Weekend Rides, November 20 & 21 2010

Dear Friends,

I'm behind schedule so I'll just cut to the chase. 

First, the time has come for . . . . .


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).  If Chuck and I are late to the ride start we promise a full refund :-)


Inevitably, there will be a time or two when the DARK MONSTER has his wicked way with us, so please come equipped with **LIGHTS** on your bike!!

Next, and please read this carefully:  You can now download the weekend cue sheets and GPS files directly from the DC Century Rides blog at:


I'm not going to be bringing extra hard copies to the start except for those who advise me that they're unable to print out their own.

Finally, here's what's up for this weekend!


"MIRACLE AT MOUNT HOPE," starting from McDonald's in Thurmont, Maryland.  **MEETING TIME 7:30 a.m.**  The first quarter of the ride is very hilly, beginning with the long climb up MD77 and becoming more interesting with each passing mile, as we climb about 2500 feet in the first 25 miles to Mount Hope, Pennsylvania.  The scenery is fabulous and the descents are thrilling.  After the first rest stop in Fairfield, the terrain moderates quite a bit on the way to lunch at Mamma's in Biglerville.  We'll visit the reputedly haunted Sachs Covered Bridge (circa 1815) during this stretch.  See http://www.nycivilwar.us/sachs.html.  After lunch we'll head for the hills again and ride through some of the beautiful orchard country of northwestern Adams County.  (Yes, we really do love this part of the world, even though we're too late for the apple harvest.)  Other points of interest include the Eisenhower Bridge (circa 1886), the Land of Little Horses, and the Eylers Valley Chapel.  102 miles, with many shorter options.  You can even omit the steepest climb of the day (Iron Springs Rd) and substitute it with the kinder and gentler Jacks Mountain Rd...but then you'll miss Mount Hope!  Total elevation gain for the century 7000-7500 feet.

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.



"SWEET SUGARLOAF CENTURY," starting from Pierce Mill in Washington, D.C.  Meeting time 7:30 a.m.  A close-in ride start with a charming destination, i.e., the top of Sugarloaf Mountain!  After the climb we'll mellow out with lunch at the Hyattstown Deli.  100 miles, with a short option of around 80 miles which, unfortunately, omits the climb du jour, but still offers a decent workout. 

Directions to the ride start:


2375 Tilden Street, N.W.,  Washington, D.C.  20015, 202-426-6908

From DC Beltway, Exit 33, go south on Connecticut Avenue (MD185) into DC. 

After going around Chevy Chase Circle and entering DC, go about 2 miles and turn left onto Tilden Street (traffic light)  Go to the bottom of the hill (about ½ mile) and turn RIGHT,  just before the bridge,  then make a quick left into the large parking lot.  Do not park in the little lot next to the mill and the Art Barn.


From downtown DC, take the Rock Creek & Potomac Parkway 2.5 miles north to the intersection with Beach Drive. Bear right on Beach Drive, passing through the tunnel and continuing on past the Zoo. Turn left at the first traffic light onto Tilden Street, cross the bridge over Rock Creek, and immediately turn left into the parking lot.


An alternate route from downtown is to head North on Connecticut Avenue and, a few blocks after passing through Cleveland Park, turn right on Tilden Street (traffic light).   Go to the bottom of the hill (about ½ mile) and turn RIGHT, just before the bridge, then make a quick left into the large parking lot.  Do not park in the little lot next to the mill and the Art Barn.