Potomac Pedalers Message Board › Important Update about Sunday's Farm Tour
Silver Spring, MD
Montgomery County Farm Tour Update
**Picnic is sold out, but you are still welcome to ride**
Ride Start: Poolesville Golf Course
16601 West Willard Road
Poolesville, MD 20837
Thank you for registering for the September 29 Farm Tour picnic. The forecast has finally delivered the news I've been waiting for: a sunny weekend. I can't wait to gaze upon the sea of multicolored helmets, jerseys and smiling faces. We have a great event planned for you.
Below I will attempt to cover a number of points of particular importance. Some items will be familiar to experienced riders, but not all, so please at least skim the entire list. (To those who rode last year, this isn’t a recycled list.)
1. The Ag Reserve (the area where you’ll be riding on Sunday) is neither extremely hilly nor extremely flat. It is best described as rolling. The longest route (approx. 76 miles) has some short, but strenuous, hills. You’ll get a workout no matter which route you choose. New riders: there’s no shame in taking frequent breaks or walking when you need to.
2. I designed these routes to avoid heavy traffic. The majority of your tour will be on lightly traveled rural roads. All routes have a mile or two where traffic is slightly heavier, such as Route 28 and Comus Road where it approaches Sugarloaf Mountain, but even there, the traffic is not threatening. There are no bike paths on these routes. The heaviest traffic you’re likely to encounter is near the entrance of Homestead Farm (a rest stop on the 37, 57 and 76 mile routes). Beware of a cattle grate when entering the property. Ride with caution.
3. When I advertised this year’s Farm Tour, I used the distances from last year’s starting point, Poolesville High School. This year, the event starts at the Poolesville Golf Course. All routes have newly created cue sheets and are one to two miles longer. The GPS files are posted here. The cue sheets will be up later today.
4. Today is Friday, September 27. If you haven’t yet tested your bike to see if it’s fit for a tour, you still have two days to do so. You might consider taking it to your local bike shop. Regardless, please show up with a bike that not only fits you, but is fit to be ridden. Please also bring a spare tube, a pump or CO2 cartridge and water bottles. Spokes Etc. will be onsite to handle minor repairs. Helmets are required.
5. Please carry ID and the phone number of at least one person we can contact should you have an accident. In fact, order yourself a RoadID tonight (roadID.com). You won't have it by Saturday, but you'll have it the next time you ride. I've been on the “contact the loved one” side of the accident more than once. A RoadID would have made my job much easier.
6. We'll be sharing the road with local residents and tourists. Stay aware of motorists at all times. The default position for cyclists riding in groups is single file.
7. Bicyclists are expected to obey the same traffic laws as motorists. Do it. The police have been known to ticket cyclists in this area for running stop signs.
8. Do not cross the center line into the oncoming lane under any circumstances.
9. Bicycles can startle horses. Before passing a horse and rider, slow down and ask if it's okay to pass.
10. Be mindful of the fact that drivers pulling horse trailers cannot stop abruptly. There's a one-ton animal in there! If you find yourself matched up with a trailer on a one-lane bridge, let the horse trailer go first.
11. The club will provide water and Gatorade at Homestead Farm (on the 37-, 57-, and 76-mile routes) and the picnic at Kingsbury's Orchard. All routes also include one or more country markets where you can replenish. Bring some pocket money to buy food and refreshments as needed.
12. As noted, the 37-, 56-, and 75-mile routes include Homestead Farm where you will be required to stop for at least one slice of pie and ice cream! It is listed in the fine print. Seriously, if you like pie, you are in for real treat. It's one of my favorite parts of the tour; you won't want to miss it. And, if your dental work can stand it, try a caramel apple. I’ve been trying to pin down farmer Ben on when the pie stall opens. He hasn’t responded, but I think it’s between 10:30 and 11 a.m. If you get there before they open, hang out. Buy an apple!
13. Preregistration for the picnic was required, and, unfortunately, late registration is no longer an option as we are sold out. If you invite 10 of your pals to ride with you, I won't be able to accommodate them last minute at the picnic. My apologies, but we don't have a working kitchen at Kingsbury's in which to prepare more lunches.
14. You are welcome to start with a group but are not required to do so. Feel free to roll out at any time you choose. Large groups are scheduled to go out approximately every 30 minutes. For safety, I’ll divide each group into fast medium, and slow and stagger each by about three minutes.
15. If it's raining, no matter how hard, I'll be at the golf course with cue sheets. Gene Kingsbury and I will figure out something for the picnic. I certainly would let you know by early Sunday morning by email.
16. We're riding in honor of my friend Neal Molloy who passed away in a bike accident three years ago. Please bring a couple of dollars for the donation jar. I'll send what I collect to the Brain Injury Association of Maryland.
17. Let’s talk about fruit purchase. You can purchase fruit at Kingsbury’s Orchard, the picnic location, a rest stop along the route and five miles from the ride finish. Volunteers will drive it back to your cars. No fruit delivery will be available at Homestead farm.
18. And last, but certainly not least, I want to send a shout-out to my co-sponsor, the Montgomery Countryside Alliance, the folks who keep the Ag and open space in the Ag Reserve. Check them out and support them at www.mocoalliance.org.
And that's it for now. I have much planning and errand running to do so will not be able to answer any but the most urgent questions until Saturday. Let's all pray for continued good weather. I look forward to seeing all of you.
Everything else you need to know about the event can be found on our website under the “events” tab: www.potomacpedalers.org.
What time will you be at the golf course with cue sheets?