B’more Bike Month officially kicked off Sunday morning at the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon. There, a group of 2 dozen gathered to do the first Bike Month 2011 ride – the annual Monument to Monument Ride. This near-century (100 miles) ride follows scenic roads and trails from the Washington Monument in Baltimore to the Washington Monument in DC and back. Bob Wagner, local long distance enthusiast, organized the ride and developed the route.
The group left Baltimore at about 8:20 am under overcast skies, rolling down Cathedral and Sharp Sts onto the Gwynns Falls Trail. It was at this point that the group divided into two distinct subgroups – the serious road riders and those that were taking an easier pace. (I was in the latter group.) Leaving the suburbs, the route followed quiet, forested roads across the Patapsco and around BWI. After a quick break at a 7-11, we continued to roll toward DC passing the Big House in Jessup, the stables of Laurel Racetrack and a dead opussum. (No, he wasn’t faking – he was still there on the return trip).
Coming into the DC suburbs, we rolled along Cherrywood Rd with some nice bike lanes and through Berwyn Heights where we picked up the Paint Branch Trail network. Not long after I got a slow leak in my rear tire & have Brian to thank for helping keep the deflation at bay. Hopping off the trail, we followed marked bike routes through Mt. Rainier and into DC where we spotted our first CaBi Station. From that point, it was hard not to notice all the pedalers on bike share bikes. Catching the Metropolitan Branch Trail helped us avoid the nasty New York Ave/Florida Ave intersection and took us pretty much to Capitol Hill. We reached DC’s Washington Monument at about 12:30, where I changed my rear tube, then headed to Union Station to top off the air at the Bike Station.
I was a little pressed for time, so I headed home alone at my pace. The cue sheet could not have been more accurate and since it was basically the same way I came down, I better’ve not gotten lost. I reloaded on a Clif Bar at the 7-11 then continued on as the skies opened up. The last 10 miles left me saturated, but not discouraged! What a great ride! Thanks to Bob Wagner for putting together this incredible route!
HAPPY BIKE MONTH EVERYONE!