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From Beall to Belward

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, where Johns Hopkins is about to break ground on a massive hi-rise, hi-density ‘Science City.’ 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 quality, schools, parks, and other public services.

We’ll start in the Rockville Town Center, cross I-270, and ride up to the ‘Top of Rockville,’ (which I’ve unofficially designated 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 some of the mansions of west Potomac (complete with horses and pastures) 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 at the Library.

We’ll gather for lunch/refreshments after the ride at one of the restaurants / bars in the town center.
I’ll ride a comfortable C pace; slower uphill. No one will be left behind.
Helmets mandatory. Bring a lock and lunch money.
No go if forecast temperature at start time is below 40° or rain/snow expected. If weather is doubtful, check PPTC web-site ‘MD Forum’ page 2 hours before start time.
Route map:
Starting point at the main Library entrance, facing the plaza. Plenty of paid parking around the Town Center, or come with your bike on Metro.

Mitch Stengel [masked] 301/[masked]

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  • Caitlin

    I really enjoyed it, and the weather was perfect for a bike ride. The scenery was very beautiful.

    November 23, 2012

  • Stephen P.

    Many thanks to Karen, who was able to read as much as she rode. Although she is from Arlington, VA, and had never been to Rockville before today, she led a sub-group of about 8 of us on a tour of Rockville roads and residences. We arrived back at our destination with about 28+ miles on the odometer. Turkey and assorted sides were successfully burned!

    November 23, 2012

  • Mitch­ changed the location to Rockville Library

    November 22, 2012

  • Michael S.

    Is there any way the route illustrated on can be exported to another map format, such as GPX for Android "My Tracks" users? doesn't have an Android app so even if I joined up it wouldn't help. If it can't be exported is there a way to list the way points, i.e. turns? Will there be cue sheets available at the ride start for those of us still living in the dark ages?

    November 22, 2012

  • A former member

    A former member removed the location. It was Rockville Library

    November 22, 2012

  • Deborah T.

    Mitch, Sorry we're going to miss this. It's a great ride.

    November 17, 2012

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