The course was challenging, scenic and nearly free of traffic. Garmin recorded 8700 feet of climbing, most of it front loaded in the first half of the ride. Though Bill Beck who organized the whole thing, left us one surprise for the end, a 15% grade on Ball Rd at about mile 124 just before the finish. You can see the climbing profile by clicking the "view details" link on the map below.
As the name implies the route passed several Civil War landmarks and monuments, the highlights were tours through the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefield parks. Complete with information controls that required us to stop and read a few of the plaques to answer some Civil War history trivia before proceeding on.
SPP was represented by myself, Dan, Bill W, Theresa, Gardner and Chip. After we all regrouped at Pizza Hut after the ride, everyone reported a good day with no incidents. As far as I know this was true for the entire 30 rider field, though I haven't seen Bill B's final summary. Dan and Chip have both been recovering recently from physical wounds and challenges, but both looked strong yesterday. I hope that's still true the day after.
The climbing was tough and frankly a little humbling. I read somewhere it never get's easier, you just get faster and stronger. I've still got plenty of stronger and faster to go. But each ridge offered a great view and equal measure of descent after the big climb.
The DC Randonneurs did a great job organizing everything. Bill designed a great route. Chuck and Crista handled check in and manned a surprise control in the Antietam Battlefield park. Ed and Mary leap frogged ahead of the riders to take pictures and cheer us on. I'll add links to them once posted. Thanks to all for the work so the rest of us could enjoy the ride.
As promised, here are some photos others posted: