EARLY RIDE MORNING UPDATE:
Well, the current temperature isn't bad for early January (and Farm Show week). Unfortunately, the forecast is for the temps to fall and the winds to pick-up. I'll still be there at 9:00 for anyone that wants to go along.
As for the bathroom situation....plan to take care of business before arriving! Appears the port-o-pot is gone for the season and the permanent bathrooms are locked up (also, presuming for the season). If you are arriving via 283/Toll House Rd exit, stop at the Exxon by the traffic light. If coming via 441 or 230, visit Sheets, 7-11, Turkey Hill or some other option in Middletown before making your way to Sunset Park.
Well, time to try my hand at leading an East Shore Flex ride and this Wednesday the 9th looks like the day to do it (no scheduled Silver Spoke ride)! For anyone that may be interested in a 32 mile, bi-county ride, with ~1,266’ of gain, plan on meeting me at Sunset Park just south of Middletown/Royalton at 9:00am.
The start will be in Dauphin county but we’ll quickly migrate into Lancaster on the way towards Elizabethtown. Most of the climbing for the day is front end loaded and within the first 3 miles we should have 200’ in the books thanks to Gingrich and Locust Grove roads. I’ve always been north bound on Rt 230 out of E-town towards the Conewago Rail Trail, enjoying that gravity feed coast down the hill, but not for this ride. Nope, not having it! We’ll climb that southbound Rt 230 hill heading towards Elizabethtown. It may only be a mile, but at a max grade of 7% (average 2.7%), there will be another 150’ adding towards the total until we “top out”. A planned right turn on Newville Rd and left on Turnpike Rd will keep the riders out of E-town (unless someone needs a bathroom break – in which case we will head to Turkey Hill at the intersection of Market/Summit).
Maytown Road (Rt 743) will be the main artery used to get us into, yep, you guessed it, Maytown. River Rd (Rt 441) will be used as our route to the only planned “food & bathroom” stop at the Sheetz in Marietta. After departing Sheetz, we’ll make our way onto Bank St and follow that till the end and pick up the paved section of the Northwest Lancaster River Trail. Departing the trail in Bainbridge, Rt 441 will lead us back towards the direction of Sunset Park.
About 2/3 of the total elevation gain happens within the first half of the ride, as does most of the steepest grades. The remaining 1/3 is experienced on Rt 441 between Bainbridge and the north entrance to TMI. While I have driven much of the first half of the ride, almost all of it will be a “first time” from a pedal perspective. Sheetz in Marietta is almost half way into the ride, showing mile marking 16.2 on the ridewithgps route.
I know nothing about Sunset park other than what I can see from satellite images and google maps. Parking looks “plenty” and I think there is a restroom/port-o-pot available. I hope to stop by Monday afternoon to confirm. Weather looks to be dry but “brisk”; layer accordingly if you care to join in the adventure. If for some reason the ride needs canceled, an email will be sent by 7:30am.
For those with a ridewithgps.com account, you should be able to preview the planned route at https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29130331
Start/Stop Location: Sunset Park, 2601 Sunset Dr, Middletown, PA 17057
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Distance: 32 miles
Pace: C pace; target of 12-13 mph average, (will slow on hills, will be faster on descents – NO RIDER DROPPED)
Elevation Gain: 1,266'
Ride Leader: Bob Gilliland
Leader Contact: 717.564.7650