Even though I made it further into Maryland than I thought I would, I still had a long way to go to get into DC. Thankfully Stephen shared his excellent route into the DC Metro area from Joppa to Greenbelt.
It didn’t take me long to realize Maryland wasn’t done throwing hills at me:
One of those urban areas was Beverly Hills, founded 12 years after its more famous Californian counterpart:
I took a nice ride around a large pond in a park, sensing that I was nearing Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore (yet another day where I don’t really know where I am at any given time but figure it out after the fact). So I decided to do some digging… This being Baltimore, I had to make some sort of John Waters pilgrimage. I’ve loved his movies forever (especially Pecker and Serial Mom) and he is of course Mr. Baltimore. I was able to find that the house from Pink Flamingos was just north of Johns Hopkins, and right off my route! I was tickled by this and had to make a stop.
I pedaled up Greenmount Avenue with an anticipatory smile on my face, and sure enough, there was the house of the Marbles, which apparently Waters and Mink Stole lived in during filming. I wish I thought to get a bike portrait here but a house portrait will do:
In short order I made it south through Johns Hopkins, and the campus was beautiful. I passed a lot of students moving out for the summer and actually thought to myself “why not just pack up a bike?”
Right after the stadium I joined the Gwynns Falls trail that took me out of Baltimore. It was a great, well marked trail with a fun bridge laid out right next to the Horseshoe Casino:
I was roughly halfway done wth the day into DC and I was getting tired. I didn’t like being tempted by the light rail:
The second half of the day was rougher than the first half. I was riding back roads with no shoulder and the hills were picking up again. I was getting excited to get into DC; I had been chatting with Chuck, my host in the city, quite a bit via text and knew we’d have a good time. But time was dragging on and I felt I’d never make it in. But you have to just keep moving, and that’s what I did. This eventually brought me by a bingo hall:
I eventually made it to Montpelier, MD, with a sign worthy of a bike portrait:
In short order I made it to Greenbelt, the end of Stephen’s route into DC. But I was awfully tired. By this point I had been on the bike for 60 hilly miles, and I was spent. But I still had a ways to go to get to Chuck’s. Thankfully, the earth flattened out for me the closer I got to DC, and I took the Anacostia trail system south to DC proper.
I couldn’t help but notice that every cyclist I passed and waved to didn’t wave back. I really don’t understand this behavior. I feel we all need to stick together out there but maybe DC riders are of a different mind. Anyway…
I felt a great sense of satisfaction when I made it to the sign saying I was entering Washington. These placeholders have become monumental to me.
I made it to Chuck’s place and although I assured him I didn’t need the red carpet rolled out for me (which he responded with “good, I don’t have one”, a joke that made me laugh so hard I swerved in the road riding when I originally read it), he has absolutely outdone himself. He ordered me a pizza (which I devoured. Every last bit), gave me a shower, and the best part… Free beer, as he works for a brewery. I couldn’t ask for a better place to stay for a couple nights. He’s been an amazing host, and we’ve had fun talking about all the adventures ahead of us. We talked a bit about starting the C&O… The plan was to start tomorrow but there is a call for rain, and the C&O isn’t paved. So that means lots and lots of mud. I’m considering taking another day in DC because of it. Wouldn’t be a bad idea at all given my rockstar treatment with Chuck and all the stuff to do here. We’ll see.
And oh! Great news! The cable I got in Delaware ripped apart after a day. The two I had with me have corroded. I’ve gone through three iPhone cables and I’m getting very unhappy about it. So today it’s off to get a fourth one. Yay. At this rate I’ll blow my budget for this whole thing on iPhone cables by the time I get to Iowa. But I’m thinking its time to put the thing away. More on that later.