Our first day on the open road! We departed my parents’ house under hot, humid, sunny skies, with the goal being Timonium, MD, a bit north of Baltimore. For most of our trip we will be using the Adventure Cycling Association’s mapped routes. Although the ACA’s Atlantic Coast Route does go through Baltimore, we elected to follow the East Coast Greenway (ECG) through Charm City for this first leg. The ECG is another Atlantic coastal bicycling route that happens to pass close to my parents’ house near Annapolis, MD and we could access it easily on local roads directly from their house. So at 9:30am we rolled down the driveway and set out for Baltimore and beyond.
The ECG cue sheets helped us navigate through Anne Arundel County, around Baltimore-Washington International airport, and into Baltimore proper. In Baltimore, the ECG uses the Gwynns Falls trail to get riders downtown to the Inner Harbor, and then the Jones Falls trails to get riders through to the north side of town. Both trails are well marked and easy to follow. After following the Jones Falls trail through Druid Hill Park, we resumed using the cue sheets to navigate out of Baltimore City and on to our destination at the Red Roof Inn on Timonium Road.
Overall, our day was uneventful, although exceedingly hot and humid. We had lunch at Noodles and Company at Harbor Place. We saw an owl dining on a snake. Alan had the first flat tire of the trip. Fortunately, we had a nice place to stop for him to work on it. We had a big pasta dinner at Basta Pasta across the street from the hotel. It’s also clear that we have a few weeks of cycling still to do, if we’re gonna get in shape for this adventure!
Alan adds: Caroline fails to convey exactly how hot it was today. Having lived my life in the West, the humidity of the East is a challenge. I’m used to working up a sweat riding up a hill, but then enjoying a cooling breeze that dries your sweat while rolling down the other side of the hill. Well, that didn’t happen today. It was so dang hot and humid that the downhills never really cooled us off at all. I’m looking forward to getting further north where the humidity is supposed to be less oppressive. Also, the flat tire wasn’t the fault of the tire. It appears there was a small piece of metal (leftover from the manufacturing process?) inside the rim that worked free and rubbed a tiny hole on the inside surface of the tube. I can’t yet say if these tires were a good choice for this trip, but at least today’s flat wasn’t due to the tire. I just wanted to clarify since people often ask how many flat tires we get.