Continuing to celebrate National Bike Month, Allegany County Tourism asked avid local cycler, Larry Brock, “Why do you enjoy cycling in Mountain Maryland?” Here is what he had to share…
I have had the privilege of riding my bikes in all 50 states of the United States. When people find that out, I am often asked, ‘Where is your favorite?’ My comment is the routes of my home in Allegany County, Mountain Maryland. Because of my passion for biking, you will usually find me Downtown and on our trails, talking to and assisting fellow riders. Touring cyclists share their love for our region and my hometown of Cumberland, Maryland, as they ride the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), the favorite cycling route of many locals and tourists alike.
The road riding here is even better. We have short 20-mile routes like our Mt. Savage Loop, and we have more challenging routes like the Martin’s Mountain Loop. If you are looking for a challenging yet meaningful ride, I suggest the 911 Memorial Ride, which starts in Frostburg, Maryland, and continues into Pennsylvania to the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
These routes have low traffic with reasonable surfaces, which makes them appealing, plus the great scenic views and a collection of places to stop and resupply with food and often fresh spring water cannot be missed.
Just last week I rode 22 miles on the Lake Loop and was passed by only 19 cars. And let me just tell you, the views of Lake Gorden and Lake Koone are spectacular.
Redbuds in the Spring, coolly shaded roads in the summer, and beautiful colors in the fall, make any season worth exploring.
A little secret… when I return from any route and make my way into Cumberland, Maryland, I like to stop downtown for something to eat and drink. Uncle Jack’s Pub features a great selection of beer and pizza, and the Queen City Creamery is a great treat, with homemade custard and adult milkshakes. Starting the course? Well, then a breakfast and coffee at Cafe Mark can make for a good start. Dinner? May I suggest the newly opened The Manhattan Social, which features a deli, steakhouse, and whiskey bar. It is a special treat. These are just a few of the many places to eat in Downtown Cumberland. Spending the night? Well, we have you covered there too!
The routes linked above are all part of an extensive group of beautiful, low-traffic road routes that Allegany County Tourism, Mountain Maryland Trails, and Western Maryland Wheelman are partnering to create for riders. Download our routes, Here.
Larry J Brock
Cycling advocate, Founding board member of the Great Allegheny Passage, Adventure Cycling tour leader, cycling ambassador and active cyclist over 70.