2001 - New Year Bike Ride

3D Map of the Trail
Elevation Graph

 Riders: Animal (Ed Ramsey), Iceman (Art Palaia),  Gadget (Bob Zinn)

Zenith (Joe Kaehler) and Rock (Peter Oetker) could not make the ride this year. Animal, Iceman, and Gadget met at Thurmont, Maryland to drop off a return vehicle at 9:00 AM. They loaded their bikes onto Bob's car and drove to the starting point of the ride. They parked at the Hamburg Road parking area near Gambrill State Park and prepared for the normal cold 20-degree temperatures of the annual Bike Ride.

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Left: Iceman, Gadget, Animal

The three amigos were dressed in style for this winter ride along the Catoctin mountaintops.  The 15.5-mile ride began with sunny skies.  The weatherman was predicting 8 to 12 inches of snow that never materialized.  From the parking area, the team headed north on Hamburg Road for 0.5 miles.  They turned right onto Gambrill Park Road and followed it for 3.86 mile to Mink Farm Road.

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Left: Bear up a tree.

Along the Gambrill Park Road they saw a bear in a tree.  It did not move much but kind of swayed in the wind. 

Click to enlarge picture. Turning left onto Mink Farm Road, they began to descend into the valley.  Along this stretch near Fox Tower Road, a deer leaped across the road about 40 yards ahead of the riders.   They turned left onto Catoctin Hollow Road, and made another left onto Wigville Road. 
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Left: Animal climbs right to the top.

The wind in this area was beginning to pick up and the riders needed a good climb to warm their bones.  They turned right onto Fox Tower Road and "climb they did".  The next 3/4 of a mile included a 363-foot climb to the highest elevation of the trip (1794 Ft.).  During the climb, Animal and Iceman detected deer in the distance.  Some sections of this climb were very steep and at the top, the group took a well-deserved rest.  Two more deer pranced their way across the road.

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Left: Iceman bundles up for the cold ride.

The remaining 6.66 miles would be all down hill.  The riders turned right onto Tower Road and continued to Route 77.  As they reached Route 77, everyone felt like their nose was about to fall off from the cold.  They stopped to zip up their jackets for the fast ride down to Thurmont.  At the car, the group loaded up the bikes and drove to the Mountain Gate Restaurant for lunch and to reflect on the fun ride of the day.

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