Saturday, March 26, 2005

Today's Departure

Today I hit two new trails, the BWI Trail and the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A Trail) Trails. I crawled out of bed a little later than I would have hoped and didn't get on the road until about 1:30 and didn't hit the trail until a bit after two. The conditions were pretty good for riding app. 55 degrees and not much in the way of wind. Was pretty grey and overcast.

As you can probably guess the BWI Trail is near the Baltimore Washington International Airport (which apparently may be renamed the Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport). The BWI trail is a roughly a lap around the perimeter of the airport with various ins and outs around the grounds. I parked at the Dixon Aircraft Observation Area on Dorsey Road. Its a great place to start and is right at the end of one of the runways. It seems that a fair number of my rides involve planes zooming overhead. Next time you fly into our out of BWI I would suggest a visit its a great place for the big and little kids and there is a playground to keep everyone occupied in between take-offs. Anyway I zoomed off on my ride. Its an unusual trail. A bit of a combination of industrail wasteland (riding over highways and past Lock-Mart offices) and then through a horsefarm and around wetlands. And of course the omnipresent sound of jet engines. On a less aestetic note, the trail is well maintained and was not at all crowded on a Saturday afternoon.

After doing most of the loop I transitioned (poorly I would later discover -- no need to ride though neighboorhoods and across Crain Highway) onto the B&A trail. The B&A trail is relatively well maintained and pretty flat. Runs around a local mall and then roughly down to Annapolis. A couple notes on the trail though. I think its probably better for running. It crosses a number of roads, so when cycling you're clipping in and out alot. Other than that it was good. I did notice something really odd though. About 3/4 of the way down the trail, there was a big patch of bamboo planted along the side of the trail. I can't imagine how bamboo is indigineous to Maryland. I'm wondering why with all the invasive species causing mischief in our parks the park police haven't pulled this stuff out. Finally along the north end of the trail there is a great planetary science project and some really great scuplture!

Other highlights of the 40 miles this weekend include regular doses of energy gels. These provied a great boost of energy during your ride. They also taste like ass. I tried the apple-cinnamon and espresso Hammer Gels. The apple cinnamon sorta tasted like apple pie from McDonalds, but not too much. The espresso one looked dreadful. Looked alot like a gelatious version of motor oil that was about 3 months overdue for a changing. The strawberry-banana from Power Gel tasted ok. The Vanilla was just plain vile. And it didn't have caffeine. Ick. It worked though which I guess is good, but I think the apple ones were my favorite. Anyway they work well for what they're supposed to do and they're alot less trouble than a power bar, but don't expect too much in the way of taste.

All in all a good ride, capped off by watching The Unbearable Lightness of Being on video.

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