Day 9 – Hunt Valley, MD to Washington, DC

81 miles, 4070 feet of climbing

Today’s weather was similar to yesterday’s. No rain, perhaps a little more sun to go with the overcast. Arm warmers and a jersey felt a little cooler at times but generally comfortable. Some sun, but more clouds.

The climbing was concentrated in the first two-thirds. The last third was the reward–the Rock Creek Park Trail. Not a rail trail so there were more turns and some very short climbs.

A trail closure did throw us for a bit of a loop. Mike and Karen were riding today and tried to get ahead and lay down some stick on arrows to mark the re-route but eventually they ran out of arrows. It turns out that following the DOT marked detour took us back to pick up the route past the closure. But it was a bit disconcerting to sometimes see an ABB arrow on the pavement and at other times not. When I drift off the GPS route, my Garmin zooms out to show me where I am relative to the route. That also helped me to get back to the route. Some of the other riders with newer, fancier, Garmins said that the units were trying to navigate them back to the point where the closure began, not helpful.

I was running near to last most of the day but arrived before most of the group, probably because they got more lost than I. I checked in and then rode over to a bicycle shop which I thought had a new bottom bracket for me. Unfortunately it had the wrong type of threading and wouldn’t work on my bike. So we’ll just hang in there with LocTite for the duration. It is easy enough for me to tighten the bolt if it comes loose again.

Getting to and back from the bike shop was an adventure in Washington traffic. On some roads they have dedicated bicycle lanes but others do not. The crosswalks have long timers, some as long as 50 minutes. I’ve never seen that before. And then there are all those diagonal streets. The drivers were courteous and cooperative and I made it, just taking much more time than you’d expect to go a mere two miles.

Today was our first “jersey” day where we all wear our ABB jerseys. Normally we take a group picture on Day 1 but it was postponed due to the rain then. Here’s the group:

Along the road:

Seen on the Rock Creek Park Trail: