The Washington Area Bicycling Atlas included a ride on the Eastern Shore of Maryland called the Rock Hall Ramble. I lost the book but used the Google to find a cue sheet to the ride online. And off I went.
The ride through Kent County begins in Chestertown, Maryland. Founded in the early 18th century, Chestertown is a quaint place with just over 5,000 residents on the Chester River. The town is filled with lovely eateries and old buildings, as well as Washington College, a small liberal arts college founded in the late 1700s.
The ride makes its way southwest on quiet country roads to the town of Rock Hall on the Chesapeake Bay. Here you can dine like a proper Maryland savage by ripping crabs limb from limb. Ick.
Heading south from Rock Hall, the route enters the Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge. I saw a deer and a rather humongous vulture, as well as bunches of noisy ospreys. The road dead ended at a rather drab field so I turned around and checked out a historical marker. It was a memorial to the dead son of a colonial landowner. The son it seems died at sea captaining a ship during the Revolutionary War.
On the way back to Rock Hall I stopped at Bogles Wharf for another view of the Chester River.
Once through Rock Hall the route became rather disappointing. The road was flat but the scenery did not inspire. Basically, this is a highway to the town of Fairlee.
Then it’s back to Chestertown. The town closed High Street, the main drag, for a farmers market in the morning. It was re-opened when I arrived after my ride. As I was leaving I noticed it was closed again. Moving traffic barriers is a full time job here.
All in all the ride was not half bad. Low traffic. No hills worth mentioning. Decent views of the Chester River and the bay. A respectable place to pedal 52 miles.
There’s the old story about Groucho Marx. I heard it as the reason his TV show was taken off the air. The details vary in the telling. While interviewing a man/woman/couple that have been married for 10 (or more) years, they related that they have 12 (or more) children. Hearing this Groucho says to the husband, “I like my cigar but I take it out once in a while.”
It never happened. But it’s a good story.
Well, I’ve ridden my bike for 22 days in a row. I woke up today and decided that I like my cigar, but it’s time to take it out.
Instead of riding I mowed the lawn in suffocating heat and humidity. Then I did about an hour of light yard work. I wore a t-shirt, sun sleeves, and swim trunks in anticipation of a sweat fest. When I was done, I was soaking wet. My sun sleeves were so wet they slid down to my forearms.
After a snack and a rewarding nap, I am ready for another string of bike rides. I am in striking distance if getting on a pace to ride 10,000 miles this year, but I need to bang out a few longer rides. Lately it has been so hot and humid that I haven’t dared to try to ride over 50 miles.
I found a bunch of rides online in Kent County Maryland. The shortest is called the Rock Hall Ramble. It’s about 50 miles but can be easily expanded to 70 miles by riding a spur into the Chesapeake Bay. Two other rides are over 80 miles. All three start and end at Washington College in Chestertown. I’ll probably do the ramble and save the other two rides for another day. All of these rides are ideal for a recumbent but cross winds on the Bay Bridge make me weary of hanging Big Nellie off the back of my car. Getting blown into the Chesapeake can ruin your whole day.
Time to fill some water bottles and make some snacks!