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  1. #1
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    Baltimore neighborhood rides

    Hello Baltimore MTBR's...

    I am relocating from Salt Lake City for the girlfriend's new career, and am looking for info on the verdant tight technical goodness (at least that's how it plays out in my head) that I will be turning my wheels on for the next few years.

    The neighboorhood we are gravitating towards is Mt Washington...what will I be looking at as far as trails within riding distance? Is there a decent route out to Patapsco?

    Also, tell me amazing things about long weekend getaways (within 200 miles or so) to make me feel better about the move.

    Thanks for any and all info!

  2. #2
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    Patapsco and Gambrills/Frederick Watershed are regional gems. Patapsco has a ton of trail, you can do a 50+ mile loop if you wanted to, but 20 miles at Patapsco is definitely a healthy ride. Google: Patapsco Valley State Park Trail Maps. The most active area is "Avalon/Orange Grove/Glen Artney/Hilton", but can get crowded on summer weekends.

    Locally, there is also the Gunpowder Falls State Park. Google it. There is also Loch Raven, but while that's an awesome place to ride, there are a lot of bad politics keeping MTBers from riding there now.

    Out in Frederick, Gambrill State Park and the Watershed are more technical (rocky). Michaux is also close and just as technical. In those areas you'll find long climbs and long descents.

    You also have trails in Montgomery County (Schaeffer Farms, et al) and Rosaryville, which are not very technical, and not very hilly, but fun.

    Within 200 miles, well, you've got a lot of variety, from Raystown Lake (DirtRag DirtFest) and Rothrock in PA, to Elizabeth Furnace in VA and further south Harrisonburg, home to the Shenandoah Mountain 100 and lots of great riding. Plus West Virginia. Several IMBA Epics. Lots more details can be found here, google, look around....

    Also check out MORE-MTB.org, the local MTB advocacy/rides/trail building/etc. group. Trail work days and group rides are good ways to link up with fellow riders.

    I can't answer your specific question about routes from Mt. Washington to Patapsco, but I had some friends who lived there and it's a nice part of town. Real close to you is the Robert E Lee Park, which has some trails, but not nearly as much mileage as you'll find elsewhere. To get out to Patapsco I think you could use some of the Gwynn's Falls Trail (paved trail).

    Pretty sure there's a group affiliated with Baltimore Bicycle Works that rides out of Baltimore City to Patapsco in the summer months.

    Hopefully these names and such will help you scour the interwebs for the resources you're looking for.

  3. #3
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    I am in Harford County-- I usually ride Little Gunpowder. Thought about going out this weekend but not sure if the trails will still be frozen or just a sloppy mess.
    Anyone think Patapsico will be better? Its supposed to be 50 deg on Sunday, need to get out. Only so much tinkering one can do during the winter on the bike.

  4. #4
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    I live a stone's throw from Mt. Washington and know the area quite well. Your close spots (R.E. Lee and Druid Hill) are <10min riding but pretty much only good for a quick jaunt after work when time is tight. Loch Raven is about a 10 minute drive and, while loads better than the other two, is going through some access issues at present. (Though based on the amount of tire treads I see on the singletrack, that isn't slowing anyone down.) Little Gunpowder is a lot like Loch Raven but about a 30 minute drive. Patapsco is a 25 minute drive (depending on where you start).
    My other bike is a /7.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftballGuy View Post
    Thought about going out this weekend but not sure if the trails will still be frozen or just a sloppy mess.
    The latter.
    My other bike is a /7.

  6. #6
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    I live in Canton and usually go to all the places BmoreKen mentioned. One missing from his list is White Clay Creek in Newark DE. I've heard amazing things and can't wait to go. There is also Maryland's best bottle shop (State Line Liquors) and Iron Hill Brew Pub (if you are into beer) right near White Clay.

    My buddy and I, when trails are rideable, usually go once during the week and once on the weekends. Feel free to drop a line if you want to hit the trails with us when you get here.

    I used to work in Mt. Washington by the way...nice neighborhood.

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the info....sound like there will be plenty to explore. I'm guessing some of the quick after work stuff could be spiced up by riding the cross bike so there is that. I'm spoiled now and used to big climbs/big miles a few minutes from my front door but I am optimistic about mixing things up and doing something different out there.

