Bike Tour 2023 – Day 9: Poughkeepsie, NY to East Canaan, CT

Today was a day full of surprises.

I learned that when I glued a tensioning strap back onto my tent last night I installed it upside down and backwards. Doh. What’s done is done.

The hotel breakfast at the not-so-Grand Hotel was actually quite good. Real china and utensils. Fresh eggs, sausage, taters, coffee and OJ was round one. Round two was shredded wheat and an everything bagel. This made up for my in-room dinner of PB&J on tortillas.

At breakfast I noticed a man and a woman who looked like bicycle tourists. As it turned out they were. Andy and Fiona are from England and riding from Jacksonville FL to Boston. They left the hotel before I did only to be stymied by school traffic.

I left a little after 8 and was happy to get away from Poughkeepsie’s crazy traffic. My brain said I’d be riding brutal hills all day but the day really came in three parts.

First the country roads out of Dutchess County were very pleasant. Plenty of rollers to hill hop, riding down one and using the momentum to climb the next. There were two short steep climbs. As this was in the first 20 miles I decided to walk them, saving my legs for the torture ahead.

The second hill featured a scary, steep downhill, the kind I’d hate to do in less-than-ideal conditions. Lucky me. The road surface was perfect, the curves banked, and the weather ideal. I feathered my brakes during the descent to keep The Mule under 40 mph.

What followed was the second phase of the day. I was fully expecting a brutal hillfest but got lovely flat to rolling countryside. I was hoping to refuel at Mabbettsville but there was no food to be found. After riding east about ten miles, I turned north and picked up the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, a paved gem that gained one degree or so of elevation as I rode.

I left the trail in Amenia and ate lunch at a deli. The garden salad nearly filled me up but I managed to inhale a bologna, turkey, and cheese sandwich too.

I left the deli only to find the temperature had risen about 5 degrees. I stopped at a Cumberland Farms store and bought two liters of cold water. After chugging one of my water bottles, I refilled it with the cold water from one liter, pouring the rest over my head. It felt wonderful.

Back on the trail I stopped to chat with Alan and Fiona who were sitting in the shade eating their tortilla lunch. Birds of a feather.

After a pleasant chat, I carried on for phase three of the day.

I turned east onto US 44 into Connecticut and the dreaded hills of certain doom. What I got were picture pretty New England clapboard houses with This-Old-House landscaping. There were hills but none of the soul sucking variety I was expecting.

The bigger issue was the heat and haze. Temperatures rose into the low 80s which made me glad I had bought two liters of water instead of one. The haze is from fires in Nova Scotia. It’s not a big deal but does put a damper on the scenery.

I was expecting to ride the last 15 miles in grind mode but I made very good time through Lakeville and Salisbury. After Salisbury there was a big climb. It wasn’t walk-worthy but it gave my granny a real test.

After resting at the top, The Mule and I headed down our second steep descent of the day. Once again the pavement was excellent but unlike the earlier downhill this was on a busy two-lane highway. The bike gods were with me; there was no traffic behind me. I took the lane and let fly. The speed limit was 40 but The Mule paid no attention. I was busy checking my mirrors and scanning the road ahead for bumps and potholes. I glanced down and saw 41. Yeah.

I passed through the quaint crossroads town of North Canaan and found myself 2 miles later at the Locust Tree Bed and Breakfast, my home for the night. I am sitting on the porch in the shade letting the breeze lull me to sleep.

Dutchess County country road
Hay, the old fashioned way
Alan and Fiona having lunch on the trail
Cool part of the Harlem River Rail Trail

Miles today: 64

Tour miles: 517

May 2023 – Home and Away

Another splendid month is in the books. Not having my notes handy I recall watching A Man Called Otto and a bunch of Nationals games including one in the flesh.

I participated WABA’s Sweet Ride and survived lots of climbing. Good preparation for my tour.

