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Monday, May 21, 2012

Biking and beer weekend

I've talked about 'em: the bros-in-law, Chris, Carl, and Curt Childs
I left the house early Friday afternoon to go on a biking weekend I'd been planning since Christmas: a ride with my three brothers-in-law, Chris, Curt, and Carl Childs on the Torrey C. Brown and York Heritage rail trails, two trails that link up at the Mason-Dixon Line and form a 41 mile trail that runs from Cockeysville, Maryland to York, Pennsylvania. It was perfect weather, and I rolled down to Baltimore to meet Carl at Mahaffey's Pub, where we ate and drank our way through a 7-year-old $50 gift certificate I'd bought as part of a Katrina Relief beer-related fundraiser that Beer in Baltimore blogger Sandy Mitchell helped organize...and Sandy showed up at Mahaffey's, appropriately.

We tramped around Canton a bit -- finally got pie at Dangerously Delicious, and it was worth the wait -- then made our way up to York, where we met Curt and Chris at the parking lot of our motel, which will remain nameless, because I decline to give it any publicity. Yuck. Cheap, though, and a great location four blocks from the trailhead and within easy walking distance of good eats and drinks. We dropped off a car and drove down to Cockeysville, where we had a couple beers in our motel there, then fell asleep.

Saturday morning meant breakfast at the Ashton Diner (yum, might have to Yelp them), and a 9:20 launch from the trailhead. It was cool and shady, no headwind, and the trail wound along the Big Gunpowder River. Beautiful day. We, um, were doing okay; Chris is always in shape, cycles constantly, the other three of us were on our first big ride of the year, and weren't as machine-like as we could have been. The trails on both sides of the Mason-Dixon rise at a 2-4% grade to the peak at the border, and the last parts are the steepest. We were chuffing hard as we finished the first half, and the flat stretch through New Freedom on the Pennsy side was most welcome.

We stopped there for lunch at The Hodle, a smoky, busy bar that offered pretty good sandwiches and Tröegs Nugget Nectar and Lancaster Rumspringa. We partook. Service was ungodly slow -- they'd been swamped by a big bunch of Harley riders -- but the beer and fresh air outside were great, and by the time we left around 2:20 (we'd arrived at 12:10), we were refreshed, and hit the gentle downslope in a rush. The last few miles into York were a bit tiring, but after a shower, we were ready for some fun. We ate out on the sidewalk at Maewyn's, drinking down big table-tap dispensers of Long Trail Double Bag and Tröegs Sunshine Pils. We had a couple shots of whiskey, some more beers, and wound up on the balcony of our unnamed motel, watching the action as a local prom let out. To bed.

Sunday was a replay, except Curt decided to drop out, and drove the car back to Cockeysville. We had another great day, had a better lunch -- but no beer -- at Paesano's in New Freedom, and boomed down the shady downgrade. We finished about 2:50, said good-bye, packed up, and headed home. Two great days, 82 miles of riding, and man, is my butt sore...


Erlangernick said...

You bike? Need to get you on one next time you're over here during BierkellerBikeTourSaison!

Bless you (or your in-laws anyway) for not going all spandexed up!

Lew Bryson said...

Me? Spandex? Not likely! T-shirt and cotton shorts; I don't even have clipless pedals on my hybrid.