For many years I've been driving over the Bay Bridge in early April to either do charity bike rides around Easton/St. Michaels, or kayak around Wye River. This year it was to ride the metric century fund raiser for Talbot Special Riders, an organization that uses horses to provide physical and emotional therapy to individuals in need.
The ride started in Easton, at the elementary school where years ago Carole and I enjoyed the craft show as part of Easton's annual Waterfowl Festival. It was 43 degrees at the start at 0830, and the winds were howling out of the northwest at 20 mph or more. That was great for the first 12 miles or so, giving us a tailwind as we headed southeast to the first rest stop at mile 18 on the Choptank River.
A beautiful river view at the first rest stop and an amazing selection of food - every rest stop would have the usual Kind bars, bananas, etc, but TSR adds homemade cookies, coffee cake and all kinds of amazing stuff.
What the tailwind gives, on a loop ride it soon takes it back with a vengeance. Leaving that rest stop there was about 8 miles of gusty cross winds until we reached the very scenic Belmont Landing area on Boling Broke Creek, but then the next 12 miles were directly into the wind, which was unrelenting. But that was followed by a turn to the southwest that took us on a 14 mile loop that was largely sheltered by large pine trees on a peninsula between Island Creek and La Trappe Creek, with many huuuge estates.
The final rest stop was at mile 45 where I had a brain fart upon leaving and followed the wrong route markers and missed the segment that went down to Oxford and back. So, I ended up doing a 52 mile ride instead of a 62 mile ride.
Back at the start, some great crab soup (I don't even usually like cream of crab soup but it was tasty and full of big crab chunks) and foil wrapped burgers that had succumbed to the cold winds - and more cookies!
A great. well marked route, very friendly people, great food and a cloudless sky more than made up for the wind - this is my new favorite Eastern Shore Ride.