I saw two concerts. KT Tunstall and Martin Sexton at the intimate Birchmere made for a fun evening. Crowded House at The Anthem was the bomb. Neil Finn’s still got it and reforming his band to include Nick Seymour, Michell Froom, and sons Liam and Elroy worked like a charm. My favorite moments included Neil soloing on piano with the old Split Enz song Message to my Girl and the Crowded House obscurity Elephants.

I managed to squeeze a trip to Hyde Park to see FDR’s home. After that I spent time with family before attending my 50th high school reunion. (Holy crap, my classmates are OLD!)

As for riding, I managed to do my usual daily meanderings before setting off on a bike tour to Maine and beyond (knock wood). I rode 1,089.5 miles on May. 517 of those miles were from my tour. Lord only knows how many thousands of feet I’ve climbed so far.

I’ve ridden 4,384 miles so far this year.


Bike Tour 2023 – Day 8: Cuddebackville to Poughkeepsie

Last night before I hit the tent, a neighboring camper gave a mini-concert. He played guitar and sang, sometimes accompanied by a woman singing high harmonies. They were east Asian but I’m not sure which country they were from. The singing sounded very much like English or Spanish and the music was definitely western folk style.

I slept pretty well considering the lumpy ground at my tent site. Temperatures dropped below 50 but my new sleeping bag kept me warm. I broke camp around 6:30 and headed 2 miles back to the route.

At the Valero gas station I took advantage of the deli inside and had eggs, sausage, home fries, and coffee for breakfast. It was pretty mediocre. Despite that, I bought a roast beef sandwich for the road and headed east up over a ridge line.

The climb was probably 500 feet but the road was forgiving, never steeper than I could handle. And the road surface was smooth.

I dropped down into Otisville which is about as exciting as it sounds. I headed north through a valley with small farms. It was nice riding. I knew from the terrain that I’d be doing one more climb before descending into the Hudson River valley.

I turned east and there it was: an absolutely absurdly steep climb. No way! I rode to the base of the monster, dismounted and walked. As I neared the top the road became much steeper. I couldn’t ride up this hill on an empty bike.

Walking toward me on the shoulder was a tall, thin young man, dressed in black, unmistakably an Hasidic Jew. I said hello but he ignored me. A man on a riding mower seemed to deliberately spray him with cuttings as the man walked by. Is area of New York has a considerable Hasidic population. I saw many more. None would return my hello. Must be a thing.

I rode past a house where three pre-school aged girls dressed in formal looking clothes sat in the grass in a line. I didn’t say hello but as I passed I heard one girl yell a big hello to me.

The pavement on the road was superb. I re-mounted The Mule, took one look at the ridiculously steep descent ahead and let ‘er rip. I broke 35 mph within a few seconds. The Mule held steady and we cruised for a mile or so.

We made the turn to the east toward Walkill where I sat in a park and ate my sandwich. It was huge! Very tasty.

My daughter in Connecticut texted me advising me that there have been a large number of bear sightings. She advised against tent camping as I had planned to do tomorrow night.

After using the facilities at the town hall (as instructed by a sign at the library) I headed north.

I picked up the Walkill Valley Rail Trail. judging from the clippings the trail had only recently been cleared of high grass. The trail itself was dirt and more often than not single track. The best I could do was 8 mph.

The trail cut through some woods. I ran over some scat. All I could think of was “I hope that wasn’t from a bear.” I stopped later on and confirmed it was from a white tailed deer.

After 1 1/2 miles I bailed out to a paved side road. In the town of Gardner I rejoined the trail, now a proper paved trail.

I was sad to leave it because I had to turn east at New Paltz, a city with narrow streets and way too many massive pickups pulling even massiver camper trailers.

I stopped at a Walgreens for supplies: scissors to cut loose threads off my riding pants and my sleeping bag, generic Flonase to tame my sinuses that continue to wear out my bushman’s hanky, gorilla glue to re-attach a stay that holds the inside of my tent away from me, and a can of iced tea.

