This ride is built around two interesting landmarks, one from the past, the other from the future. From the 18th-19th centuries, the Beall plantation house: much of Rockville was part of the pre-civil War Beall plantation. From the 21st century, Belward Farm, the last large piece of undeveloped land in central Montgomery County. Johns Hopkins is about to break ground on a massive hi-rise, hi-density ‘Science City’ on Belward. The project is being challenged in court by the family of Elizabeth Beall Banks, who left the property to Hopkins in exchange for a mere pittance, on the condition that it be used for a tranquil college campus. It is also opposed many county residents, who are concerned about the added traffic congestion and the impact on air and water quality, schools, parks, and other public services.
We’ll start in Rockville Town Center, cross I-270, and ride up to the ‘Top of Rockville’ (unofficially designated – by me -- as the highest point in the city), with nice views. (There’s a flat detour for those who don’t want to do the hill – tho it’s really not that bad.) Then out to the mansions of west Potomac (complete with horses, sheep, cattle, and private pastures), a rest stop (at Glen and Travilah Rds), and onward to Belward Farm. On the way back, we’ll ride thru Fallsgrove (formerly Thomas Farm) and King Farm, which were both undeveloped farmland just a few short years ago. Finally, we’ll ride by the Beall plantation house (now known as the Beall-Dawson House, home of the Montgomery Co. Historical Society) before returning to our starting point.
The ride overall is ‘moderately hilly.’ I’ll ride a comfortable C pace; slower uphill. No one will be left behind. Helmets mandatory.
We’ll gather for lunch/refreshments after the ride at one of the restaurants/bars in the town center, so bring a lock and some money. No go if forecast temperature at start time is below 40° or rain/snow expected. If weather is doubtful, I’ll post a notice on the ‘MD Forum’ page of the PPTC web-site no later than 8:00 AM; or e-mail me up ‘til 9:00 at [masked].
Starting point at the main Library entrance, on the south side of the building, ½-way between Maryland Ave. and Gibbs St., facing the ice rink. Free weekend & holiday parking in Metro lots at Rockville station on the Red Line, just ½ mile from the start point. Plenty of paid parking all around the Town Center. Or come with your bike on Metro.
If you’re new to Potomac Pedalers rides, Welcome! We’re glad to have new riders -- but please go to the web site (PotomacPedalers.org) before the ride, pick the “Ride Info – Riders” tab on the left side, and read, at least, ‘How to Choose a Ride,’ the Ride Classification Table, and ‘How to Prepare for a Ride.’ And remember Einstein’s special law of (cycling) relativity: This ride is an easy jaunt for A, B, and most CC riders; a pleasant ride, but a serious workout for C riders like me; and it may be a daunting challenge for 1st-timers and D riders.