7 or 8 of us continued from the south end of the trail to Annapolis where we usually split for a couple of different breakfast venues. I went to Chick n Ruth's this morning, as I usually do, to meet some non-biking friends I've known since high school or earlier. Great to see Keith, Franklin, Doug and Rodney.
Earl had eaten with the other bikers at Hard Bean then re-joined me at Chick N Ruth's for the ride to the airport. I learned this evening that Earl turned the day into his second century ride since he started biking this spring: good on him! Unfortunately he also posted a photo showing a nasty bit of road rash on his knee after getting the sequence wrong while stopping the bike and unclipping from the pedals. Ouch!
I worked later than planned and clipped in just before sunset for the ride home. The first sign of trouble was the headlight indicating that I forgot to recharge! I set it to the lowest setting and hoped I'd make it home. Next I encountered the AA County Police reminding everyone on the trail just north of Marley Mall that the trail is closed at sunset. When I explained that I was commuting home and that if they kicked me off the trail I'd be on Ritchie Hwy in the dark, they let me pass.
That section does frequently attract loitering, mostly by teenagers and I often see broken beer bottles and other litter along there. It's the only section where I've felt at all uncomfortable when a pack of teens once looked at me and blatantly ignored me when I indicated I'd like to pass with a simple "excuse me". They stared and then turned their back on me, continuing to hold the center of the path, leaving me only the grass to get around them. There were 10 or 12 of them at the time and I remember worrying if one of the guys, high on his own testosterone might decide I was suddenly a problem. But nothing else came of it.
This evening the police were really trying to discourage similar incidents and I appreciate their effort, even if it means my transgression (using the trail after dark) must also be noted.
I'm taking tomorrow off of the bike to help a friend rebuild her roof. Then Sunday I'm riding a 200K with Theresa, Gardner and my Uncle Dave Waas. A busy weekend to look forward to.