While drinking my tea I reserved a room at the Grand Hotel in Poughkeepsie. It was more expensive than other hotels but was closer to my route, thereby keeping me out of any more crazy traffic. (The only problem was the fact that all the restaurants near it are closed.)

Back on the road, after crossing over the Thruway , I picked up a side road and got out of the crazy traffic.

Five miles later I found the entrance to the Hudson Valley Rail Trail in Anthony Williams Park. The surface was in great condition, packed dirt with crushed limestone on top just like the GAP Trail in western Pennsylvania.

My speed immediately popped to 16 mph. It took very little effort. After a few miles the trail reached the Walkway over the Hudson, a linear park with a concrete deck. It’s much higher than the rinky dink MidHudson Bridge way down there to the immediate south.

The views from the walkway are amazing. For a Tuesday afternoon there seemed to be quite a few people enjoying the span. What a great idea.

Once across the bridge I used the Google to guide me to the hotel. It’s big but it’s far from grand. Still my room mid quite big.

I made myself busy making arrangements for tomorrow night. I called the campground I planned on using and asked about bears and bear boxes. They sounded clueless so I called a couple of B&Bs and booked a room just off the route a mile or two from the campground.

After washing up, I rinsed out my riding clothes. They’ll dry overnight.

Then I used the scissors to deal with the loose threads. Next I used the glue to fix the tent (I hope), discovering the process that another attachment point was coming loose.

These pix are from the Walkway. Upper left is the view to the north. Upper right is the view to the south. Bottom left is the bridge deck. Bottom right is the rail trail approach from the west.

Tomorrow I enter Connecticut which is sure to feature some imposing hills.

Miles today: 55.5

Tour miles: 453

Bike Tour 2023 – Day 7: Worthington State Campground to Oakland Valley Campground, Cuddebackville, NY

I didn’t sleep at all last night or so I thought. I checked my phone and it said it was 4:30. I had been asleep for 7 1/2 hours. Temps fell into the low 40s but I was comfy in my new sleeping bag. Thanks for the recommendation, Corey.

Breakfast was PB&J on pita bread. Not optimal but it would due until I could find something better.

The day began with 25 miles on the Old Mine Road, old being the operative word here. The campground clerk warned me that the road would be bad and it sure was.

To make matters worse there was a long, steep hill that I had no chance of riding up. I pushed The Mule about a quarter mile.

I was hoping for relief at 12 miles when my route took me onto a different road, Highway 615. I came screaming (my front brakes are noisy) down a hill on smooth pavement at 30 miles per hour.

There was a stop sign at the bottom. I didn’t want to overheat my rims and explode a tire so I cruised through it past a barrier curiously placed on only the left side of the road. A half mile later I can to an imposing concrete barrier. It was about 8 feet high and completely blocked the road.

I backtracked and talked to a fisherman about my plight. He offered to help me get over the barrier but said the road was washed out last fall. Even if I could get past the washout, I had no way of knowing if I could get past the barrier on the north side of the closure.

Examining my map I saw a gray line parallel to 615. It was the Old Mine Road. As it turned out this was the really bad part but it got me around the closure. As I started out I saw the Detour sign I had missed, covered my some overhanging tree branches.

The crummy road lasted about 5 miles until I rejoined 615. At the town of Peters Valley I came to what my map said was a fork in the road. It was a 3-way fork. I stopped to make sure that the steepest road was the continuation of the route. Dang if it wasn’t.

Having come to a stop there was no way I could climb the beast so I hoofed it again.

Not long after the roadway improved immensely. I was zooming along when I encountered Zack, a bike tourist headed to the Pacific Northwest. He told me that the side trip to Milford PA across the Delaware had open restaurants, good info this being Memorial Day.

I rode down to the river and used the walkway to cross. It was oddly constructed of a series of flimsy metal planking over metal grates. The sides were stout but you could see through to the river below. It was disorienting.

