Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bike Ride Report - Dewey Beach

This weekend my friend Jim and I rode to the beach and back. Jim has a beach house. (For folks not in the Baltimore-Washington area, a beach house is where a group of a dozen or so people chip in and rent a house on the Delaware beaches or Ocean City for the summer, and then drive out there every weekend and party. Beach houses typically have a frat/dormitory air.)

So to get ready for the fleche we rode to the beach and back. I rode from home. Jim met me at the Bay Bridge, gave me a ride over, and then we rode "together" from the Park'n'Ride at the east end of the bridge. I say "together" because there was a stiff headwind on the way out, and while I am on a recumbent that cuts through headwinds just fine, Jim is a big guy on a regular bike, a hybrid to boot, so he's sitting up straight to maximize his wind resistance.

I'd try to ride as slow as Jim, but I'd just get bored and go on ahead, but it didn't matter anyway because we weren't on any sort of pace to get in before dark, and Jim didn't bother to bring lights, so we had to ride in together anyway.

Here's the T-Bone, ready to roll in front of home. It's 8:00 AM, 50 degrees and raining.

I met Jim at the deli at Jamal's Bay 50 shopping center at 10. We ate, crossed the bridge, and were riding along into the headwinds by 11:30.

This is on Knife Box Road at the intersection of High Stump Road. Jim is back there somewhere.

After a late lunch at NASCAR Al's, Jim proposed an alternate route than our usual route so we wouldn't have to ride in the dark. At this point we were 40 miles from the end and it was 4:00 PM. It stays light until 7:30.

Little did Jim realize that his alternate was 10 miles longer, which pretty much guaranteed we would be in after dark, but the alternate goes through woods so there is no wind, and is very scenic and quite a winner. Here is a scene from the alternate. This I think is looking back along Redden Road at Downs Road. Jim is back there somewhere.

Here is the gratuitous campground picture. Beach rides are just like touring in some ways.

So it was 126 miles out, and it took 9:10 minutes rolling, and approximately 12 hours on the clock.

MotionBased page for the Home to Bay Bridge leg.
MotionBased page for Bay Bridge to Beach leg.

The way home was a new day, a day with a mighty nice tailwind. We didn't get on the road until 11:00, though. Jim, stating that he didn't want to discourage me from doing the whole ride all the way back to my house, gave me his keys and told me to ride to the end at my pace, and then go back and pick him up wherever he was, so I would have a chance at getting home before dark.

No problem. I decided I'd ride an hour, then stop for a snack and take a picture.

After 1 hour, I was at Carpenter Rd. and Diamond Farm Rd. south of Milton.

After another hour, I was in Greenville. Tailwinds rock.

After another hour, I was in Greensboro. Tailwinds rock.

After another hour, I was in Centerville. Tailwinds rock.

And after another hour and 6 minutes I was done, at the convenience store by the Park'n'Ride.

There's the Bay Bridge.

It was 4:20 at this point, which is an absurdly short time to ride across the Eastern Shore. Tailwinds rock. I took my time having a snack at the convenience store, and I wound up picking Jim up just before Queenstown at 5:30.

An hour of riding later, I made Harundale. Look at all the daylight.

I made it home at 8:00 pm, for 6:47 pedaling, 113 miles, and 9 hours actual time.

MotionBased page for the Beach to Bridge leg.
MotionBased page for Bridge to Home leg.

Curiously, I had exactly the same average speed for both segments from my house to the bridge.

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