    Will be heading out mid Feb but don't currently have a lease on a rental yet. Mt Washington seems to be a compromise for us...close enough to bike commute downtown but still able to hang on to some of the lifestyle we are accustomed to (dogs/motorcycle/having a truck that stays parked most of the time etc) that may not work down downtown.

    And yes, very much into beer! Currently ride with a team/club sponsored by a local brewery. Good to know about State Line and Iron Hill....pretty sure the bars & beer selection will be a upgrade from UT hands down.

    Anyway, looking forward to checking out the area and getting involved with the MORE rides/trail work etc.

  8. #8
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    Don't do it. Girlfriends are a dime a dozen and Baltimore is a hideous place.

  9. #9
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    Trolling aside, yes you are in for a bit of a culture shock. But that's a good thing, I think. Baltimore is a great city in many ways. The people who really know it often love it. Its got a bit of everything. In fact, Maryland is called "America in Miniature" because we have some of just about everything you'd find in the country in a very small area. Mountains, beaches, rolling farms, dense cities, culture, great poverty, great affluence... and a fair amount of crack cocaine (East and West Baltimore).

    Good luck with the move. If you can't get into Mt. Wash - consider Hampden (cheaper, more going on, less families), Medfield (less intense Hampden), or Roland Park (super nice, big $$) in the same area. Sent you a PM with my email - would be happy to give you a tour of the local riding (and drinking) spots when you get settled. If nothing else, the beer will be much, much better.
    My other bike is a /7.

  10. #10
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    I live just up the way from Mt Washington in Hampden. There's not a lot of dirt in the city but there's a few spots. Get a road or commuter bike if you dont have one.

  11. #11
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    Aqua did you end up making the move? If so, how's it going so far?

  12. #12
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    I am currently back in SLC right now wrapping up some loose ends/work etc but yeah spent some time out there and we signed a lease on a place up in Mt Washington. I am driving back out with our remaining stuff at the end of April so hopefully by then P-Tap etc will be in good shape (it was buried in snow when I checked it out last month)…definitely feel free to PM me if you don't mind showing me around (down for any type of riding, really). Thanks!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by musikron View Post
    Don't do it. Girlfriends are a dime a dozen and Baltimore is a hideous place.
    Since moving to Maryland from the Midwest, and before that the front range of Colorado, I've lived in Baltimore city for 3 years (Fells Point & Mt. Vernon). Bmore is one of the most unique cities in the country, and its an absolutely fantastic place to live. It's cheap, people are friendly, every neighborhood is unique, and best of all, lots of people are afraid of it so it keeps traffic within the city fairly minimal

    This state has better singletrack than most others as well, although its not nearly as publicized. When I lived in Bmore, my daily ride was Loch Raven, with weekend excursions to Patapsco, White Clay, Schaffer Farms, and even 7 Springs and Snowshoe bike parks.

  14. #14
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    Some group rides to add to the already good suggestions

    These guys all have hit the major hot spots. I'm spoiled as I live only 1/3 of a mile from Ptap. The only thing I would suggest is that you look up meetup.com if you are looking for people to ride with. There are two active meetup groups on there:

    The Washington DC/MD/VA Mountain Bike Meetup Group (Washington, DC) - Meetup

    MVD Mountain Bikers (Burtonsville, MD) - Meetup

    Both organize rides at all of the local area parks.
    Pain heals. Chicks dig scares. Glory Lasts forever. - Shane Falco

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  15. #15
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    Since you'll be living right off 83, it won't be too much of a trip for you to just shoot North up that to the York, PA area where there's a couple nice trail networks, The Lakes (aka William Kain Park) and Rocky Ridge. You may want to check them out for variety's sake.

    As for beer, Flying Dog and Troegs are both world class breweries IMO. Lots of others worth drinking as well, but in my mind those two really stand out.

  16. #16
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    I would just like to put in another vote for Robert E Lee. Especially since you can ride there from your home! I used to ride there all the time when I lived in Hampden. There's a loop that takes about 45 minutes and one that goes up around Princeton Sports. There's a jump that's easy to find and a jump line that's not. Well, I haven't ridden there since I moved outta my parents home in 97 so maybe that jump trail's gone.. It's been so long that the last time I rode Lake Roland Hampden had zero hipsters and Holy Frijoles was about the size of a matchbox.
    I'm going to rob banks til I retire or get caught. Either way I'm set for life

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