Glad to be across, I found the Milford Diner in town. I ordered an omelette with home fries and toast plus coffee. The mound of food that came to my table was intimidating but I ate it all but for a bite of toast.

Next I stopped at a grocery story where I tossed the pita bread which was on the verge of a mold breakout and the ham and cheese sandwich that Tracy made for me a week ago. It had fallen to the bottom of a pannier and was probably inedible at this point.

At the grocery I bought bananas and apples and mini tortillas. Also two packets of tuna which work well as emergency food. And a sandwich for dinner.

Back across the river and on route again, I headed up NJ 521 , a mercifully smooth two lane road. Crossing in into New York at Port Jervis, the excellent road conditions continued. I was now out of the Delaware National Recreation Area and into rural America.

I was feeling quite strong as my route took me across the Neversink River. There I noticed that I had been benefiting from a tailwind.

At Cuddebackville I found a gas station with a deli. They open at 5 am, when they serve breakfast.

Two more hilly miles off route took me to my campground for the night.

Zack, bound for the PNW
Better road make better touring
Neversink River

Miles today: 54

Tour miles: 397.5

Bike Tour 2023 – Day 6: Phillipsburg to Worthington State Campground in Delaware Water Gap

I woke at 4:30 am. Ready to go. I waited until 7 to get breakfast at the IHOP next door. It was closed so I went to McDonalds. It was closed. Hmmm.

I rode downhill about 5 miles to downtown l. Nothing was open. I walked my bike across the bridge (after the bridge minder scolded me for riding) to Easton PA and rolled around town. Sunday on a 3-day weekend is not prime time for brekkies around here.

I found a McDonalds and ordered their breakfast. It came with extra plastic. my dining companions were four homeless men who were discussing local politics like they were the city council.

Back into New Jersey, I rode along the river enjoying the gently rolling road that was occasionally augmented by very steep but mercifully short hills

The Delaware to my left, dense foliage to my immediate right. Every so often I’d startle some large sounding critter and hear a commotion In the greenery.

I made my way 30 miles to the town of Belvedere where I stopped for second breakfast. The town diner was packed. The plates were heaped with grub. I opted for oatmeal with banana and blueberries. And a cuppa joe

Next I re-crossed the river into Pennsylvania. I immediately turned onto a riverside road. This one climbed away from the river again and again. I appreciated the downhills but the ups and downs seemed pointless.

Still it was a pretty ride. The river makes a hash in the mountains they yield impressive views.

After Portland the road was closed because of rockslides and erosion. The detour was 15 miles including a steep climb over a 1,400 foot mountain. I decided to ignore the detour. All went well until I came to a barrier. I unloaded The Mule and dropped my bags on the other side then hefted the bike over. Success!

Now I could only hope that reports online were true, that the road was passible. The closure lasted only one mile. I saw one rock about size of a softball in the road. The stone retaining wall between the road and the steep drop to the river was severely eroded, a sign that the National Park Service had neglected to maintain the road for years if not decades. Big surprise. Not.

The barrier on the north side of the closure was easier to deal with. I dismounted and walked around it. Done.

I stopped in the town of Delaware Water Gap to buy water and some food for the next 30 miles.

I walked along I-80 across the river back into New Jersey. The sidewalk was protected from the roaring traffic by a Jersey barrier. This short stroll also happened to put me on the Appalachian Trail briefly.

On the Jersey side I doubled back to take the Old Mine Road north along the river. Almost immediately I came to a traffic light that regulated the flow in a very narrow stretch of the road. Of course it didn’t recognize bicycles. A huge pick up truck approached. There was room to pass but the side mirrors of the monster stuck out a foot more than usual. I pulled off to avoid a rude face slap.

The road surface was horrible. Potholes everywhere. At one point I had a drink from my water bottle. Just as I did I came upon a huge pothole. I swerved to the right out of control. A rock face ran along the road and I was headed right for it.

