Brunswick Doublecross


What a beautiful day. I had mapped out a 55-mile ride and loaded it on my Wahoo. Truth was, I didn’t need a map because except for a two-mile stretch of Va. Rte. 267 (Berlin Turnpike) from Lovettsville to Brunswick, Md., I have ridden all these roads before.

W&OD at Hamilton (MP40)

Well, not all roads. Twenty miles would be on the C&O Canal Towpath. Yes, on my Domane (road bike). I was comfortable riding the canal because six days ago I met my sister, concluding paragraph essay example dissertation ideas on homelessness cialis online in new zealand watch write cheap critical analysis essay on shakespeare where do i find my email address on my iphone 7 apa format for an essay documenting a research paper levitra utica teenage suicide essays go site levitra pret follow site cause and effect essay about healthy lifestyle academic assistance writing agency source link thesis research pdf follow site what are the steps to writing an essay how to write a formal introduction about yourself order best rhetorical analysis essay on shakespeare Betsy, and her husband, Tom, plus friend, George, as they were doing a through-trip from Pittsburgh to D.C.

Betsy had texted me and said “They’ve resurfaced at least this part of the canal! .. no puddles, no roots, no rocks.”

Hamilton, Va.

When I met the crew last week, I had just ridden through a steady rain. Although it had quit raining when I met them, that led to a discussion about the surface. Between Point of Rocks and Whites Ferry, it is generally hard-packed. With the rain it looked, and rode, like asphalt.


When I mapped out this ride I thought about taking Md. Rte. 28 from Brunswick then connecting to Martinsburg Road and the familiar country roads I have ridden many times. These are the roads to and from Sugarloaf Mountain so they would be familiar territory.


But an alternative would be the C&O. The paved C&O. Well, so I thought.

Road Construction in Hillsboro

It was a chilly late-summer morning. Just 55° (13° C) at the start. My cold-weather gear consisted of arm warmers. And that’s it.

Doukenie Winery, Hillsboro

I followed the W&OD to Purcellville then took Hillsboro Road over to Hillsboro. There were ZERO cars behind me today. There’s a major construction project in Hillsboro with a detour around the quaint town, and cyclists benefit by the detour.


From Hillsboro to Lovvettsville I followed Mountain Road. It was absolutely beautiful. I had mapped out an alternative for bypassing Lovettsville but that did not work out. I have to go back to the drawing board but I was comfortable staying on the roads I knew.

Welcome to Maryland (Brunswick)

Actually, the drawing board is confused. Checking what I had mapped out and downloaded, what Wahoo was showing today was not the same. In Purcellville, it was supposed to route me onto Chestnut Overlook Drive but did not show that. Then on Mountain Road, it told me to go straight about 200 meters, do a U-Turn, and then turn on Brittain Road. And that was gravel so I ignored it. But it looks like I had mapped an alternative for bypassing Lovettsville but that never showed up either. Don’t make me lose trust in my Wahoo.

Horine Bldg (1910). The man is Dr. Arlington Grove Horine (1863-1956) owner of Horine’s Drug Store and Soda Fountain Shop. He was a surgeon with the B&O Railroad (1891-1903) and Brunswick’s mayor (1906-1914).

I jumped on the Berlin Turnpike (just the name of the road, it’s not really a turnpike). I came to a construction area and stop where the flagman held up a stop sign. We chatted briefly. He told me I was flying up the hill before I reached him. That was a nice compliment.

Brunswick, Maryland Train Station

It wasn’t long to the bridge into Maryland and over the Potomac River to Brunswick. In Brunswick, I looked for Mommer’s Dinner, a quaint little restaurant where Andrew and I ate back in 2001. I did not see it and would learn that it closed. I can’t determine if it was this year or just some time in the last 19 years.

Bridge Out on the C&O

Crossing the B&O tracks, I came to the access road for the C&O Canal. And it was crap. I was expecting paved and this was a gravel road with many potholes. It was horrible.


Thankfully, it would last one mile, just to the entrance of the Brunswick Family Campground. And it was 19 years ago that Andrew and I camped one night here. We thought we found a great campground only to be woken up too early by the trains just 50 meters away through the trees.

Point of Rocks, Md.

But the canal path became much improved here. I could see, without the rain, that this was definitely a crushed limestone surface. Except for one detour around a bridge that was out, it would be 19 miles of glorious crushed limestone. Along the way, I passed many cyclists. All were much slower than me. Every time I looked my speed was 17-20 mph. Not bad on this surface.

Point of Rocks, Md. US Rte 15 connects Loudoun Co. Va. with Frederick Co., Md.

There was one guy I caught and surprised. He was probably around 40 years old. He had mountain bike tires but was making great progress – probably 15-16 mph. I called out “on your left” which surprised him. He looked back, a little surprised, probably thinking he was the fastest rider on the canal today. But I was on a road bike and he had fat tires. If we switched machines he would be way faster, I’m sure.

Monocacy Aqueduct

One week ago I was in a steady rain crossing the Potomac by ferry. Today was a gorgeous day. I arrived as the ferry was arriving from the Virginia side. I never stepped off the bike although I had to put a foot down for 4-5 minutes.

Whites Ferry

Leaving the ferry my legs felt good. There is a ramp here which is probably 15%. Almost always the lactic acid hits me here and I can barely pedal. Today I noticed no lactic. And although I was riding into a strong headwind and had 50 miles in my legs, I saw my time on this Strava segment was coming down. I would set a new PR. And I sort of smashed it.

Monocacy Aqueduct

It was a beautiful day. This is a ride I would love to do with friends. It can be done with road bikes. The canal section isn’t bad except for one mile in Brunswick but that shouldn’t be enough to discourage one from this ride.

I sort of smashed my PR. It is good for #1 overall for my age group but just 67th total (out of 2691)

Distance: 55.0 miles
Average Speed: 16.3 mph
Weight: 181

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