Sunday, November 29, 2015

Overnight NCR Ride to York after Thanksgiving.

There is no rational reason why one would go credit card touring on the Moonlander. Even if most of the ride is on a 40 mile gravel trail. The Moonlander is heavy, slow, and those giant knobby tires have a lot of rolling resistance.

So I rode the Moonlander 70 miles to York, PA and back the next day for no real reason. It was a nice slow ride. Weather mostly in the 50s, with a tiny bit of rain coming back. 

The bag setup worked well. I could probably strap a single person backpacking tent in front of the handlebar bag, and shove a sleeping bag into the seat bag and do the C&O towpath in warm weather. 

I set out right after feeding the chickens and turkeys.

It's always nice to start a ride by going up Gun Road.

I took the Gwynns Falls Trail part of the way through Baltimore. The cool bridge is the Amtrak line, originally the Pennsylvania Railroad.

Here is the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park.

I rode through Texas. You can really smell the Texas.

Lunch at Andy Nelsons BBQ in Cockeysville. Perfect halfway point to eat. Thanks to my cow orkers for the tip.

These two interesting apartment buildings are at the trail head in Ashland. They look like old repurposed mill buildings.

 Here is start of the North Central Railroad bike trail in Ashland. This is a very nice trail. It goes 40 miles right to downtown York. It is smooth and scenic. It's follows a rail right-of-way the whole way, so there are no big hills.

This is in Freeland, MD. Each little town on the railroad had a hotel and station, many of them are still there.

Here is the state line, marked by a railroad post showing the division boundary.

Right over the line in New Freedom, the railroad tracks are still there and in use for excursion trains. I gather this old switcher is to push the steam engine and excursion cars into the shops.

Here is the excursion train. The engine was fired up and working when I was there, although I didn't see it go anywhere.

Hanover Junction, PA, which has nice trailside bathrooms. 10 miles to the end.

Here is the tunnel. This is six miles from the end, and cuts across a bend in Codorus Creek. The rail line follows the Gunpowder Falls upstream in Maryland. New Freedom is the summit, which divides the Gunpowder watershed from the Codorus Creek watershed. The trail follows Cordorus Creek to York.

Finished in York. Just under 70 miles. Here is the Strava page:

The campsite for the night was the fabulous Rodeway Inn. $54. Homeless woman hanging out in lobby. Resident guests shooting off fireworks in the parking lot. Very convenient downtown location, though.

York has a surprisingly vibrant downtown! Who would have thought? I walked around deciding where to eat. The White Rose Tavern has a very popular happy hour, but it was loud and crowded. I settled on Otto's Kitchen and Cocktails, which was relaxing, not crowded, low key, with tasty food and stiff drinks.

This is chicken pot pie, and a margarita for the electrolytes.

Still hungry, so I got some chicken and waffles and a Vieux Carre, which is a deadly concoction of rye, cognac, and some other stuff.

I didn't last too long after the long ride and the cocktails. But I got up really early to start the next day. I did some wandering around looking for breakfast. I had high hopes for the Blue Moon Cafe York, hoping it was an outpost of the one in Fells Point, but it was closed. So I went to the very homey Central Family Restaurant.

This is Cordorus Creek at sunrise in the middle of town.

It seems there was a marathon on the NCR when I rode home. I passed every single runner in the race. Some of them twice, after I stopped for breaks. Here are the leaders in Monkton, getting near the end. "On Your Left!"

I hit Andy Nelson's coming and going.

This is one of my favorite old houses. It's octagonal. It's in historic Lutherville.

I rode through downtown to get home. Maryland Ave to Cathedral Street. The brownstone is the Garrett Mansion, home to the Baltimore Engineers Club. Debra and I got married there.

And finished at home. Here is the Strava page:

There is no rational reason to ride the Moonlander to York.

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