Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Hills of Ellicott City


Advertised as "I hate hills!" on the Potomac Pedalers' website, this ride was to be from Savage or Jessup, Maryland (I couldn't tell which) to Ellicott City. Ellicott City is a quaint historical railroad town set down in a forested river valley not far from Baltimore.

But it was more than just a routine group ride. My third cousin, Susan Richards, whom I had never met before, was also on the ride. Her schedule would not permit her to ride the entire route but she rode the first 13 miles.

We left the starting parking lot and had an enjoyable 10 miles which took us on a two-mile descent down a wooded country road right into Ellicott City. Here we lost contact with the group briefly but I did have a cue sheet if I wanted to follow along. We briefly made contact with them in Ellicott City and rode together on River Road before Susan said goodbye and turned around.

I was about a half-mile behind and had to catch the group. I did on the first big climb of the day. This was on Ilchester road which was a two-mile climb with grades of 15-18%. Sweet!

I caught and passed three riders on the climb which certainly made me feel good. The rest of the day featured descending back to Ellicott City then climbing another route out of the valley. Repeat.

We had a group of five stop at a bakery where the other four sat down for a much-longer-than-I-would-want sit down break. I enjoyed riding with them and loved the route but excused myself to take off and finish on my own.

Note: The above photograph is used without permission and may be subject to copyright infringement. I may go to jail. Source:

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