Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Baltimore, MD

Before leaving town we cycled by several notable houses, the Golden Plough Tavern (1741), the General Horatio Gates House (1751), and the Barnett Bobb House, also known as the Old Log House.

Our ride south started 3 blocks from our hotel.  York Heritage Trail is a National Recreation Trail rail-with-trail in Pennsylvania built in 1999; it connects with the Northern Central Railroad Trail in Maryland.  During the Civil War, the railroad was a target of the Confederate Army before the Battle of Gettysburg. The Confederate Army’s troops tried to isolate the Union's capital by damaging the railroad, telegraph wires and bridges. On November 18 and 19, 1863, President Lincoln traveled on the railroad and stopped at Hanover Junction before giving the Gettysburg Address. 
The York Heritage rail trail took us south to the Pennsylvania & Maryland border.  In York the trail was torn up requiring a short detour before we actually got on the tail.  To the Maryland line the trail has a slight incline and is crushed stone, making us work a litter harder than we hoped.  In the town of Seven Valleys we saw a sign that claimed this area made the first commercial ice cream in the United States and was shipped on the railroad that became the trail.  Unfortunately, none was to be enjoyed.

During our ride on the Pennsylvania section of the trail we endured gentle rain showers which stopped by the time we reached New Freedom, PA. This was the end of the Heritage Trail and the beginning of the North Central Trail.  New Freedom houses an excursion train.  John, one of the volunteers that keep the train functional gave us a tour of the rail cars and allowed us into the engine house to view the steam locomotive.  At the edge of town is the former Summers Canning.  A mural depicting scenes from the Summers Canning Company is displayed on a building next to the trail.

Leaving New Freedom, the rain got heavier and the trail had a nice down grade as we headed south.  The faster we went the wetter and muddier we got.  By the time we reached the end of the trail and paved roads, we were a mess.  We found some large water puddles in the trail head parking lot and washed our legs and then our bikes.  We were like two kids playing in the water.

Cycling on the roads meant cycling in civilization.  We stopped for lunch in a family run Greek restaurant and were treated like part of the family.  During our ride into Baltimore we passed McCormick Hunt Valley plant, Pimlico Race Track, Timonium Fair Grounds, historic Lutherville, Joe’s Bike Shop in Mt. Washington, the zoo, and the Trolley Museum.  Near the zoo, Chris, a local cyclist, stopped to chat and decided to be our tour guide as we headed to our hotel.  Chris, works nights as a surgical nurse and was out riding his vintage bicycle.  He shared local lore and pointed out many sites.  We were cycling the Jones Falls trail and about 3 miles from our hotel we passed a female runner with a nice stride.  We always thought that cycling was faster then running.  However, she passed us numerous times and, after 3 miles, was firmly ahead of us.  I would say that she beat 2 old men, but Chris was only 28.  That woman should be heading for the Olympics. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jeff & Joe
    You are an unbeatable duo.
    Wish you sunny weather and a nice tailwind.