East Coast Bike Tour Day 57 – 59

Day 57 – Alexandria, VA to Burtonsville, MD

It’s Sunday! That means I get to sleep in a little bit, and find a local church to attend.

My buddy Schwalbe recommended one that meets in a movie theatre and said he would come with!

Before I set out, we cleaned and lubed my bike chain so it was feeling fresh and strong again without any noises.

Off to church!

I biked the 7.5 miles to church and Schwalbe drove. I beat him there and as I waited, I almost put the church out of donuts and coffee! I definitely had more than I should have, but they didn’t tell me I needed to stop..

Message today was on healing and to never stop praying for anything! Just cause He doesn’t answer your prayer right now, doesn’t mean He isn’t working.

After church we went over to a pub to watch the World Cup finals. Go USA! Had myself a big chicken sandwich, said goodbye to Schwalbe and it was back on the road!

Last photo with Schwalbe

The East Coast Greenway from Alexandria takes me up through DC then over to Annapolis and then back up to Baltimore. This was my original plan for the day.

But… With all Austin’s plans comes random changes.

DC was packed with people and they were still cleaning up from the 4th of July so I quickly saw a few sites and got out of the city as quick as I could (which was slowly due to the overload of people everywhere).

Found a photo spot with no one nearby!

I had gotten a message on Instagram from a guy, Pinkesh, who had seen my picture from when the East Coast Greenway Instagram account featured me.

He reached out to me and said he was getting back into town tonight around 7 and that I could stay at their place. Only problem was it wasn’t on the route. He lives in Burtonsville which is about an hour and 45 minute bike ride north of DC.

I thought about it for a second and realized I am biking to meet cool people, try new things, drink good beer, and get to Canada. So why not, I’m not married to the route.

I got back to him and said I would be over after he got home! He and his wife are originally from Mumbai, India and his mom is a professional cook. He said they were making some traditional Indian food. I was all about that! Try something new and from a chef that even caters to the White House!

I had some time to kill before I got there though..

What does that mean? Find a brewery!

Just another trail photo

I found a couple actually 😁. First stop was Streetcar 82 Brewing Co. Small, quaint spot with an awesome bartender who is basically deaf. Enjoyed my beers there and the company I met.

They sent me o we to Franklin’s next where I was able to grab a small table by the window and work on my blog. (Lately it has been hard for me to find time since I am always meeting awesome people!)

My server brought me over a complimentary basket of bread that I destroyed in about 2 seconds.

Third stop for the day was to Denizens Brewing Co. While it was okay, they were probably my least favorite of the day. The bartenders we’re pretty cool though. Food overpriced.

Made my way over to Pinkesh’s house, and ate some delicious food. I can’t remember the name of it, but it was almost like a thick lentil soup with a sweet and spicy curry you pour over and mix in and then some toasted tortilla-like bread on the side.

My description is probably terrible, but it was delicious! I had 3 full servings.

After dinner me and Pinkesh went out to his favorite bar and the USA vs Mexico Good Cup final was on. Everyone there, however, was rooting for Mexico. The TV was even on the Spanish channel.

We (USA) lost, but everyone else was stoked and the bartender gave everyone a free shot to celebrate.

Pinkesh and I

Got back to the big house, and had the whole basement to myself. Passed out on the big bed and slept great!

Day 58 – Burtonsville to Baltimore, MD

Woke up this morning to my phone screaming at me. I was getting an alert that the area I was in was getting strong rains and flash floods may occur.

Great… The weather was calling for rain pretty much all day.

That doesn’t sound like a fun day of riding! Luckily Pinkesh said I could stay at his place and wait it out. So I hung out for an extra hour and a half and decided I was just gonna go for it.

On my ride that day, I had to stop multiple times to take cover from the rain and definitely got soaked at one point, but by the time I got close to Baltimore it had cleared up.

I had seen that the storm was going the opposite way as my route in the morning. I learned while riding, however, that means I am biking into the wind!

So it was a tough ride, but thankfully I found a lot of bike paths to get me there. This route wasn’t a part of the Greenway which means I was using Google maps. At one point the route took me to a big flight of stairs that it wanted me to climb up. Yeah, right! I am not carrying my 80+ pound bike up those!

I found a way around it, and of course found my way to a brewery after.

Heavy Seas Beer had some great beers and a cool school bus out front that was home to the pizza kitchen. The bartender unfortunately did not like his job it seemed like, so once my phone was charged enough I left for another.

