Yesterday was the annual Civil War Century - about 1,400 bikers ride in and around several Civil War battlefields (OK, that would be the War of Northern Aggression or the War Between the States for those of you in the South). Many options, I think there were 6 different rides. The century was 104 miles - luckily there were plenty of rest stops with food, water and mechanics. I rode with a group of 3 other friends, one of whom was pretty slow. So it was an easy pace, though he did leave most of the rest stops early so we could go faster. 1st rest stop was at a memorial to the Battle of South Mountain (or Battle of Boonsboro Gap) - a pivotal battle to led directly to the bloody day at Antietam. From there it was off to Antietam (or Sharpsburg), the site of the single bloodiest battle in in American history (over 23,000 causalities). We didn't actually ride through the battlefield site (that would be more difficult than in Gettysburg) but passing by the National Cemetery and crossing over Antietam Creek did give me pause.
From there it was a trip north and a well deserved rest stop. After leaving the rest stop, I broke a spoke on my rear Ksyrium wheel (it's a bladed spoke). I limped back to the rest stop and a mechanic did the best he could - the wheel was way out of true but he got it back to where it wasn't hitting the brake pad too bad. I tried not to hammer too much after that for fear of completely destroying the wheel. From there we headed north and crossed the Mason-Dixon line into Pennsylvania.
At the 3rd rest stop a friend (non-biker who lives in the area) met us with ice, frozen Snickers bars, good Gatorade (not the mixed dreck) - what a treat. This friend also surprised my wife at the same rest stop earlier (she was on the metric century). It was a hot day - at least 95, some said it got to 100. Having water and multiple stops made it more tolerable.
From that stop it was off to Gettysburg. This was a much larger battlefield with roads going through many sections. I took several pictures, though I've been here before, it still leaves me in awe (as does Antietam). The sight of Little Round Top gave me chills, I don't know if it was dehydration or the thought (or ghosts) of what happened there. Lots of foolishness happened during the war by some very brave people.
From there it was a trip back to the starting point - for ice cream, sandwiches, live music and a general collapse. A great time - unfortunately a bit hotter than it should be but well worth it. Now if I can only find some flat spokes....
Old roadside cemetery:
Gettysburg monument (probably one of thousands):
Little Roundtop in the distance:
Team Depleted at a rest stop (that's me in my Pantani maglia rosa):