Like last year, the populaire will start from the Glen Echo Town Hall, 6106 Harvard Avenue, Glen Echo, MD. Parking is at the Clara Barton Historical Site at the “P” on the map. The ride start is at the red circle with the bicycle. The neighbors will complain if we park in the neighborhood or the Town Hall and then we might not get invited back … don’t be that person!
Starting time is January 28th at 9 am. There is no ride fee, but please pre-register so that we can plan for the correct number of riders.
The route heads up roads that start in suburbia but eventually become rural, to an info control at mile sixteen at what used to be Poole’s Store at Seneca Creek State Park. This store was founded in 1901, and until recently was the oldest continuously operated country store in Montgomery County.
After Poole’s Store, there is a sharp but brief climb, after which the terrain moderates and the roads become very rural (and increasingly hilly). Some of the roads are also quite shaded, so watch carefully for icy spots. The next control is at Denise Bakery and Deli (formerly Hyattstown Deli), which is your first lunch opportunity. (Alternative: grab a quick something at Hyattstown and eat a more substantial sit-down lunch at Cugini’s in Poolesville.)
Returning to Peach Tree road, the route passes its high point, 700′, at about mile 46, just south of Comus Road, and enters the town of Poolesville. A final stretch along River Road will return riders to the DC Randonneurs meeting in Glen Echo, starting at 4pm. The final twenty miles have a net descent of around 600 feet, helping them go by more quickly, though there’s enough up and down to keep your attention.
(About 4600 feet of elevation gain, which is a fairly typical rate of climbing per mile for DCR brevets.)