Then I stopped. The combination of one handed braking and some soft black sand on the edge of the roadway brought me to a stop like one of those runaway truck ramps in West Virginia.

I decided that even though I’d ridden only 40 miles I should save the rest of this crazy road for tomorrow. I cancelled my campsite 25 miles north and took a hiker/biker site a few miles away.

The campsite has large furry critters so I’ve been advised to stash my food and hygiene items in the trunk of my car. My improvised plan B is to use my wet sack and stash it in one of the showers with a sign on it explaining it to curious people. It would have been useful to know Spanish and Korean but English will have to do.

My cold is nearly gone. I only used my bushman’s hanky a few times today.

Tomorrow lots of bumps and, then (hopefully) New York State.

Miles today: 44.5

Tour miles: 343.5

Road closed? I think not.
New Jersey mountains to the left across the river

Bike Tour 2023 – Day 5: Warrington, PA to Phillipsburg, NJ

Alan and Sheryl were terrific Warmshowers hosts. I was well fed and slept soundly. Alan told me the route ahead featured one big hill then lots a flat to gently rolling roads, mostly along the Delaware River.

The hill came very early on and was definitely granny-worthy. There were a couple of other shorter climbs after that but I handled them nicely.

On one climb a walker came by and told me there was a baby fawn just beyond a tree line ahead. I never would have spotted it. It looked like a patch of soil. I didn’t take a picture so as not to disturb it but it was super cute.

The climb took me away from the Schuylkill River valley. It was followed by a descent to the Delaware River at New Hope.

The short bridge has a steel grate deck so I walked The Mule across on the sidewalk. Now in Lambertville, NJ I stopped for second breakfast, coffee and an everything bagel. I booked a hotel room in Phillipsburg 35 miles away.

The rest of the ride was on a two-lane highway going north along the Delaware. For most of the ride I could have used a parallel towpath but the road was smooth, traffic was light, and the weather perfect.

In Milford I stopped for lunch at a pizza place. Delish.

One surprise has been how inexpensive food is, as long as I stay clear of the touristy places.

The Mule crosses the Delaware.
Rhododendrons grow like weeds around here

After Milford the road along the river became narrower. There were 4 granny hills to contend with. But today is different. With my cold almost gone and my tummy full of fuel the long uphill grinds were manageable.

The hotel in Phillipsburg is your basic cheap eyesore that shows signs of disrepair and is under renovation. The room seems fine though but the breakfast the website said was included is not offered. Given the fact that it probably would have been inedible, I’m not too upset. Also there is an IHOP next door so I don’t have to search for early morning grub.

Temperatures were actually warm at the end of the riding day indicating that my weather luck may be running out.

Tomorrow I ride to the Delaware Water Gap and deal with a rather nasty mountain detour and uncertainty about where I’ll stay.

Miles today: 50

Tour miles: 299

Bike Tour 2023 – Day 4: Elverson to Warrington, PA

My stay at the Stauffer’s Warmshowers house was terrific. A shower, a bed, breakfast, good conversation, and a grilled NY strip steak that was to die for.

I felt much better this morning. Still a little sick and lacking energy.

Nelson Stauffer who is Pennsylvania Dutch and grew up around here, told me that the 2-foot rut on the roads is caused by the steel horseshoes worn by Amish buggy horses.

I lit out at 7:40 headed for another Warmshowers host near Warrington. These folks are vegan so no more steak for me.

Theresa Stauffer told me that there was a long downhill in store for me this morning but I didn’t believe her. After a couple of not-so-hard granny climbs I found out she was right. It was a gradual downhill grade for miles. I think it was a descent into the Schuylkill River valley.

Once the route left the main road I was treated to country lanes with classic old homes from the late 18th and early 19th century. Quite a change from the places I passed last summer out west.

On one back country road I was starting up after a short break when a full grown white tailed deer burst from the roadside bushes and bounded across the road in front of me. How the on-coming SUV missed it is beyond me. There couldn’t have emote than a foot between its grill and the side of the deer.

