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Tour De Montes Ride Report(21 posts)

Tour De Montes Ride ReportMB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:03 PM
The Tour De Montes is a 3 day ride put on by the Baltimore Bike Club. Craig Martin has been running it for the last few years-I can't say enough good things about the job he does. $110 gets you 2 nights in the best hotel in Greencastle, PA (not that says much-Greencastle is hurting) 2 pretty good dinners, all the climbing you can handle (plus at least 10% over your limit) and fairly good sag support. This is the third time we have done the ride.

We arranged with LenJ to deliver our bags so we could start from home and meet the group in mid ride. Summer around here can be tough. Heat plus humidity can really make long rides a challenge. We tried to start by 6am every day.

The latest heat wave had just broken Thursday night with some really strong thunderstorms rolling through leaving cooler, drier air in its' wake. Even so every day would see highs in the mid-80's and hazy skies. Not the best conditions for landscape photography but I made do.

Here is the sky Friday morning as we headed out.
Play Misty for me.MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:05 PM
We caught the group at their lunch stop. About 50 miles for them, 80 miles for us. It was nice to see Len and even better to know that our luggage made it to the start. Just as we came off the last downhill the sky opened up. We had left lunch well before the group so we were thinking that no one else would even believe that we had got rained on. Not so, Len and the folks with him got drenched on the downhill.

Guess we lucked out. Wouldn't have wanted to be on that road in that rain.

Saturday was the big climbing day. We got our usual early start. The previous day's rain was in evidence as very thick fog. We got soaked riding through it but as Miss M said "Better to be a little wet and cool rather than deal with the usual Pennsylvania summer heat".

Here we are coming up on a farm. The mist would close in for a while than open up briefly to reveal a home or barn then close back in again. Nice riding actually.
Things are looking up now.MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:07 PM
As we started up the foothills you could occasionally see the mountains we were about to spend the next 4 hours in. We had about 30 miles of fairly gentle rises before we hit the first wall. I'm thinking we didn't do enough climbing with Len 2 weeks ago to get him ready for this.

This is fairly typical of the area. Farms and corn fields. Fortunately for you my camera couldn't capture the unique odor of the farm fresh air on a misty morning.
Up, up and away.MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:10 PM
LenJ and Miss M were sitting around the motel room Saturday night shooting the breeze after a good days riding when he outed me-the bum. Started telling Miss M about the pictures I have been posting here-the hammer came down. No more pics of Miss M's backside allowed.

So how am I going to show what the rides look and feel like? I guess maybe if I move the camera down to get some of the bike in the picture.

The first climb. You can follow the road twisting up to the left.
Signs of the mountains.MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:14 PM
There are road signs that you only see in the mountains. Ignore them not my friends. On the first downhill there were these 180 degree turn arrows with a 10mph caution sign. I blew by the first one and nearly went off the road. I paid attention after that.

Notice the 10 percent grade and the 40mph speed limit. Not to mention the flatlands far below. If there was a speed trap anywhere on this road 50 cyclists could have been cited.
Sunday SunriseMB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:16 PM
We had a great ride Saturday but it was heating up-a forecast high of 90 and rising humidity. We got our usual early start and saw this sunrise about 10 miles into the ride.
Queen of the Mountains.MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:19 PM
Due to our early starts and riding style (we rarely stop and never for long) Miss M and I were first to the top of every climb. On Saturday we split the first 4 climbs and she took the honors on the 5th climb. Gary caught me just before the top and let it be known far and wide that my wife was kicking my butt on the climbs. Oh the humiliation.

Sunday only had one climb but it was a toughie. Then after you were done with the climb it got really hard for a while. Sorry about that, Len.

Well I was close enough to take this picture of Miss M crushing the last climb into dust anyway.
Who’s the kilty party?MB1
Jun 30, 2002 5:22 PM
Sunday we had just about finished cleaning up when Len rolled in. I would say he did pretty well for a flatlander. Miss M and I have ridden these hills many times. It was Len's first time on any of them. Not to mention 3 centuries in three days. Gold star for Len.

