Once again, I learned not to believe the cue sheets or the elevation profiles. Today’s described the route as “a relatively easy section.” The elevation profile showed “soft” hills that looked like they had easy pitches. Instead, there were numerous 7, 8, 9, and 10% hills and some were very long. I used the lowest gear I had on my bike and when the pitch still increased, I just kept going. I did what I could with what I had. On a delightful downhill, I saw a sign that said “Do What You Can With What You Have.” Hmmmm.
At least, doing today’s hills reminded me that I will be able to do tomorrow’s ride over five mountains. Here is a video of one descent and ascent on today’s ride.
The other reason I knew I would be able to do tomorrow’s hills is that I already did them back on April 17. The segment that goes from Cumberland to Hancock MD over Martin Mountain, Polish Mountain, Green Ridge, Town Hill, and Sideling Hill is described in the RAAM cue sheets as the hardest segment of the entire route based on elevation gain per mile. This segment wasn’t far from home and I figured that if I could do it, I should be able to do the RAAM route. Once I succeeded in April and Susie enjoyed sagging it, the decision was made to do this cross-country route.
Today’s fall scenery in western Maryland was some of the prettiest I have seen on this entire ride, not that I’m biased or anything as a Maryland native! Here’s a video of a piece of it.
Susie has friends in Cumberland and they arranged a surprise welcome in City Hall Park at 3 PM. We came in right on time!
Start location: McHenry MD
End location: Cumberland MD
Distance: 48.3 miles
Cumulative distance: 2839.1 miles
Elevation gain: 4094.5 feet (Cumulative elevation gain is now over 100,000 feet!)
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/744590148