Destination Rides: Episode One – Deep Creek Lake

Destination Rides: Episode One – Deep Creek Lake

 

Who: Climbers, Masochists, Anyone who needs clarification of long and steep

Where: Deep Creek Lake State Park. 898 State Park Rd, Swanton, MD, 21561

What: 50 miles of gorgeous scenery with 4,500 feet of climbing.

The Route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28028096

 

Deep Creek Lake in Garrett county is about as far west as you can go and still be in Maryland.  Home to such superstar rides and races as the Garrett County Gran Fondo and the Kinetic Multisports SavageMan triathlon.  This route is not for the faint hearted or under trained.  It will challenge you to the core mentally and physically but reward you with some spectacular views, good roads and fresh air.

 

Its about a three hour drive out of the city to the start.  Strong riders can expect to finish this loop in about four hours.  Camping is available at the park if you want to make a weekend of it (reservations required in season).  If you are multi modal in your outdoor recreation, the area also has some excellent hiking and boating opportunities.

 

But this post is about the bike and the mountain. Big Savage Mountain to be specific.  At 2,860 feet in elevation its among the tallest in the state (that distinction belongs to Hoyes Crest, 3,360 feet, on Backbone Mountain about 20 miles south west).  Now a ride of 50 miles with 4,600 feet of climbing may not seem challenging at first glance.  But consider that the majority of the elevation comes in two sustained climbs and you will understand the significance.

 

 

The first climb starts in Westernport with a nasty section affectionately referred to as the “Westernport Wall.”  Sections of this climb are purported to challenge you with grades up to 30%.  While this is the steepest portion of the climb it isn’t really the hardest.  The rest of the 9 mile climb up Big Savage Mountain with grades averaging 6% to 8% will test your will to keep turning the pedals as you make a mental note to spend more time in the gym doing core work.  But find a rhythm and settle in for a long slow grind and you will be blessed with stunning landscapes as you go up, up, up.

 

Once you crest the summit (the real summit, not one of the pretenders that tease you into thinking you are done climbing only to laugh as you round the bend to more climbing) the descent back down to the Savage River is fast, twisty and exhilarating!  Riding along the river for a few miles gives you just enough time to recover and prepare for the next major climb of the day.

 

Dry Run Rd is about 6.5 miles of unrelenting climbing.  Another 6% to 8% sufferfest is on tap, with top ten Strava times in the range of 30 to 40 minutes.    You will still be feeling the effort from Big Savage Mountain too, so this one will really hurt.  But the sense of accomplishment is tremendous regardless of how long it takes to crest the summit.  There are plenty of false flats to lull you into thinking the end is nearer than it is.  Keep your mental edge sharp and know it will be a long steady effort.

 

If all this makes it seem like a hard day in the saddle, it is.  Truth be told when I first went out there I didn’t make it all the way.  It was too much for my physical fitness level. But I was hooked by the sublime, unapologetic character of the mountain and a desire to test myself on some of the best climbs the Free State has to offer.

 

Some things to consider when riding this route:

  • There are bears. It is not common, but not unheard of to encounter wildlife in this area.  Be prepared.
  • Much of the route is without cell coverage. Be prepared.
  • Once you leave Westernport and start climbing there is no easy access to water or food. Be prepared.

 

If you have questions, feel free to call or come by the shop. I am happy to help.  If you rode this route let me know what you think. I love sharing ride stories and look forward to hearing yours.

Thanks for reading, now get out there and ride!

Norman

Twenty20 Cycling Moving to New City Storefront in Remington Neighborhood in 2017

Following 7 years of growth in the Baltimore cycling community, local bicycle shop, Twenty20 Cycling Company, is expanding its Baltimore City presence. They will consolidate the Hampden and Howard County shops into what will become Twenty20’s most advanced and largest storefront to date.

“Our goal is to focus on the needs of our cycling community here in Baltimore City” explained Twenty20 Cycling owner, Norman Brach. “We will emphasize a rider-first approach to help people enjoy riding their bike.”

Soon to be located at 320 W. 29th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211 (at the corner of 29th Street and Remington Avenue), the company’s new city storefront will boast nearly 5,000 square feet, with ample dedicated customer parking. The new location looks to create a design and layout that focuses on rider development and accessibility at all levels first-and-foremost, rather than the more traditional product centric bike shop approach. The larger space will allow Twenty20 to broaden their in-house services to include an area dedicated to classes, coaching and instruction, a community meeting space and an expanded professional bike fitting studio.