We offered to let Len use our portable shower but he just wanted to wear my clothes. No Len, the clothes don't make the man.
Jun 30, 2002 5:46 PM
There is a lot of quality in the pictures you post. There is a touch of talent there, I am afraid.

Thanks for the pictures.

The rest of the story..........Len J
Jun 30, 2002 5:57 PM
You're damn right I didn't do enough climbing to get ready for this!

Some statistics (courtesy of my s710):

Total feet of climbing in 3 daysX100 miles/day;
Day 1: 5,600ft
Day 2: 7,600ft
Day 3: 5,800ft
Total 19,000ft

While the 7 long climbs, (1 each day 1 & 3 & 5 on day two) were tough, I think that the shorter (Less thaan 1 mile) climbs were actually tougher, they tended to be steeper and seemed to come in waves.

Now I'm sure that this doesn't seem like much climbing to some of you, but remember I live in Talbot county Maryland. My house is exactly 7 ft above sea level & the highest point in the county is 110 ft above sea level. I'm damn glad I survived. Happy to say I rode every hill (albeit slowly at times) and finished the full 300 miles.

And damn I am tired.

As to the picture, well I figure no matter what I say the hole will get deeper, so I'll just not say anything.

i predict that very soon our own len j .....Spirito
Jun 30, 2002 8:33 PM
will be the model on the cover of the CC catalogue.

im sure CC are aproching gregg now asking for MB1's email adress and are about to send out a model release form to MB1 for len j to sign.

stardom and punani awaits ;-)

and we'll all pretend that we were down with len j back in the day - tight 'n sheeet, homie. by then len j will be on TV and with a crack addiction and ............

len j - your allright. respect any man in a kilt (even if its a bit too long).

nooooooooooo! another convert!JS Haiku Shop
Jul 1, 2002 6:26 AM
actually, it's a great idea, and i'm considering one me-self. personally i'm still using the large beach towel method.
Nice Pics!Mike P
Jul 1, 2002 3:30 AM
Looks like a nice, hilly ride. I like the picture with the mist and mountains in the background.

You mentioned you guys usually start early; did you start the 3 state 3 mtn early? The reason I ask is I remember we caught up to a couple of riders on the Suck Creek climb, just wondering if it was you and Miss M.

Probably not us.MB1
Jul 1, 2002 5:33 AM
I'm not sure what ride you are asking about but I don't recall a Suck Creek climb.

Although I do like the name....
re: Great pics from a nice area.JL
Jul 1, 2002 6:10 AM
My sister used to go to school that way. I liked that area from a "picturesque" perspective. Too bad I wasn't a cyclist then as I would have enjoyed the riding.

Thanks for the ride report/pics. Another good one.

Happy riding.

Looks like fun!!...thanks for the pics [nm]jagiger
Jul 1, 2002 6:12 AM
I'm going to bring a camera on my next ride...Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 1, 2002 7:38 AM
just to show you how lucky you are. There is some nice riding to be had along the lake, but my club seeks out roads based on speed only. This pretty much puts us on 50mph suburban super-arteries.


We ride on a few of those, very few.MB1
Jul 1, 2002 7:53 AM
Why would I take and post pictures of highways? I would just as soon forget about them as soon as we are off of them.

Empty tree lined roads are the way to go. We go there as often as we can.

Still I am sure we wouldn't mind seeing where you ride. Off-road too.
Where can I find instructions for posting pics on this site?Alex-in-Evanston
Jul 1, 2002 8:09 AM

Not much to it really.MB1
Jul 1, 2002 8:32 AM
When you hit the reply button the screen that comes up had a field below the "Message" area called the "Post an Image URL:". Click on the "click here" and follow the instructions.

I find it best to make sure my images fit the screen without making readers have to scroll through the image to see the whole thing. That generally means keeping the image height below 425 pixels and the width less than 575 or so.

You can check out your images before posting.

Looking forward to seeing something from the Windy City.
I can't get enough of your ride summaries. Never stop! nmLeisure
Jul 2, 2002 1:40 AM