Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Home from Maine 2022 Day 15 - Delta PA to Home

We have ridden home from Maine

The last day was one of the tougher ones. It was 53 miles and 3250 feet of climb. The weather was beautiful, and we overcame obstacles, persevered, and finished around 6 PM.

First thing we crossed into Maryland a couple miles from our motel.

We entered Harford county when we entered Maryland. Northern Harford County is quite hilly, and there are many nurseries that grow plants for landscaping.

Ten miles into the ride, Max yells at me to stop with concern in his voice. "Something is wrong." he says.

See if you can spot what is wrong in this picture.

His front derailleur cable is broken. Max asks "What do we do now?" This is not actually a big deal, I explain. You ride in your granny gear to a bike shop and we get a new cable. Then I told him a long story about how I once did a long randonneuring training ride and my rear derailleur spring broke 75 miles from the end and it was stuck in the biggest cog, and I only had 3 gears. At which point he became very bored and annoyed at me, but then we whipped out our phones and determined that there was a bike shop less than 5 miles away in Forest Hill, just north of Bel Air. 

We were pretty happy that a bike shop was so close and just off our route, and it wasn't that big a deal that we could only use the granny gear since it was really hilly, and we would have been in the granny gear anyway most of the time. But when we got there we discovered it was a motorcycle shop. This was annoying.

Whipping out the phones again, we determined that there was a bike shop that was actually for bicycles in downtown Bel Air in 5 more miles. And as special surprise bonus, half of the way there was the Ma and Pa bike path!

The Ma and Pa was the Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad, which is a very obscure railroad that was in operation until the 1950s. It went from Baltimore to York via Delta PA, and was famous for running extremely antiquated equipment. It carried milk and the mail. The Stony Run Walking Path that runs behind our Baltimore crash pad is the old Ma and Pa right of way. And today I learned a few miles of Ma and Pa right of way is a bike trail in Bel Air. It sure would have been great if the whole Ma and Pa was a bike trail, all the way from Delta to Baltimore. Then we wouldn't have had to ride up and down hills all day.

The bike shop in downtown Belair was indeed a bicycle shop.

Civic Cyclery is a really nice shop. They let me use a work stand and their tools to install the new cable and we were back on the road in no time.

The whole adventure of the broken shifter cable added three miles and no climbing to our ride, and maybe 2 hours due to riding in granny gear and making the repair.

Max spent the rest of the afternoon talking about getting a new bike.

From Bel Air, we took Harford Road the whole way into Baltimore, then we cut over to Belair Road where Harford is closed for construction by Lake Montebello. Belair Road becomes Gay Street, which means I got to stop and admire one of my favorite buildings in Baltimore.

The American Brewery. When I moved to Baltimore 35 years ago it was a ruin. There was a tree growing on the roof. I am so happy it is restored and beautiful.

Once past downtown, it was our usual route we use to ride back and forth to the crash pad, along Wilkins Ave, Southwestern Boulevard, and Washington Boulevard. 

It's nice to be home, but I'm always sad when a bike tour comes to an end.

And this was an epic bike tour. Here are some metrics:

Total distance - 723 miles.
Number of days - 16
Climb - 36000 feet
States - ME, NH, MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, PA, MD
Flat tires - 2 for me, 3 for Max
Other repairs - Max: rebuild front hub, replace broken chain & cassette, replace broken shifter cable, replace both tires. Me: replace rear tire.
Camping: 3 nights
AirBnB: 4 nights
Historic hotels: 4 nights
Regular hotels: 1 night 
Cheap motels: 3 nights

Here is the final Strava track.

1 comment:

wksteward said...

I'm so impressed!