Today, I left home just before sunrise and rode a loop out to River Hill and back. Before 2020, I had never biked to Columbia, but this year, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done it. I mostly go on weekends, but every so often, I’ll go early on a weekday, as the traffic is usually not all that bad. I typically pick up the CA path network on Tamar Dr in Long Reach. One of my routes takes me past Blandair Park, through Oakland Mills, and across Rt 29 at the pedestrian bridge to Lake Kittamaqundi. From there, I can head north towards Wilde Lake, or west toward Symphony Woods, as I did this morning. From there, the route continued south on Martin Rd, past Simpsonville Mill, and along Grace Dr, which runs parallel to Rt 32. I eventually wound up on Trotter Rd at the Middle Patuxent Environmental Area, where I found a couple of caches before heading home via Rt 108. The total distance was around 29 miles.
This is only the second time I’ve ridden out to River Hill, and truth be told, I’m not really crazy about parts of the route. Most of it is OK, but there are a few sections that are not very bike friendly — in particular, there is a bad section along Hickory Ridge Rd between Broken Land Parkway and Martin Rd. Route 108 is narrow in spots, and busy, though not as busy as it would be later in the day. Next time I ride out this way, I may look for an alternate route that keeps me on the CA paths for more of the ride. All in all, though, it wasn’t a bad Saturday morning ride.