Friday, October 24, 2008


I'm getting to the point in Fixing Frederick where I have to ride places where I would not normally ride. Ever. The auto-centric world around Routes 355 and 85 near the Francis Scott Key Mall is in the heart of that dread. I knew long ago that the only time to ride there would be in the early hours of a Sunday morning, but I possess an amazing selfishness about my weekend sleep, so I foolishly waited until the days were getting shorter to venture forth into the belly of the beast.

Parking at the mall I took a quick loop on the roads there, followed by a spur south. The contrast between the built up strip and the enforced country-ness on the Monocacy National Battlefield outside of town is a study. The only climb of the day is up Araby Church Rd.

Heading back north I stop for a quick visit to the New Battlefield Center. Although it is now on the edge of the strip, the new center is more accessible to cyclists. The old one was along Rt 355, a very busy arterial, with next to no shoulders. At least 355 through the strip has a shoulder for most of its length.

I continued north, past the construction for a new Interstate 70 interchange, for a loop around the stadium. Then back through the increasing traffic to head southwest towards Buckeystown. The old heart got a pumping when I was passing under Interstate 270 and a piece of lumber fell off a truck passing me. The clatter echoing from the abutments made it seem a lot closer than it was. There is plenty of development of retail, residential and industrial down this way, which can be puzzling to me because I see plenty of all of that available on my rides around the county.

I ride a couple of missing streets in Buckeystown and head back north. Rt. 80 is the only unpleasantly busy road out here. Most of the rest are excellent riding roads. But Rt. 80 is the road I need to ride. Traffic is really picking up as I get closer to Frederick. It is past 10 AM and the businesses are back at it. The ramps to the interstate are the kind of adventure I don't care to repeat as I make my way back to the truck.

One more set of roads down. I'm getting closer.


Blogger Zen said...

Depressing, isn't it?

12:04 PM  

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