 1 mile turn right onto Arnoldstown Rd at top of climb (War Correspondent's Arch on R), then 
QL into parking lot.


"THE RIVER RUNNER," starting from Loudoun Valley High School, Purcellville, Virginia.  **MEETING TIME 7:30 a.m. Eastern STANDARD Time!**  Please be mindful of the time change.  A beautiful ride to Shepherdstown, West Virginia featuring several long stretches where you'll be riding along the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers as well as along the C&O Canal (NOT on the towpath itself).  We'll actually ride past the confluence of the two rivers just outside of Harpers Ferry – expect some really great views!  We traditionally have lunch at the Blue Moon CafĂ© in Shepherdstown but, since it doesn't open until Noon on Sunday, we may get there too early.  If that is the case, we'll try out the Stone Soup Bistro on German Street.  Did I mention hills? 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  If you plan to attend this ride, please email me and request electronic copies of the cue sheet and map.  I will only have a limited quantity available at the ride start, so it will be advantageous if you can print out your own cue sheet and map and bring it to the ride with you.

SECOND IMPORTANT NOTE:  Now that we're on Standard Time, it will be dark at 5:30.  Lights are highly recommended from now until spring!!

Directions to the ride start:

From DC beltway (I-495), take Exit 12, VA267 Dulles Toll Rd to the end and continue onto the Greenway toll road to its end in Leesburg (26 miles total).  Then Take VA7 Bypass west 9 miles to Purcellville exit VA287.  Turn left on VA287 Berlin Rd.  In 0.3 mi. turn right on Hirst Road.  In 0.5 mile turn left on 722 Maple Ave.  School is on L in 0.2 mi., just past the W&OD bike trail.

Directions from Frederick:
Take US340 southwest towards Brunswick; take MD17 (Brunswick exit) and turn left at the top of the ramp onto MD17; go past the traffic circle next to Sheetz (tro MD17); turn Right at the traffic light (tro MD17); go around another traffic circle and then cross the bridge over the Potomac River; MD17 becomes VA287; stay on VA287 for several miles through Lovettsville, continuing to Purcellville.  Cross under VA7; make a right at the T intersection in Purcellville onto Main Street/Bus. 7; go less than a mile and make a right onto Maple Avenue 722 at the traffic light (a 7-11 is on your left); go about 1/2 mile and turn right into the parking lot of Loudoun Valley H.S.

Oh yeah, now that the days are so short, it's time to drag out ye olde "Dreaded Winter Sermon."  Here goes:


For the next few months the days will be short. Accordingly, we will be making a concerted effort to finish our weekend rides before the DARK MONSTER catches us. For that reason, I'm asking everyone (that includes Chuck and me) to try to be ON TIME to the ride start so that we can get on the road 15 minutes after the scheduled meeting time. If you show up late and you're one of the "rabbits," please don't expect the group to wait for you while you pump up your tires, put on your cycling shoes, fix the flat tire that you acquired the previous day, etc. You can catch up! We will still attempt to regroup at the rest stops, but we'll try to limit those stops to 15 minutes (20 max). And of course we'll continue to enjoy our leisurely lunches (usually an hour OR SO).

Inevitably, there will be a time or two when the DARK MONSTER gets the best of us - - so please come equipped with **LIGHTS** on your bike!! Also, if you ARE running late, please give me a quick call on my cell phone to let me know. This way if we DO need to start without you, I will know to be looking for you later in the day; it will also remind me to leave extra cue sheets (if there are any) on the windshield of the Chuckwagon! If Chuck and I are late to the ride start we promise a full refund.

Thank you for your patience,