I started cycling again back in 2008. Ever since I started I have been riding on the B&A trail on a relatively regular basis. The trail ends just north of US 50 outside of Annapolis, but there is a bike lane on MD 2/MD 450 that connects the trail to down town Annapolis over the Naval Academy Bridge. I’ve been a little leery of riding on the bike lane for a while, but my confidence in traffic has gotten stronger — maybe this is a bad thing. I was also very concerned about my ability to actually make it up and over this bridge. It is probably not a long climb by many people’s standards but it does rise probably about 100 feet in less than a 1/4 mile (meaning about a 7% grade). And I’ve been afraid I’d lose steam on the climb.
Earlier this week, I vowed that come hell or high water, I would make the ride from my house into Annapolis and back over this bridge. Tonight I did it. And it felt awesome. I have often wondered just what the view would be like on a bike instead of a car – well it isn’t much different of a view, but it is a different feeling — there’s not a half ton of steel around you for one thing.
The ride back from town was probably a little more hairy than the ride into town. As you approach the bridge on the way in there is a great descent that helps with the ascent over the bridge, then its relatively flat into town. Conversely, there’s not much of a descent approaching the bridge from town and you’ve got a pretty long but low-grade hill to climb on the other side. It felt great to get to the top and take a breather at the foot of the trail.
I spun home happily from there on, and didn’t even mind when another biker over took me on the left.