Saturday, July 02, 2011

40 more miles on the bike.

Last week, I reluctantly turned my bike back on the C&O Canal at mile marker 40, wondering as I did so what was beyond.

Well after getting back to the Lair and checking the intertube, I saw that White's Ferry was another four and a half miles down. well I'd never been to White's Ferry before, so today I harnessed up the old bike and set out down the path again from Brunswick (mile marker 55).

I rode back down through Point of Rocks and across the Monocacy Aqueduct in good time and soon reached Mile Marker 40 again. Well with that fifteen miles in the bag, I felt like I could make the return trip again without a problem, so why not add another ten?

I continued.

The canal hit a berm across it shortly after I passed 40 and then it was dry again except for a few small bits. Too bad. Five more miles of pedaling brought me to and a little bit past White's Ferry. (I needed to hit mile marker 35 to make it an "official" twenty miles down.)

Here's the original bridge over the canal leading to the ferry dock. In it's day, this bridge would have been crossed by horse-drawn wagons and Model T and Model A automobiles. Remember that this canal operated until 1922.Now the canal and the bridge are just remains, and a road across the canal bed puts motorists on the ferry.

Here's the store on the Maryland side. Note the flood level markers on the wall up by the top.
Here's the ferry, the General Jubal Early. It's connected to a cable by pulleys and goes back and forth, taking about five minutes a trip. Since there are no bridges for a ways in either direction, lots of locals still use this as part of their daily commute. Cars are $4.00 a trip or $6.00 a round trip.There used to be a hundred ferries crossing the Potomac once. Now this one is the last one left. It's been here since 1782. (A ferry, not this particular diesel-powered boat, just in case any Obama voters happen to be reading this.)
So having come all this way, I rode the ferry across and back. Charge for bicycles: $2.00 each way.
The view back up the river. My SUV is twenty miles away in that direction.

Disembarking the ferry, I headed back up river again. I won't lie, I was starting to feel it by mile 30, and I was really feeling it the last few miles, but I made it. 40 miles in five hours, including the time I spent playing around on the ferry.

I'm worn, but it wouldn't be exercise if it wasn't hard, right?

There is a downside to all of this riding, running and swimming that I've been doing lately: all of my clothes are really starting to get loose.


  1. Pretty country. Ever fish in that part of the Potomac?

  2. Dude, you are the man! I'm impressed how quickly you've...gotten back in the saddle.
    Sorry, my brain is soft from a lack of sleep. New puppies, they're wonderful but on their own schedule.

  3. Nice ride. Definitely the ferry (once). Some angel hair with garlic and olive oil plus a sausage on the side with Marinara sauce will help the loose clothing. :)

  4. Nice ride and very inspiring.

    We hope to do 20 tomorrow, weather permitting (or maybe even if it doesn't)

  5. Neat trip. Don't you think $2.00 is a little steep for a bike? Keep up the great work!

  6. Very nice Murph! Glad to hear you're getting back in shape!

  7. Looks like we are doing the same "how sore can I make my butt" rides but in opposite directions. Have you found the good beer places down that way yet?