On the move from the established Hampden neighborhood to the incredible resurgence of Remington, Twenty20 Cycling co-owner, Johnny May, added that, “Hampden has been an amazingly supportive community for us over the past 7 years. But we’ve come to the point where we’ve outgrown our existing flagship storefront in a repurposed auto garage. And to see the quality of growth that has been happening just around the corner in Remington, with the potential to build-out, is something that we are very excited to become a part of.”

Facade rendering, set to undergo major renovations

The new store is a collaboration between Twenty20 Cycling and Seawall Development, which recently opened the highly anticipated Remington Row and it’s adjacent industrial, community-focused restaurant space, “R. House,” located directly across 29th Street from the future Twenty20 site.

Timing for Twenty20’s move includes the Savage Mill store closing at the end of December 2016, to allow construction to begin at the new Remington space. The Savage store will then remain open, by appointment only, throughout the month of January 2017.

Twenty20’s Hampden store will remain open into the Summer of 2017, while the new Remington store looks to overlap that timeline with its doors set to open by this coming Spring.

For more information, visit Twenty20 Cycling online at www.twenty20cycling.com or call (443) 759-5620.

For updates, news, and announcements follow Twenty20 Cycling on Facebook at www.facebook.com/twenty20cycling.

WIN A VIP TRIP TO ATTEND THE HISTORIC “GP TWENTY20 CYCLING: KOPPENBERGCROSS” IN OUDENAARDE, BELGIUM FROM TWENTY20 CYCLING CO.

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Twenty20 Cycling Co.koppenbergcross_logoSeptember 10, 2015, Baltimore, MD – Have you ever wanted to be a VIP at one of Europe’s most historic cyclocross races, so close that you’ll be picking the mud out of your teeth? Well here’s your chance to make it happen!

As a title sponsor of the 2015 “GP Twenty20 Cycling: Koppenbergcross,” Twenty20 Cycling Co. is raffling off a boatload of prizes, including a Grand Prize trip to sit VIP on the sidelines at the historic Koppenbergcross, located in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

The Grand Prize will include round trip airfare for the lucky winner, (2) course-side VIP passes to the Koppenbergcross races, housing for two in Oudenaarde, Belgiumat at The Chainstay House, a prerace Saturday night Belgian beer tasting, and a chance to pre

-ride the famous Koppenberg cobble road climb before the race!

Other massive prizes include:
– Cycling kits from Sommerville Sports
– A Steen Wear cycling rain jackets
– Embrocation from Mad Alchemy
– Prizes from Specialized
– Beer prizes from De Kleine Duivel Belgian Bar in Hampden
And more…

CCX logo-simpleTo purchase tickets, please visit www.bikereg.com/belgianraffle2015 for your chance to win one of these awesome prizes. Only 300 tickets will be made available in order to increase chances of winning. The actual drawing will be held live on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at Day #2 of Charm City Cross held in Baltimore, MD. Winners do not need to be present to win and will be notified by email following the conclusion of the drawing. Prizes can be picked up in-person at either Twenty20 Cycling Co. location in Maryland, or shipping arrangements can be made available for prize winners.

 

Win a trip to attend the Historic “GP Twenty20 Cycling: Koppenbergcross” in Oudenaarde, Belgium from Twenty20 Cycling Co.

koppenbergcross_logotwenty20-email-logo

September 21, 2014, Baltimore, MD – Have you ever wanted to be a VIP at one of Europe’s most historic cyclocross races, so close that you’ll be picking the mud out of your teeth? Well here’s your chance to make it happen!

As a title sponsor of the 2014 “GP Twenty20 Cycling: Koppenbergcross,“ Twenty20 Cycling Co. is raffling off a boatload of prizes, including a Grand Prize trip to sit VIP on the sidelines at the historic Koppenbergcross, located in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

The Grand Prize will include round-trip airfare for the lucky winner, (2) course-side VIP passes to the Koppenbergcross races, as well as housing for two in Oudenaarde, Belgium.