From time to time the road was mercifully level, a big and welcome change from yesterday’s hill fest.

A bit later I cruised through Valley Forge. I checked out General Washington’s headquarters and followed a paved trail through the park. The weather was absolutely perfect so it is had to imaging the brutal, frigid conditions that his army endured while bivouacked there.

After my history lesson I rode the Schuylkill River Trail about ten miles to Conshohocken. Level all the way.

After leaving the trail and climbing a bit I came to Ambler where I had a late lunch at a pizza shop. A hot Italian sun on pizza bread. All the salt please!

With 2 1/2 hours to kill I hunkered down in a coffee and pie place for desert. I went all in coffee, a chocolate chip cookie, and a hot cinnamon bun.

The Little House along the road
Washington’s headquarters at Valley Forge, note the goslings
Schuylkill River Trail


About ten miles to go….

Update: I made the last 9 miles more like 14 because I went through a wormhole at the very end of the ride. After arguing with the Google for 20 minutes, I set things right and found my Warmshowers host.

Along the way I met a local bike tourist who told me about a campground for tomorrow they apparently is inaccessible. He also told me the hills on Connecticut are a bitch.

So it goes

Today’s miles: 62.5

Tour miles: 248

Bike Tour 2023 – Day 3: East York to Elverson, PA

What a great day. What a grind.

After a horrid hotel breakfast and some chain maintenance, I lit out from East York on a highway headed for the Susquehanna River. Temperatures were in the low 50s and I was comfy once I warmed up. My head cold was still in evidence making me feel drowsy.

The terrain was relatively flat and the road surface smooth. I made good time ten miles to Wrightsville where I crossed the river. I had some worries about this crossing but the shoulder was massive and debris-free. No problem at all. On the east side of the river the terrain began to roll. It was actually surprisingly manageable. I was feeling quite full of myself.

Lancaster slowed me down with its traffic lights and steep hills. Once I was through town I stopped for an early lunch at a family restaurant. This area of Pennsylvania is thick with family restaurants (basically they are diners). And the food is cheap and good. I had a bowl of potato and cheese soup and a tuna melt sandwich. They hit the spot.

After the restaurant the grind began. The modest rollers of the morning gave way to big descents and steep climbs. I think each climb was about 200 feet. For the next 30 miles I used my granny gear about 1/4th of the time.

I’m in Amish country. Horses and buggies are common. I saw a boy, perhaps 14, plowing a field with band old tiller pulled by six draft horses. Amish people work hard.

I had arranged to stay with a Warmshowers host near Elverson. I told them I’d be there between 3 and 4 pm. I barely made it thanks to the climbing and an unexpected detour. (Hilly, of course.)

The hosts say I must be gone by 7:30 which is good because tomorrow will be a long day. I’ll be riding through Valley Forge and on a section of the Schuylkill River trail before ending to another Warmshowers host south of Doylestown. It should be about 50 miles.

Bridge over the Susquehanna River
Amish horse and buggy

Today’s miles: 54.5

Tour miles: 186.5

Bike Tour 2023 – Linthicum, MD to East York, PA

I slept like the dead in the pitch black guest room at Mark and Terry’s house.

I woke up and my sore throat was gone but my general fatigue remained.

Mark made scrambled eggs and bacon and Terry made coffee and all the other things.

Terry provided me with two sandwiches on pretzel bread which didn’t get squished in my panniers.

At 8:30 I worked my way back to the Monuments route and followed it with only one wrong turn into Baltimore. It was much hillier than I expected which became a theme of the days

I rode past the sports stadiums and made my way due north from the Inner Harbor area. The first few miles were past run down buildings. Eventually I came to Johns Hopkins University where commencement was underway. After Hopkins I a posh residential area.

I brr we benefited from some pretty sweet bike infrastructure. Alas, I was also treated to a few dozen red lights which made the ride tedious.

