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Dec-29-20 09:16 pm
Historic White's Ferry connecting Poolesville and Leesburg has Closed
Category: Social

    Bicyclists on the unpaved C & O Canal use this ferry to access the paved W & OD Trail; or to purchase supplies, access a bike shop, and lodging in Leesburg.  This last remaining ferry crossing of the Potomac River had operated since 1782.  The ferry company (White's) had solid profits.  The reason for the closing was a land dispute with the owner of Rockland Farms. White's couldn't prove that it had ever acquired property for a landing.  In the early 1950's Rockland and White's had negotiated use of a small land parcel.  Then as the property eroded and the river shifted, in 1981 White's built a stronger retaining wall to enlarge and protect the landing - without receiving permission from Rockland.  Negotiations that had been going on since 2010  to provide compensation to Rockland for use of its land failed.  Neither Loudon County nor Virginia stepped in to use arbitration or condemnation power to secure the landing property for White's; so ferry operations had to cease. 
     Unfortunately, everyone loses by the failure to make a deal.  The last ferry crossing is gone.  Bicyclists have no safe way to cross the Potomac.  This low key crossing had provided relief to motorists and cyclists, without harming the area, in a region overrun by traffic and having very few bridge crossings.  Even the owner of the Rockland Property said that not having the ferry would make their commute longer and more stressful on crowded Route 15.  PERHAPS LOUDON, VA, ROCKLAND, AND WHITE'S WILL REALIZE THAT ALL PARTIES WILL BENEFIT BY MAKING AN AGREEMENT THAT WILL ALLOW THE FERRY TO CONTINUE OPERATING.

Nov-30-20 12:49 pm
Outdoor Pavillion Closed for Duration of Pandemic
Category: Social

The manager at Palmissano's indicated that for the duration of COVID-19 he has to close the Outdoor Pavillion. He said that the Pavillion doesn't have enough room for parties to socially distance, and he was busy working inside and couldn't police the pavillion.

       The manager indicated that it was OK to drink coffee or snack on the edges of the parking lot, away from customers entering and leaving the store.  Also, when the adjacent field is dry, he is OK with customers eating there. (He doesn't plan to put any chairs or tables there).

      Bicyclists should adhere to these necessary safety protocols.  Palmissano's has been good to us, and food establishments are having a difficult time.  Once the vaccine gets administered things will improve.  And when not eating, remember to MASK UP.

Nov-07-20 10:38 pm
Black Baltimore Bike Groups Find Freedom
Category: Social

    A front page article in Saturday's Nov 7 Sunpaper explains how a Black Baltimore Group organized by Shaka Pitts has resulted in more minorities riding bikes as a way of socializing, and improving their physical and mental health.  The group provides instruction on safety, repairs, and helps people earn money to purchase a bike.  According to Shaka, "THERE ARE SOCIOECONOMIC AND RACIAL DIVIDES WHERE IT FEELS AS IF BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT ACCEPTED TO CERTAIN AREAS UNLESS THEY ARE ON A BIKE.  A BIKE ALMOST REPRESENTS CIVILITY'.

    Well said.  Especially these days we need civility and acceptance between races and cultures.  More minorities biking benefits everyone.. 

     While the group prefers trails to roads, they have ridden the B & A to Annspolis the Gwynns Falls Trail, Jones Falls Trail (and a few streets) to Lake Roland, and the NCR to York.  Like many cycling clubs, when the pandemic hit they suspended rides. They resumed group rides in late May, but limited the size to 10 riders.

On Wed, Nov 4 the City resumed working on the washout/dip on the portion of Loch Raven Drive at the start of the climb to reach Providence Rd.  CREWS ACTIVELY WORKING MEANS THAT BIKES CAN NO LONGER GET through THIS washout.  You may recall that the city first closed Loch Raven between Providence Rd and Morgan Mill Rd in early Aug, but didn't make repairs until now.  Bikes could  previously still get through.  But now that the City is actively making repairs, bikes can't get through - at least not on weekdays.  You may be able to get through on weekends, provided crews aren't working overtime.  Once the repairs are completed, access should improve.

Oct-22-20 03:47 pm
Limited Outdoor Seating Now Available
Category: Social

Filling Station coffee-snack-lunch stop in Sparks; with limited Outdoor Seating; is open Tuesday - Sunday from 8am - 2 pm.  Check it out.

