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June 23, 2021 / bikesbytesbites

Greencastle Great Escape

The Baltimore Bike Club (BBC) runs an annual bicycling weekend to Greencastle PA. The weekend didn’t happen in 2020 but it was back in June 2021. I had never done this weekend, although I HAD done a previous ride that BBC ran to Greencastle. But that one was a century ride TO Greencastle on Friday, a loop ride on Saturday, and a ride back to where you started on Sunday. So this would be a relaxing change, although it did require a different way to get there.

Friday, June 11

I wasn’t planning to get to Greencastle in time to ride on Friday, since I had just gotten back from Philadelphia. The original plan was to take public transportation to get most of the way to Greencastle — DC metro’s red line to Shady Grove, followed by a commuter bus from Shady Grove to Hagerstown. It’s only about a 15-mile bike ride from Hagerstown to Greencastle.

Unfortunately, the weather on Friday was disgusting — a steady rain. Therefore, I drove (!!) to Greencastle. I got to town early enough (4-ish), to do a short ride — checking out the downtown area and then riding to the group’s hotel (the Comfort Inn on the outskirts of town). (I was staying in the Super 8. It was closer to downtown and less expensive than the Comfort Inn, but a bit downtrodden.)

I rode back to the Super 8 in order to drive back to the Comfort Inn to join some of the group participants for dinner at the attached pizza joint. A nice group of people, a nice dinner.

Saturday, June 12

Woo hoo! An actual bicycle ride. I did a mini-ride to start the day with breakfast at the Sunnyway Diner, a great local place, good food and great prices — especially when compared with prices I had just paid at restaurants in Philadelphia. The staff was very understanding when I walked out without paying my check. Thankfully, I had just gotten an important phone call (from a friend of a friend who had been in the ICU for a week!), so I was sitting on the sidewalk leading to the diner door when someone came out to find me.

Breakfast Menu of the Sunnyway Diner, Greencastle PA

Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to doing one of the official rides. Instead a did a longer loop around town. One of the (unexpected) sites was Tayamentasachta, an environmental site. The highlight of the ride was finding a large super market, Glenwood Foods at Greencastle. It seemed to cater to the local Mennonite population, judging my the groceries available, the packaging, and the clothing worn by some of the customers and all of the cashiers. I was on my “fast” bike, which has very little carrying capacity, so purchases were limited, but I did get a lovely basket of local strawberries.

Another highlight of the ride was finding a large super market, Glenwood Foods At Greencastle. It seemed to cater to the local Mennonite population, judging my the groceries available, the packaging, and the clothing worn by some of the customers and all of the cashiers. I was on my “fast” bike, which has very little carrying capacity, so purchases were limited, but I did get a lovely basket of local strawberries.

Sunday, June 13

Today, I had breakfast at a different diner – the Homestyle Family Restaurant. Then it was back to the Super 8 to pack up and head to the park just outside of town, where all the rides were starting. A group of about eight of us decided to do “Just In Time”, a 35-mile ride that headed west, to Mercersburg. Attracted (distracted) by the sight of a steeple as we neared Mercersburg, I led some of the group on a slight detour to explore Mercersburg Academy.

We then stopped for coffee and snacks in downtown Mercersburg. I would have liked to explore the town, but a rain storm was threatening, so we got going fairly quickly. The ride consisted of gorgeous scenery, a few hills, but nothing extreme until the last two miles — coming back to the park from the covered bridge.

We all made it back – just in time. It was starting to sprinkle as I approached the park. Margaret, Debby, and I packed up our bikes and met back at the Comfort Inn to clean up, talk about the weekend and just chat. Then it was time for the drive home. That was a milestone for my Honda Fit:

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