North of Baltimore I continued my red light tour eventually finding the rail trail to York. Foe the next 42 miles I did not encounter a single traffic light. Yay.

Unfortunately the trail angles upward by one degree or so creating a false flat. You think you’re on level ground but you’re working hard to break 10 miles per hour.

It was quite a grind but the scenery was grand and the unpaved riding surface was surprisingly firm.

I had originally planned to stop in Freeland MD and camp but I had no cell signal and I wasn’t about to risk wandering into the hilly countryside only to find the place couldn’t accommodate me.

It was only 3 pm so I figured I’d ride another 20 miles to another campground. As luck would have it the trail was slightly downhill once I crossed into Pennsylvania. My speed jumped 4 miles per hour.

I managed to get a cell signal and contacted the place. They had space for me. An hour later I pushed my bike through a field with one porta potty. Beyond that were 20 or so RVs. The notes at the campground office said $36 for a primitive site.

Not for me.

I rode the rest of the trail into York and found a dubiously named Quality Inn. I have a bed and a shower and a “hot breakfast” – almost sure to be not so hot.. I really needed to get the dust of that trail off me. The hotel had a ten percent off deal at the Mexican restaurant next store. The meal was also of dubious quality. (Yeah, I ate it.)

The hotel clerk had a bike in the lobby. It’s a 1947 Swiss Army bike. Very cool. I meant to ask him if it came with a corkscrew but I forgot.

I’m working on lining up a Warmshowers host for tomorrow. I’m about 30 miles farther than planned.

The rail trail in Pennsylvania
1947 Swiss Army bike at my hotel

Todays miles: 73.5

Tour miles: 132

Bike Tour 2023 – sick man on a tank

The day began at 4 a.m. with a sore throat. I woke up and gave myself a Covid test. Negative. I went back to bed for a couple more hours then trudged downstairs for breakfast and a section be Covid test. Negative.

Feeling lousy I resisted the urge to crawl back to bed. I read the newspaper then loaded up The Mule for the first day of my 2,500 mile adventure.

I managed to forget only one thing, eye drops for glaucoma. NBD.

Today’s ride began in Mount Vernon, Virginia and ended in Linthicum, Maryland just came south of Baltimore where I would stay with Mark with whom I toured in 2019 and 2022.

At 10 a.m., I took suburban streets to the Mount Vernon Trail. Using the 14th Street bridge I crossed the Potomac River into DC. After passing the Jefferson memorial I picked up some cycletracks and trails that went passed the Wharf, Fort McNair, Audi Field, and Nationals Park to the new Frederick Douglass Bridge over the Anacostia.

Because Mark lives well to the east of the Adventure Cycling Atlantic Coast route, I cobbled together my route from my knowledge of DC area trails and a ride event I did many years ago.

The past ride was the Monument to Monument event in which riders go from the Washington Monument in DC to the one in Baltimore and back. I found the cue sheet from that ride buried in a file in my basement.

Today’s ride featured comfortable temperatures, some high haze caused by Canadian wildfires, some rolling hills, and a light headwind.

Miles today: 58.5

My path followed bike trails along the river north many miles to Edmonston, Maryland where I switched to the Monuments cue sheet.

I followed the cues until about 1 1/2 miles from Mark’s place where I switched to Google maps for the rest of the ride.

Since I had done nearly the entire ride before it was not a particularly exciting ride.

I stopped in Bladensburg for lunch and a couple more times for snacks. My cold and the sheer weight of my loaded bike made me far more tired than I had anticipated.

After only a single missed turn, I made it to Mark’s house by 4:30. Mark’s wife Tracy made a pot roast feast. Mark and I told tall tales about our bike adventures.

At 10 p.m. I crawled upstairs for some shut eye and Advil PM.

Today was a bit of a slog. Hopefully this cold will fade away in a day or two.

Tour miles: 58.5

Your basic fine dining