Oct-20-20 09:27 pm
Limited Outdoor Seating Now Available
Category: Social

        The Filling Station on York Rd, just south of Sparks Rd, now has Limited Outdoor Seating in back. (Inside and restrooms are closed). One may either order online ahead of time - put in Note Section when you plan to pick up order - or else order at Walk up Window..
      This coffee shop is very safety conscious and requires Masks to be worn at all times, except when seated in back and eating.  I recommend dismounting on south side of parking area, away from seating area, masking up, and then finding a spot for  your bike.  Take care that your bike doesn't encroach upon small seating area, that's set up for proper social distancing. Shop is good for small group of up to ten riders.
    Enjoy tasty pasteries, good coffee, and great burritos.  Also, a good chance to talk with other riders.

      With Gene Bayer's help, you can now access the Cue Sheet, Map, and Elevation Profile for the Oct 18 GLYNDON RIDE.  Just click on "Mobile View Rides", then click on tomorrow's Glyndon Ride, and click on url at bottom of screen.  I'll also bring paper cue sheets. 

           Bring lunch (or purchase at Santoni's or Subway) to enjoy after ride at nearby park, located just beyond historic train station - a pleasant 4 minute walk.
    Feel free to contact me at 410-358-1321 tonight or between 8 am and 9:00 am Sunday morning.  Fall Foliage is Great!

Regarding the Road Closure in Loch Raven, I passed through today (Tues, Aug 18) at 2:30 pm without seeing any sign of construction.  The road has a dip in the construction area.  If you are travelling on the downhill from Providence Rd, SLOW DOWN and watch for cracks, dips, etc at the bottom of the hill.  It's possible that rain or resumed construction could make this area above the damaged culvert more hazardous.  Be prepared to dismount if necessary. 

    Loch Raven was closed to cars today, between Providence Rd and Morgan Mill Rd, but bikes can use the curb cut, as we do on weekends when this portion of Loch Raven is closed to motor vehicles.  It appears that more work will need to be done before Loch Raven can be reopened to motor vehicles.  I can only guess why repair personnel weren't working today.  The city has been troubled by a large number of public works personnel being sick or unavailable.  Also, there's more trash and recycling items than normal.  It's possible the city may have pulled workers off this project to pick up trash and recycling ; and construction may resume shortly.

Jun-11-20 11:14 am
Cautiously Resuming BBC Rides
Category: Social

While the virus hasn't gone away, things have substantially improved in Md.  Governor Hogan is pleased with Md's progress, the numbers are looking good, and he has cautiously moved us further along well into Stage 2. Also, The NY Times reported that the virus is down in the NE, probably due to warmer temps and humidity. 

     The Board was correct in suspending our rides when the Gov issued a Stay at Home Order, except for buying groceries and a short walk, bike ride, or jog around the neighborhood.  However, it's time to look at how things are NOW in Md, not in late March or April.  The Gov is allowing and even encouraging most outdoor non contact activities - golf, boating, hiking, beaches, parks, running, tennis, swimming etc.  Other cycling clubs that properly suspended their rides - Harrisburg, Hanover PA, and Annapolis - have all now resumed their rides.  The Mountain Club of Md is restarting their hikes on July 1.  I agree with Ed that cycling is not at the top of the totem pole, and certainly shouldn't take priority over essential activities, like treating patients.  From personal perspective, I assisted in my neighborhood to distribute food to needy families this morning.  I consider this food drive far more important than cycling.  But I also have a lot of free time and certainly shouldn't feel guilty about riding with the BBC.  I respect Pat, Gloria, and the Board for serving in this difficult time.  The Board is meeting tonight to consider a Plan for allowing smaller rides to resume, with certain precautions.  If the Board approves, they will need at least a couple weeks to prepare. 

Jun-08-20 12:16 am
Let's do Some Virtual Rides for Bike Month
Category: Social

I agree with Lydia and Charlie.  The BBC needs to allow, with proper precautions, small group rides to resume.  The Annapolis Bicycle Club, after suspending rides until late May, has now resumed their rides.  Maryland has advanced to phase 2 of the recovery, and the governor is now allowing most outdoor non contact sports. OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES ARE SAFER THAN INDOOR ACTIVITIES. 
      Riding in small groups, properly spaced,  is safer and more fun than riding alone.  I understand and respect that some members will chose not to lead rides, to ride with the club, or even stay home and avoid cycling altogether.  That's perfectly OK.  Each person should only the activities that he/she is comfortable. However, the fact that some people don't want to ride with the club is NOT a legitimate reason for the BBC leadership to continue suspending all rides.  Just as Maryland is now opening up, it's time for the BBC to also reopen. Please, at this Thursday's Board Meeting, vote to allow rides to resume by the latter part of June.

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