Norma with black snake on C&O Towpath between Cumberland and Oldtown



Bicycling Adventures 2014

Last updated September 1, 2014



Homesteading     Bees
    Solar PV
    Solar Thermal
Martial Arts
Misc. Links




On August 22, 2014, Norma, Carmen, and I did a bike ride to Feigefossen, a waterfall in Norway.

Kent Island South Trail
Having completed my first stand up paddleboard (SUP) race (see August 2, 2014) that morning, I took Norma for a little exploring that afternoon. We were already on Kent Island so I figured we'd stick around there for awhile.

We drove to the Chesapeake Exploration Center, a place neither of us had ever been. Right next to it was Ferry Point Park, so we checked that out too. Some Trumpet Creeper (Campsis radicans) flowers (first photo) were in bloom while some of the same were fruiting (second photo). A boardwalk took us back to our car. See third photo.

I am glad we stopped at the Chesapeake Exploration Center. The staff there were very helpful. They answered questions I had about the Kent Island South Trail. I thought this connected with the Cross Island Trail (which led to the Center) but it did not.

Norma and I drove to Matapeake State Park where we caught the northern end of the Kent Island South Trail.

The day was cool and overcast with a chance of rain (but it did not). That was good since much of this trail is not under tree cover.

We biked south on this trail that parallels Romancoke Road (route 8). It didn't take long for us to reach the southern terminus at Romancoke Pier. From here, I could vaguely see Bodkin Island off in the distance. We hung out there for awhile and watched the fishermen. Someone caught a big male blue crab. I checked out the kayak launch area (fourth photo) and beach landing (fifth photo).

Had we just biked the South Trail, our trip would have been much too short. So instead, we decided to extend our route and explore the neighborhoods at the south end of the island. This proved to be most interesting and fun. The roads were very flat and easy. There was very little traffic and the homes were nice, but not extravagant. There were a lot of trees and many neighbors put a lot of time into making their yards look nice. I had my GPS so we were free to explore as much as we wanted without fear of getting lost.

After exploring the hoods on the south side, we returned back to Matapeake, having completed about 14.5 miles of very casual riding.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Chesapeake and Ohio Towpath
On June 30, 2014, Norma and I did a little bike/kayak trip. We had spent the last 2 days visiting her family in western Maryland after making a chicken run. On our way back, we decided to explore a section of Maryland we don't often see.

We started by locking up the Ocean Kayak Cabo to a tree near the launch site at the Gene Mason Sports Complex in Cumberland. Then we drove out to Oldtown. Along the way, we stopped for breakfast at School House Kitchen on 19210 Opressa Street, Southeast in Oldtown. The place reminded us of Ma's Kettle in our little town. The prices were very good and it had a friendly, small-town atmosphere. We spoke to a trail steward (not sure of his official title) at the restaurant.

We checked out the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal. There were a few people fishing around lock 70. See first photo. Below the lock (second photo) were some turtles and a lot of fish. Some of the fish were about 18 inches long.

Norma and I started riding west on the C&O Towpath. This was my first time on this part. As I expected, it was well maintained, flat, and shaded. We passed the trail steward we met earlier.

It was mostly sunny and warm though there was a chance of rain (but it never did).

There were hundreds of turtles in the canal. They all looked pretty common through we did see a snapping turtle (third photo).

A black snake tried to block the towpath. It was about 3.5 feet long. See the photo at the top left corner of this page and the fourth photo.

We rode past a couple of locations that smelled bad. At least one was an industrial area...possibly a water filtration plant.

Norma and I ended up biking 15.9 miles.

Read the rest of our day's adventure at my June 30, 2014 kayaking blog.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.

Baltimore and Annapolis Trail
On the first day of our 2014 Memorial Day weekend, Norma organized a local bike trip with friends on the Baltimore and Annapolis (B&A) Trail.

We met Allison, her daughter Viviana, and her parents Jay and Pat at Sawmill Creek Park. Carmen also met us there. This is a great place to catch the trail since it is almost where the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) and the B&A trails meet.

We rode casually south on the B&A, eventually making our way to Kinder Farm Park. Here, we had a little picnic. Then we looked at the various farm animals in the park. They had the largest chickens I'd ever seen.

We said farewell to Allison's family who headed back to the start while Norma, Carmen, and I continued south. Now that it was just the three of us, we were Team SNaCk.

Some turtles were seen in a wetlands area.

We reached the end of the trail at the World War II Memorial at 1919 Governor Ritchie Highway (route 450), Annapolis. See first photo.

It was a nice view looking across the Severn River to the Naval Academy. See Carmen stretching her quads in the second photo.

After a quick nap to recharge our batteries (third photo), we started heading back.

The three of us stopped for a late lunch/early dinner at Sofi's Crepes in Severna Park.

In Glen Burnie, we passed a groundhog with its baby. That was the first time I'd seen a groundhog baby. It looked exactly like what I expected.

We finished our ride, having completed an easy 35 miles.
Click thumbnails to enlarge.