SAINT MICHAELS, MARYLAND
I’m not sure why I picked this. I think I was looking at cycling on Kent Island and my eyes looked at the map and saw St. Michaels. I’ve certainly heard of it but never been there.
I saw Tilghman’s Island and thought I’d do a ride from St. Michaels to Tilghman’s. But that wasn’t far enough. A quick search for cycling St. Michaels and I found the Bellevue Ferry. I haven’t had a bike ride with a ferry since White’s Ferry on the Potomac closed. Using RidewithGPS I had my route. It was a 60-mile route from departing from Idlewild Park in Easton.
I was watching the weather for the week and planned to ride tomorrow (Thursday). But when I woke up this morning I looked at the next 36 hours and today presented a better chance of not getting caught in thunderstorms. I left home at 7:35 am.
The park is small but with adequate parking and restrooms. For almost all of the 60 miles, I could ride a dedicated shoulder away from the traffic lane. There were just a couple of pinch points before St. Michaels. In the town, I needed to take the lane. It’s a very charming town.
The 11 miles to from St. Michaels to Tilghman Island were on a dedicated shoulder lane until I came to the bridge in town. My GPS was showing “distance to next cue” and I was counting down miles to my turnaround point. So when I hit the bridge I was shocked to see 4.4 miles to the next cue.
I thought about turning around then but didn’t want to cut my ride short. The road south of Tilghman was a two-lane road with no shoulders. But there was no traffic either. I soon realized the next cue was back at the bridge. It was 2.2 miles to the end or turnaround. Actually, it wasn’t the very end of the island but appeared to be fenced off at that point.
What appeared to be the end of the road opened into what was a parking lot for fishermen.
I saw very little water on this ride which was disappointing only because in studying the map it looked like I would have water views for 60 miles. But while never very far away from the bay there was always woods or a cornfield. Lots of cornfields.
I turned it around and headed back towards the bridge in Tilghman’s Island before going back to St. Michaels. My decision was whether or not to stop for more water. I brought two bottles with me but still had most of one left. I passed a small country store and then saw a gas station store right by the bridge. I decided I was good until at least Saint Michaels.
It was a bit breezy if not windy. I thought I was fighting a headwind on my ride out but when I turned around I still had the wind hitting me. It was probably a cross-tail going out and a cross-head going back.
Once I got back to St. Michaels I thought about stopping for that extra water. The town is very charming but I had to go through it before I found a quick place to stop. It was a car wash/gas station. I got a bottle of water which filled 1.5 bottles. I didn’t think of it at the time but should have grabbed a Snickers bar too.
It was about two miles out of town before coming to the turn to the ferry. There was a sign and it was open.
It was about 4.5 miles on a two-lane road to the ferry.
I had no expectations about the ferry other than it would cost $4. It actually cost $6.
I arrived just as the ferry was ready to leave. There were two cars loaded and I rode my bike right up.
I rolled on taking notice of not to lean my bike against the bulkhead. What’s up with that?
There were two cars and two families on the boat. The ride probably took 12-15 minutes. Maybe less
I had read about this great creamery. For 50 miles I waited for that ice cream cone. I even told a couple on the ferry about it. When we docked I took off for the creamery forgetting to “resume” my GPS which I had paused to cross the river.
I studied the menu. Two scoops and you could mix them. I settled on Mint Chocolate Chip and then turned the doorknob to enter. It was locked.
Who closes an ice cream store on Wednesdays? This was so wrong.
No ice cream would make the nine-mile ride back to Easton a bit harder.
DISTANCE: 60 miles (50.5 via GPS; 0.5 not captured)
SPEED: 17.5 mph (fastest ride of the year)
WEIGHT: 174 pounds