My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week of 10/25/09 - Solid Week of Nice Fall Weather - Almost 170 Miles

After a week inside, I was eager to see the sun and pavement again.  The weatherman cooperated big time ... the first few days of the week saw temperatures break 70 degrees.  Monday (33 miles) and Tuesday (30 miles) saw rides to Ellicott City.  On Monday I went via Elkridge Furnance Inn and Patapsco Park (Grist Mill Trail) with a return up Main Street and through Dorsey Search and past the Columbia Mall.  This diverse route has some great roads (Mission Rd, Race Rd, and River Rd) and a few good climbs.  The Grist Mill Trail is a nice paved path that follows the Patapsco River.  The trail is about 2 1/2 miles long and starts near "Lost Lake" in the Avalon area of the park.  It passes the swinging bridge (that takes you to the south side of the river and provides access to the waterfall at Bloede Dam) and other historic markers.  The trail ends at the bottom of Illchester Road after crossing the Patterson Viaduct near the Ilchester Tunnel. 

Tuesday's route to Main Street included Lake Elkhorn, the Maryland School for the Deaf, Landing Rd, a decent of Illchester Rd, River Rd, and a nice climb up New Cut Rd.

Work got the better of me on Wednesday ... it was hard to look outside at the 75 degree day, but I was back out on Thursday for another 30 miles to Glenelg.  I spent Thursday night at another college fair representing RPI ... not quite as good as the one I did last week.  Friday saw work and rain, which carried into Saturday.  I spun inside for a fast 20 miles to some classics of the 60's and 70's.  The evening was spent with the fmaily celbrating Nana's 75th birthday.  Mike and Erin joined the festivities at Red Dog Cafe in Silver Spring and a few tasty creations at Cold Stone Creamery in College Park.

Sunday was perfect crisp fall day.  With Leah and Karen at the Glenelg Country School open house (Leah was a tour guide), I enjoyed a nice long ride (almost 55 miles) to old town Bowie. The route out went past Laurel (back side of Laurel Park (horse racing) and Montpelier Mansion) and Greenbelt.  The return was via Crofton, Odenton, and Fort Meade (including a 2 mile stretch of legal highway on Route 32).

A great week with almost 170 miles of riding.  Year to date total is just shy of 5,250.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Week of 10/18/09 - Rain, Rain Go Away - Indoors All Week

Monday and Tuesday were rest days as my legs were pretty tight from a good week back on the saddle. Turns out these were days I should have gotten outside. It rained and was very chili the entire week and did not break until late Sunday. That meant days inside with the trainer. I did manage to motivate myself to go downstairs 4 of 5 nights (one was spent pushing on a new proposal for the Social Security Administration), but even with Criminal Minds reruns on A&E, I lacked any real drive or enthusiasim. The weatherman promises a nice stretch next week, so I plan to get back out there. This week really tells me I need to develop a winter routine of better eating, spinning, and some core exercising.  My virtual coach (Graeme Street) and membership to Cyclo Club should help with that.

On the personal front, I spent Sunday afteroon representing my alma matter, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, at a local college fair.

A dissapointing 60 indoor miles.  Still on pace for 6,000 ... but I need to get outside for that.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week of 10/11/09 - Back on the Saddle and Back to Goal - 140 Miles

Life finally returned to normal this week.  The big proposal swallowed up the first part of the week, but I managed to get a quick 22 miles in on Wednesday before sunset.  A short but relaxing route toward Elkridge ... past the prisons and Race Road before turning around near Timbuktu and Gunnings.  Both of these restaurants are local institutions.  Gunnings is one of the better crab houses in the Baltimore area, and has been around since the early 70's.

Finally got a few longer rides in on Friday and over the weekend.  The first ride of 43 miles meandored to Glenelg, not too far from Leah's school (Glenelg Country School).  From there, I continued toward Glenwood, Unity, and past the Howard Chapel Cemetery.  The cemetery is the burial ground of the ancestors of the original African American community of Howard Chapel.  Enoch George Howard (1814-1896) and his wife Harriet Ann Lee Howard (1808-1882) founded Howard Chapel in 1862. In addtion to the cemetery, the land included the Howard School (1880) and four homesteads. I continued on New Hampshire Avenue to Sandy Spring.  The Sandy Spring Museum is a great source of information on the area and local history.  I returned home past Highland and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Highland is still pretty rural, but has seen a lot of new larger homes built over the the last 10 years.  It is home to Highland Day (just missed it ... it was last week!), a typical small town fall fesitival with a nice group of artisans.  I finished pretty tired (not surprising given my 2+ week hyetius). Check out the route below on

View Interactive Map on

Saturday's ride was another 43 miles ... southeast, toward Greenbelt and Bowie.  The route included the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center and Goddard Space Flight Center.  The roads here are extremely bike friendly and well mainatined.  I cruised past old Bowie and returned home via Laurel and Jessup.

Sunday's ride (33 miles) included a stop for a haircut in River Hill and past the scene of the dreaded dog attack ... as usual, all was quiet there.

A good retun to normalcy ... 140 miles and some family time as well.  Leah and I went to the Washington Capitals game on Thurdsay night.  Her first time ... great corporate seats and an exciting game.  Karen and I made a run to Baltimore's Best (aka The Corner Stable) for crab cakes and ribs on Saturday.  This is a must stop for anyone who wants ribs ... we go no where else.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Week of 10/04/09 - 2nd Week Off the Bike - Flu and Work Continue Dominance

This week was just a crappy as last week ... the flu finally started to let go by mid week, but the proposal had me working 18 hours days.  Even the weekend brought no relief.  On Saturday, I scheduled a 2 hour block anf even got dressed to ride ... never made it outside thanks to conference calls and pricing challenges/changes.  Two weeks with no mileage ... not good.  My stress level is high. The proposal goes in on the 8th, so there is light at the end of tunnel.