8th April 2022
Bike / 46.8 miles / 123 ft ascent / 6 hours 29 minutes
My eldest son Dominic joined me for the first 7 miles to Brunswick, our longest ride together. We had a blast along the canal and he did great. One thing to keep in mind when cycling with young children is that they’re prone to stop suddenly, when they spot something interesting. Be ready to hit the brakes yourself! 😉
Lexi picked Dominic up in Brunswick and I continued along the canal. I had another 40 miles to go to reach the Lockhouse.
Just beyond Brunswick is Little Catoctin Creek, which was heavily flooded after all the recent rain. I thought about attempting to cross, but quickly decided against it. The trail dips down quite far — I’m sure the water would have been waist deep or more in the middle.
Luckily I met another cyclist here, who had bypassed the flooded trail by way of the railway lines earlier in the day. He reassured me it was an easy detour. There was a train already on the far line, but the near line was clear, so we climbed the embankment and proceeded on foot down the lines until we could rejoin the canal towpath on the other side. I backtracked to help a mother/daughter team — on a multi-day tour — get past this point.
I cycled with my fellow rail-bridge-biker for the next few miles, chatting about our mutual appreciation of the canal and the bike touring.
Monocacy Aqueduct was next, 21 miles into the ride:
The next 15 miles were lovely and quiet. Mile after mile of towpath, meandering through the trees with the canal on my left and the river to my right.
I passed Seneca Creek Aqueduct around 41 miles into the ride:
Six miles later I reached Lockhouse 21, Swains lockhouse, where I finished my ride. I met up with Lexi and the boys, and tucked hungrily into the pizza that Lexi brought. We were originally planning to stay the night in the lockhouse, but had to return home instead on this occasion. We’ll be back though.
All in all, a great day’s riding along the canal. Particularly the first 7 miles with Dominic. I was really proud of how well he did.