Landed at Checkerspot Brewing Co and the bartender was much better. He poured me some excellent beers, but unfortunately they didn’t do flights so I was limited to how many half pints I could drink before getting back on the bike.

Tonight I was staying at a hostel in downtown Baltimore. Once I got there, I learned that the AC was broken.

Great! It’s gonna be just like sleeping outside in my tent!

Made my rounds there and met some cool people – a girl from Jordan, another from France, a guy from Michigan and another from New York.

While it was cool meeting the people from all over, the AC being out was tough to sleep in. I also tried to like Baltimore, but just like last time I visited, I couldn’t seem to enjoy the city. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t allowed, but I climbed the ladders on the side of the hostel up to the roof to try and get a good shot of the city.

View from the hostel roof

Stood there and ate an apple, but the view wasn’t as good as I was hoping.

Sorry if you are from there or live there, but I haven’t found the cool parts yet, I guess. So I laid down and sweat myself to sleep in the bed.

Oriole Park

Day 59 – Baltimore to York (Harrisburg), PA

Was able to get some complimentary breakfast from the hostel this morning consisting of three frozen waffles, a PB&J sandwich, an apple, and of course some coffee. I had a long day ahead of me so I was needing the calories!

Today, just like two days ago, changed halfway through.

The biking route was amazing today! I actually loved the outskirts of Baltimore. The bike paths were pretty and the area was a bit edgy.

The route was going to take me East after I hit Monkton, MD and then into Delaware.

However, I had a hookup in Harrisburg, PA. His name is Artie. Artie is the owner of Appalachian Brewing Co and they have 7 locations throughout Pennsylvania!

Artie is an uncle to one of my good friends, Kelly, back in Colorado that I went to college with. So Artie said if I can bike up to York, PA he would come and pick me up and then drop me back off there tomorrow.

Heck yeah! So I decided in Monkton (with the inputs of my wife and 5 other old men that were biking on the same path) that I was gonna change my route to York.

The path that I was on at that point actually went all the way to York also. It was a beautiful path! Mostly unpaved, but I did easily 40 miles just on that path and I would do it again.

Another biker ruined my picture or I ruined his rhythm
Nailed it

The path followed an old railroad with plenty of shade, beauty, and other runners and bikers on the long hot day.

I even came across gnome hill where I stopped and got some iced tea and laughed at all the gnome puns.

There’s no place like gnome
Country roads, take me gnome
Gnome sweet gnome

After crossing paths with cool little towns along the path, I finally made it to York. I let Artie know and he was about 45 minutes away.

Beer time while I wait!

Had a pint at Crystal Ball Brewing just to say I’ve been there and then went over to Gift Horse Brewing where I had a flight while waiting for Artie. Beers were delicious and the owner was there to share my time with.

Gift Horse Brewing Co

Once Artie picked me and my bike up, we had a quick stop at his place and then of course he took me to his breweries. We stopped at two of them, one in Harrisburg and the other in Mechanicsville.

Throughout the night I’m pretty sure I tried every beer they had on tap which was something like 20+ beers! They were all so good! Also got to try some of their appetizers and a big ol burger.

I got to hang out with him and his family for the evening, played some shuffle board (which I lost), drank good beer, ate great food, and made it back to his place where I had a real comfortable bed.

All in all, it was a good decision to switch up the route!

Stats:

  • Day 57 – 35.24 miles
  • Day 58 – 36.24 miles
  • Day 59 – 65.53 miles

Accommodation:

  • Schwalbes house (friend)
  • Pinkesh house (Instagram follower)
  • HI Baltimore Hostel
  • Artie’s house (friends uncle/Appalachian Brewing owner)

Breweries:

2 Comments on “East Coast Bike Tour Day 57 – 59”

  1. I’m so bummed that I missed you right in my back yard, didn’t hear of your story until after you left York, PA! Wanted to wish you well in your travels and pray that you make it back home safely. The York County Heritage Rail Trail is a trail I visit 2-3 times a week, and always ride up to our awesome brewery’s in York, PA.

    • Ah shoot! I have been behind on my posting, trying to catch up now or get some sort of map up to see where I am..
      That Rail trail is awesome! You are lucky to have that near you and that it takes you right to all those breweries!
      Sorry we didn’t have a chance to meet up!

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