Other massive prizes include:
-a Powertap Enve carbon wheelset, courtesy of Saris (valued at over $3,000!)
-a Specialized Carbon Crux cyclocross frameset (valued at $2,200)
-Travel Bags from Osprey (valued at $330)CharmCityCX-logo
-Clogs from Dansko

To purchase tickets, please visit https://www.bikereg.com/belgianraffel for your chance to win one of these awesome prizes. Only 300 tickets will be available in order to increase chances of winning! The actual drawing will be held live on Sept. 21, 2014 at Day #2 of Charm City Cross held in Baltimore, MD. Winners do not need to be present to win and will be notified by email following the conclusion of the drawing. Prizes can be picked up in-person at either Twenty20 Cycling Co. location in Maryland, or shipping arrangements can be made available for prize winners.

 

About the GP Twenty20 Koppenbergcross:

Koppenbergcross in Oudenaarde, Belgium sets a new milestone in the history of cyclocross. In cooperation with the American company Twenty20 Cycling Co., Koppenbergcross will be the first European cyclocross race to provide equal prize money for both Elite Men and Women. So far there was a gap of over five thousand euros between the prize scales for men and women in first category races, such as the Koppenbergcross. A gap that the Sint-Pietersvrienden, organizers of the Koppenbergcross, now decided to close.

The winner of the GP Twenty20 Cycling (The new name of our women’s race) on Saturday November 1st 2014 – is no longer rewarded 350 euros, but rather €1,667. Exactly the same as the next winner of our GP Willy Naessens for Elite Men. The same counts for all riders further down the results in both Men and Women’s races. A clear signal with which we hope to help the current growth of the Koppenbergcross and women’s cyclocross in general. Prior to now, the World Championships were the only cyclocross races on European soil to give equal prize money.

British rider Helen Wyman – European Cyclocross Champion, member of the Cyclocross Committee of the International Cycling Federation, triple winner of Koppenbergecross and resident of Oudenaarde – is obviously happy with this step. “In my eyes, this is a huge step. It is a very significant moment for women’s cycling.This allows women to make one step up the ladder towards equality. I spend a lot of my free time trying to advance women’s cyclocross and I hope this will lead to a chain reaction of races who do the same, as I know the support is there from sponsors, supporters and riders. To be a part of this development for the sport is fantastic for me.”

“For the Koppenbergcross to be the first race in Europe to do this is very special.  I love the Koppenbergcross, to me it is the biggest race outside of the World Championships.  It is legendary.  To have an American sponsor back the race shows how significant it is around the world.  I can’t thank Twenty20 Cycling enough on behalf of all of the racers that take part next season.  I’m certainly already looking forward to the GP Twenty20 Cycling and hope to collect another cobble stone in 2014.”

Kristopher Auer, Owner of Twenty20 Cycling, is proud to connect the name of his company to the women’s race of the Koppenbergcross. “Twenty20 Cycling Co. is a small two-store bicycle shop located in Baltimore and Savage, Maryland in the United States,”Auer explained. “One of the things that makes our business unique is how it developed from a cyclocross background. Since before we opened our business I have been supporting the growth of cyclocross in America. I was promoting UCI cyclocross races in Baltimore nearly a decade ago when I met my future business partners and continue to do so today. Growing the sport has always been on our agenda and I’ve always looked to ensure both women and men can race with equal opportunity.”

“There have been a lot of discussions recently about the globalization of the sport, and women’s racing is high on the agenda for change,” Auer went on to add. ”Following discussion with Helen Wyman, a six-time winner in our UCI races in Baltimore, we looked for an opportunity to do our part to help advance these two key areas of change. As a company we are excited to be part of such a prestigious event as the Koppenbergcross. It is an amazing race with its own rich history, tough conditions and a fantastic venue. We are proud to be part of what I believe to be an important, if not historic, moment for women’s cyclocross and women’s cycling in general. The growth of women’s sport is not to be ignored and we are hopeful that support of the Koppenbergcross will send a powerful message in Europe and the United States that the time is now.”

More info: The GP Twenty20 Cycling, the Koppenbergcross women’s race on Saturday November 1st 2014, once again will be part of the BPost Bank Trophy, as will the Elite Men’s and U23 races.

For more information, please follow #GPTwenty20.
Twenty20 Cycling Co.: www.twenty20cycling.com
Koppenbergcross: www.koppenbergcross.be
BPost Bank Trophy: www.bpostbanktrofee.be
Helen Wyman: www.helenywyman.com