Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chester, MD to Lewes DL, the Long Way

The most direct cycling route from Chester to Lewes is 73 miles.  Which would have definitely been a consideration, if I wasn't trying to collect states for my RUSA American Explorer Award.  So I planned to ride the Seagull's Revenge perm pop to Salisbury, then head back up and east to Lewes, for a total of 130 miles.

When last we left this, I was sitting out a day because of forecasted bad weather - specifically, severe thunderstorms.  So I ate breakfast at the motel, washed my riding clothes, bought an e-book to read, ordered a take-out pizza and breadsticks for lunch and dinner, and watched the weather roll by.  Watched a little tv.  Willed my cycling gear to dry.  Finished that book, checked out an e-book from the library.  Mind you, the iPad had gone north in my duffel; I was doing all this from the phone.

Got everything packed up - not hard!  Slept poorly.  Why, I have no idea.

Up and out the door, planning to arrive at the McDonalds (5.5 miles) in time for breakfast.

Breakfast and coffeeneuring

Right at 7am, I started out.  It was damp and cloudy, but expected to clear off around noon.  The first few miles were retracing my route from the hotel, and then continuing generally east.  The wind was not too unfavorable in the morning.  The crossings of Hwy 50 and Hwy 301 were... interesting.  After looking at them via Street View, I asked the perm owner if it was even legal.  Well, yes, it was, for bicycles.  Cars cannot cross, they can only turn right or left.  Which meant that the median in the middle was also a left turn in both ways, and challenging to find a place to go!

With a bit of patience, both crossings were successful, and I was now not needing to cross any major highways for miles and miles and miles and miles.

Maryland peninsula countryside

Maryland peninsula countryside

The scenery was mostly farms and forest.  The first control was an info control in Ridgely, at the former train station.  A local was walking by and he told me all about the trains which used to stop there.

Ridgley, MD.  Info control here.

Not too far after Ridgely, I turned south, into The Headwind.  I just kept plugging along, hoping for more stands of forest, which blocked the wind somewhat.

Next control was in Federalsburg, at the McDonald's.  Seemed like a good time to get actual food.  I usually order a kid's meal, because that is just about the right amount of food.  I opted for the yogurt, rather than the apple slices.  It was a GoGurt, and it is possible to fail eating them.

Clearing off.

Riding right down the Maryland-Delaware state line

State number 8

Back into the wind, 30 more miles to Salisbury.  The sun had come out, and it was definitely warming up.  Worked my way through Salisbury, got to where the Wawa Market should be (finish control)... and I couldn't find it.  Asked a passerby.  "Baby, it is right over there!".  I haven't been Honeyed or Babied for decades :-) and got a lot of that today.

Finished at 7:24 elapsed time, and enjoyed my first Wawa Market.  They had all the important things (V-8, Gatorade, cheese sticks, nuts, cookies...) and soft pretzels.  There were also sandwiches and other food like that, but somehow, a sandwich just doesn't often call on a ride.

Off the clock, and time to head for Lewes, 45 miles away.  Now I get the tailwind.  The route was generally north until Laurel, MD, then onto Route 9 for the rest of the day, heading north and east.  The roads were quite decent and lightly traveled, and, while Route 9 had considerably more traffic, it also generally had a wide, smooth, and clean shoulder, and I moved right along.  Just after Georgetown, though, I was starting to feel the efforts of battling the headwind earlier.  While there were only 15 more miles to go, I needed something...  Why yes, ice cream would definitely help!

15 miles to Lewes

It being election season, there were many campaign signs by the road.    One position looked like the most awesome elected job ever - Recorder of Deeds.  Well, maybe not quite that epic, but that's where my mind goes after many miles.

Pulled into Lewes and the motel.  The woman I spoke to a couple of nights ago was working the front desk, so I thanked her again.  Ate dinner across the street, and realized that with the ferry not sailing until 8:45am, I could sleep in!

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