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The Short Way to Do OC-16

by on April 20, 2013

With the chaos of the season and planning for vacation in a few days, it just wasn’t in the cards to ride our SPP Ocean City Ride this spring.  That’s a 115 mile ride to Ocean City, then return the next day.  It is what we refer to as the “Gateway Ride” to randonneuring.  It includes a “no drop ride”, a stop at Dave’s Place (a biker bar in Ridgely), Irish Eyes in Milton, a stop at Dogfish Head brewery, and Ocean City … and that’s just the first day.  It is simply a good time.

The alternative is a ride to Dave’s Place, and then return.  A few years ago, Tom G rode only to Dave’s Place, then returned.  He started an option that is better than not riding at all. This time, there were 6 of us that found this to be our best option.  Ten others were riding the whole ride.  That meant that for our first leg, we had 16 riders.

It was just below 50° F when we gathered for the start in Chester, MD.  After the obligatory photos and getting the latecomers organized, we pushed off with a great tailwind.  We had one rider who was having trouble with the pace we set, but with some added pushes, encouragement, and strategic placement within the pace line, he was able to have probably his fastest 32 miles ever.  Without him, the ride would have been even faster.  I was riding a fixie, which is a good choice on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with a tailwind.  A geared bike would have been easier, but I liked the day on the fixie.


Dave’s Place is a great stop for our second breakfast of the day.  Maryanne, the owner, is gregarious and very accommodating.   It was a little odd to see some guys with buckets of beer at 10 am, but Maryanne has a long table set up for us and feeds us breakfast sandwiches to order and bakes for us.  On the table when we arrived were potato chips, brownies, chocolate chip cookies and key lime cupcakes.  Coffee and water were generously provided and within a few minutes after our early arrival, our sandwiches arrived.  Mine was egg, bacon, and cheese on whole wheat bread and it was very tasty, even after I had eaten chips, a cookie, and a cupcake.  Rookies get a hug.  There are prizes, consisting of t-shirts, koozies, lottery tickets, caps, etc.  About half of us win a prize of some sort.  At the end of our hour, we take photos with Maryanne, and push off.  Ten go left and 6 of us go right to make our way back to our cars in Chester.

For those of us going back, we now have a headwind.  I route us back using some of the roads I know from having RUSA permanents on the Eastern Shore.  Soon we are realizing that our slower guy is going to challenge us.  We aren’t riding fast enough to stay warm, and are constantly waiting for him to catch up to us.  After some time with this, Jack volunteers to ride with him since Jack knows the way back, and then there were four who are pushing into the headwind as quickly as we can and keep the speed up in a pace line.  Some of those pulls in the teeth of the wind were challenging.  I’m always amazed at how much drafting makes a difference.  On the fixie, I was able to maintain a pretty steady pace, and spent a good deal of time on the front.

We made it back in pretty good time, and the four of us agreed that our 60+ miles were sufficient on the day.    The wind added a real challenge to the day.

At the end of the day, I had over 4013 miles on the fixie!  That’s a lot of spinning.

At the end of the day, I had a 30 day distance of 796 miles.

This was a good day.  I’m tired.  But it was good.

This Ride: 63.6 miles
Month: 597.9 miles
2013: 1906.4 miles
Total since 1/1/2010: 21,679.3 miles


From → Cycling

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