Memorial Day, formerly known as Decoration Day, originated after the Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who perished in the course of battle. So it seems appropriate to visit the site of one of the most (in)famous battles in our history on this day of remembrance. Situated in a beautiful valley, Antietam is surrounded by numerous historic markers and loads of rolling country lanes. Our journey will be comprised of climbing, pavement, gravel as well as stretches of the C&O canal.
"The disclaimer": The route will traverse both hill and dale. Roughly 50% gravel, 50% pavement, one or two steep climbs possible, long rolling hills and short stretches on the shoulder of Highways likely. Elevation gain: 3-4,000'. We will do everything possible to stick to quiet roads, but there will be interaction with vehicular traffic. You will be riding at your own risk.
"The fine print": Despite the flat nature of the C&O but due to the length of the route, we're calling this a challenging ride (on a scale of mild, moderate, challenging or advanced). There will be opportunities for advanced riders to stretch their legs up hills and regroup at major intersections. Great ride for base miles though NOT a ride suitable for beginners or those without group, road riding or gravel experience. CX or road bikes with gravel-tires recommended. No hybrids, sorry. If you have questions, please call and we can discuss the details.
All of our rides are "no-drop". No one gets left behind, BUT please respect your fellow riders by understanding your abilities and limits. Bring water and snacks. Both will be available at the shop. Water stops may not be readily available en route, so plan ahead. Coffee offered before and after the ride.