Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Apr 24 2004 - Bike Ride on Nothern Centrail Railroad Trail (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Ryan Meadows
Participants:Ryan Meadows, jim fabrizio, Allyson Green, Trish Dorsey, Rob Copeland, Ted Hellen, Kate Scherr, vic bisignani, Jeff Rowe

Write Up:
I knew the day was going to be great from the moment I got up. I was worried the rainstorms the night before were going to postpone the ride, but they passed and Saturday was gorgeous. Beautiful weather, barely a cloud in the sky, and the trail was dry.

I got my bike onto my car and headed over to the Papermill Road parking lot to find there was plenty of parking available. I was in shock. Pulling in I immediately recognized MOC members congregating for the ride. I said hello and took attendance. A few more members pulled in while we put on sunscreen, pumped tires, adjusted brakes, and made introductions before heading out.

We were on the trail by 10:30 and I was surprised by the lack of strollers, dogs being walked, or kids meandering out of control. I must have picked the perfect time to hit the least traffic. Where could everyone else be?

The nine of us broke into smaller groups that spread out as everyone biked at their comfortable pace. While rolling along past old buildings and metal structures, Ted told us about some of the history of the railroad and how the trail has changed over the years into the bike/hike trail we enjoy today. I wasn't all too talkative, but I was very happy to be on my favorite bike trail with friends along.

Rolling through Sparks I noticed the snack trollie wasn't there yet. Sometimes I'll stop there for a banana split and a frozen banana for later. Maybe later in summer I'll get together another ride and we can stop for ice cream.

While biking along the river we saw fisherman and some canoers. I heard that the Gunpowder River is too cold for tubing at this time of the year, but on the really hot days of August it feels really good. Hmm...sounds like another event I could organize, summer tubing. (Joanne, are you reading?)

The miles rolled away and we made a stop at Monkton for water. Some people let me know they would be turning around early and not biking the full 40 miles. I was fine with that and bid them good farewell at White Hall. Just randomly Kate ran into her uncle, apparently also an avid bicyclist. After leaving Monkton we continued to White Hall, about 10 miles from where we started. We talked for a few minutes about other plans before the few members headed back. The remaining five of us went the distance.

We continued on and while talking to Kate she told us about the Moveable feast charity ride coming up really soon (see the non-MOC events page). It is a two-day, 160-mile ride from Rehobeth Beach, DE to the Inner Harbor. That would be an awesome trip I'd love to do if I had known sooner.

A few miles north of White Hall we came to the falls. Not a huge, impressive falls, but it was flowing well because of the recent rain.

Further along the NCR trail Allyson and I came to a hiking trail off to the side. Into the woods a little bit was a kiosk I hadn't noticed before. We were both curious to see it. It turns out there's a church-maintained Bee Tree Reserve with trails and places to camp. Ted had a few ideas for biking, hiking, and camping to explore the area. For those that might be curious I took close- up pictures if you would like more information. After reading about the reserve we got back on our bikes and continued toward the Mason-Dixon line. The whole time I couldn't help noticing how lush and green everything was. As we went farther north some of the trees were just beginning to bud and the woods weren't as dense with foliage.

The last five miles or so seemed to go by slower. Of course, this is the gentle up-river slope I was talking about that makes the ride seem more difficult then it really is. It's a subtle slope where you don't notice you're working harder to maintain speed. Finally we reached the Mason-Dixon line, parked our bikes in racks, and h

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