Cycling trip, day 4

Well, our longest day is behind us and we are waking up to find ourselves a mere 30 miles from our nation’s capital. Most of these days we have been on a 50 mile per day pace but yesterday we pushed the envelope a bit by riding 70 miles so that we could enjoy the wonderful hospitality of  Joyce Breiner (who is the executive director of Poolesville Green and a member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg) her husband Dave Yaney and their son Alex. Kris and I can’t seem to pull Jon from his bottle of Advil long enough to update the blog so I’ll be the guest-blogger in this update of our trip (only kidding about Jon’s Advil… in fact, it’s much stronger stuff I can’t mention here for legal reasons).

Yesterday morning, we left the home of Pastor Dennis and Linda Beaver in Fayetteville, PA for a 12 mile morning ride to breakfast at the home of the Hersch family of Waynesboro Heights, PA who are members of Pastor Dennis’ church. They were very generous hosts and we were very thankful for their wonderful food and great stories. Jon, Kris and I were hoping they might adopt us so that we could enjoy more of their company and avoid the long journey ahead of us.
Once on our bikes we made our way over the Maryland border and discovered the lovely farm country and rolling hills of northern Maryland. The day was overcast and we had read that there was a chance of showers but in fact we avoided any rain and the temperature was cool and comfortable for the long ride.

There were a number of possible routes that we could choose to make our way to Poolesville. Originally we were following the suggestions provided by googlemaps which now has a handy bike option. Jon also had suggestions emailed to him by his high school buddy named Bill who is an avid bicycle enthusiast in the DC area. We opted to split the difference and start with the former and switch to Bill’s directions as we moved closer to our destination. As we started to encounter more frequent and increasingly larger hills Kris and I became skeptical of Bill’s motives.  On some of the worst hills, Kris and I began to wonder just what harm Jon had done to his friend Bill to deserve this level of punishment.

Our late breakfast kept us energized until we were finally ready for a lunch break at 2:30 in the village of Middletown. We opted for the Main Street Café in Middletown which we all thoroughly enjoyed and recommend to anyone who happens to be travelling through those parts. After our meals… and desserts… and coffee, we asked the staff the best way to Poolesville and made our way south.

That afternoon’s ride took us through more beautiful countryside on back roads until we found an entrance to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal trail at Point of Rocks, MD. The C and O was a great break from the traffic of roadside touring and led us within 6 miles of our final destination in Poolesville.

Joyce and Dave have been wonderful hosts to us; holding dinner until our 8 pm arrival, providing a much needed shower, entertaining us with their wonderful stories and treating us to the best sleep of our trip so far. This morning we are enjoying another hearty breakfast and relaxing before we give a noontime talk at an interfaith gathering Joyce has arranged. After that, we have a mere 30 miles to Washington DC. With the end of our journey just around the corner, it’s hard to believe that we’re almost there.