My bicycle at a bridge on the Patuxent Branch Trail



Bicycling Adventures 2010

Last updated October 21, 2010



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Taylors Island
On October 16, 2010, Norma and I joined Brian, Kristina, and Catriona (Cat) for some kayaking at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge and camping at Madison Bay Campground.

The next morning, Norma, Kristina, Cat, and Jenn B. biked in the women only Wild Goose Chase Ride. Money raised from this event went toward helping Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

Those of us not participating in the organized ride (Brian, Gina C., and I) started biking from Cambridge/South Dorchester High School, the starting location of the Wild Goose Chase Ride. From here, we rode out to Taylors Island. Along the way, we stopped in at Taylors Island Family Campground and the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. The three of us put in 53 miles.

Afterwards, Brian and I returned to the campground to pack up. Then Brian, Gina, Kristina, Norma, and I went to Red, Hot, and Blue in Annapolis for some man food. A half rack of ribs put my appetite at ease.

Special thanks Brian for providing the global positioning system (GPS) tracked bike routes (see the first and second images)...and of course for organizing this trip.
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Challenge Weekend
Once a year, I like to spend a weekend pushing myself physically. I call it a Challenge Weekend. To read more about this event in 2010 as it pertains to bicycling, see Challenge Weekend 2010.

Northern Florida
For a trip report of my April 2-8, 2010 bicycling trips in northern Florida, see Florida 2010.

WB&A Trail - Southern Section
After completing a nine mile plus hike in the Fran Uhler Natural Area on January 16, 2010, I set off on my own to explore the Washington, Baltimore, and Annapolis (WB&A) Trail.

Last year, Norma and I explored the northern section of this trail which starts in Odenton and goes to Crofton in Anne Arundel County. Today, I would explore the southern section in Prince George's County. Supposedly the two sections will be connected but first there needs to be funding to build a bridge across the Patuxent (Pax) River. There is no telling when this will take place.

For our hike, we parked at the northernmost lot at the southern section. Hence, I was already where I needed to be. I unloaded my bike and pedaled north on the trail. After 0.35 miles, it ended at the Patuxent River.

Could I launch my kayak from here? Though it was a rather steep drop-off, I think I least from the west (upstream) side. See first photo. The river seemed deep enough, wide enough, and free from least as far as I could see. Of course I would need to bring my wheeled kayak cart and a rope but with no formal launch sites between the T. Howard Duckett Watershed (Rocky Gorge Reservoir) and the Governor Bridge Canoe Launch, I would be willing to go to such efforts to launch. It would be about 6.5 miles from where the Pax meets the WB&A trail to the Governor Bridge launch site. Not a very long route but I suspect there will be a few portages involved. Getting back to the start should be easy on bicycle as one could simply head back on Collington Road/Laurel Bowie Road (route 197) then on the WB&A Trail. According to Foxhill Park, Bowie, Maryland,
When Collington Road (route 197) was relocated, the remaining roadbed was later remade into a trail. The result is a wide and smooth trail that connected north and south parts of the city. A trail bridge was added over route 50 when that highway was widened, to keep the trail connected.

The first part of the trail at Race Track Road was wooden and partially covered (second photo) with ice on the south side. But after that, the trail was clear.

I biked through some of the quiet sections of Bowie. It was interesting seeing the backs of people's homes. I envisioned what I could do with the backside of my house.

After a little over 5 miles, I came to the southernnmost lot near Glenn Dale Road. There was a boardwalk that passed along a frozen pond. See third photo. Someone drew a giant heart around a cross on the ice (fourth photo).

It was hard to tell exactly where the trail ended since it eventually just seemed like a wide shoulder along Electric Avenue. After it became uninteresting, I headed back. I don't think I made it all the way to the end but I came close.

The return ride, heading northeast, was slightly downhill.

I finished as the sun started to sink low and the temperature dropped. It was an easy 11 miles of exploration.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.