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, November 15, 2009

Week of 11/15/09 - Ida Blows In - Another 145+ miles

The week started with very nice weather for November (high 60's).  On Monday, I got off to a good start with a nice 37 mile ride to the Univeristy of Maryland to say hello to Mike.  This route takes me past the Beltsville Agricultural Center, the Greenbelt Metro, and into College Park via Lake Artemesia and the Paint Branch Trail.  The lake includes a fishing pier, aquatic gardens, and a nice loop of hiker-biker trails that connect to the College Park Airport and Aviation Museum, as well as the UMD campus. The trail goes right by Mike's house and provides great access to campus without having to cross busy Route 1.  Mike and Erin were pleasantly surprised to see me.  I returned home via the Paint Branch Trail, Silver Spring, and a short stint on Route 29 (good practice for the busier roads out west).  Construction for the new Inter County Connector (Route 200) continues to be in full swing.  When finished, it will connect Route 95 (Prince Georges County) and Route 270 (Montgomery County).

Tuesday saw a late day at the office and significant progress finalizing the partnership with the American Lung Association.  I also presented a sponsorship proposal to Northrop Grumman.  That was unfortuneately not given much consideration.  I have not given up just yet, but my optimism for a major corporate sponsor has taken a hit.  There is great synergy with corporate wellness, community, and green initiatives, so I will still have opportunities to spread the message.

The remains of Hurrican Ida made their way to the southeast and mid-atlantic, and brought lots of wind and rain.  Wedndesay through Saturday were inside days.  I sat out Wednesday hacking away on the computer.  My motivation returned big time on Thursday with a strong 35 mile spin to Warren Zevon and Meatlof's Bat Out of Hell.  Great classic tunes from my youth.  Zevon was an acquired and poltical taste, but a great writer and musician.  He died of cancer in 2003.  Riding to music really helps the time fly by and gets the addrenaline flowing.  Friday was a more typical inside set ... 15 miles to more oldies ... this time Three Dog Night.  Saturday, the weather slowly started to clear, but was still misty most of the day.  I hung out with Leah, as Karen had the Holiday Boutique to benefit the Glenelg Country School Parent's & Friends Association.  We laid low most of the day and had a fun lunch at Costco along with some samples.  A little clothes and book shopping rounded out the afternoon.  Leah has been challenged to read the sequel to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke ... Inkspell.  A mere 660 pages.  I gave her until her birthday on New Years Day.  Leah and I celebrated the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street with a 15 mile spin to the best of Ernie ... rubber duckie you are the one!

Sunday saw the thermometer top 70 degrees, and with no activities, work, or school stuff, it was a perfect chance to ride.  Ten minutes out I had a front flat ... quick change (less than 15 minutes) and I was back on my way to Elkridge Furnace Inn.  From there I headed toward Linthicum and meandored all the way into downtown Baltimore to the M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Baltimore Ravens.  There was even a new (for me) bike path around the stadium that avoided most of the city streets and lights.  From there I headed west to leave the city and after several city blocks and row houses I found myself by the old Montgomery Wards building (now called Montgomery Park).  It was Baltimore's largest mercantile building and the city's first suburban department store when it opened in 1925.  Today it is a revitalization project that houses office space, a city park, and overlooks the Carol Park golf course.  The art deco design is still prevalent.  From there I followed signs for the Gwynns Falls Trail.  This trail starts out by my office near the crossroads of Route 70 and 695, near the Social Security Administration headquarters and runs 15 miles into Baltimore and the inner harbor. The trail crosses some neat bridges (see pic) and for the most part is off city streets.  Somehow, I took a wrong turn and headed off the trail and back toward the city.  By the time I convinced myself I was heading in the wrong direction, I was near the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum.  A neat round about design with great exhibits for the kids.

My route out of the city (2nd try) was past the stadiums and up Hanover Street toward Glen Burnie.  From there I took Routre 170 and connected up with the BWI trail.  The sun was getting low, so I called the SAG van and met the girls for dinner at Arundel Mills Mall.  The 45 mile ride included just about everything  except any real hills (climbing was less then 1600 feet).  A chnage of pace for sure.  Weekly total of 147 miles with YTD just shy of 5,700 miles.  Got an email from Northrop Grumman VP that oversees community affairs ... some positive words, but limited budgets.  A new name to talk with next week .. we will see.