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Friday, November 8, 2013

Day8 Dahlgren Va to Linthicum Md; Last Leg

11/8/2013 73m, 488/trip
Started in Dahlgren, Va and just before I started riding I called the folks at the Harry Nice bridge, which carries Route 301 across the Potomac and requested a courtesy bike shuttle from south to north.

I biked the three miles to the bridge, pulled off on the side of the road, and waiting for the shuttle. It was a very windy but pretty morning. I took the bags off my bike and settled in. After a while a vehicle came up behind me, a police car. Nice guy, he's a road cyclist and asked about the LHT. He explained, before we put you and your bags in a car with our employees, we'd like to make sure everything is safe, and asked for my ID so he could run a check on me. (Which I passed!)

I guess in the post-9/11 world, bridges and dams are key infrastructure, and maybe four panniers are the perfect place to store the tools of Martyrdom. Anyway, if you're going to cross the 301 Bridge, make sure there's no "wants and warrants" out for you.

Another thing I learned was that back in the day, people could sometimes ride across the bridge in the wee hours. Post-9/11 there's a lot of surveillance video and they say nobody's sneaking across the bridge now, and there's a very significant fine for those who attempt it. Plus, there really isn't any "share-the-lane" space; you're in the lane, and it's a steep incline.

As the officer was running my credentials, a bridge pickup arrived and we put my bags and bike in the back. The drive over was quick, and the two operators were very pleasant. On the Maryland side they helped me unload and I realized, I'd left my gloves on the Virginia side. No problem, they said, we'll go get them for you. Extremely nice people. Plus, we like the name "Nice Bridge" more than the "Hatem Bridge" in Havre de Grace.

So there are four crossings on this trip that are forbidden to bicycles - The Hatem Bridge over Route 40 in Havre de Grace (bus line), the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (shuttle), the Hampton Roads Tunnel (bus line), and the Nice Bridge on Route 301 over the Potomac in Dahlgren (shuttle) - and none of them posed any problem.

Back on the road with a few miles to cover to make the day's mission. There was a bit of a headwind, it's funny how a loss (or gain) or only two-mph can lower/lift the spirits. Rode through LaPlata and Waldorf, Md. My friend RS highly recommended Lefty's Barbeque (facebook) and that was good advice. They no longer carry their highly-regarded pound cake, so I went with the banana-pudding cake. The ribs were absolutely tremendous.

The ribs counted as my big meal of the day, and I set out with about 48 more miles to go and about three more hours of daylight. I feel like I made pretty good time, although the wind was not cooperating. After 4pm I was in a bit of Friday afternoon rush-hour, especially in the Bowie-Route 3 corridor which was still a very pleasant drive.

I was very pleasantly surprised when one of my nocturnal route segments turned out to be paved trail, the Washington Baltimore and Annapolis Trail from Conway Road through Odenton, that was a very nice and unexpected treat.

Back on the roads via Route 170 for the last few miles, and then the BWI airport trail routes to get to where I'd parked the car (which was still there, and it even started). Mega-thanks to Mike B (ChesapeakeSailor) for his logistics support with the vehicle.

Off the bike at 1900, 73 miles for the day, 488 miles for the trip. Eight days to ride around the Chesapeake Bay.

View Daily Progress, Bicycle Ride Around Chesapeake Bay; Bicycle Tour in a larger map

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