Bulletin Board


Main Page

'Bike Through History'

on the

Torrey C. Brown Rail Trail

(Northern Central Railroad Trail)


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



MAY 26, 2010: This evening we met at Sparks for a 'Get Reacquainted' ride.. This was billed as a non-educational adventure with no particular agenda except to ride our bikes for fun and get to know each other.. There were eight participants.. We left about 6:40 PM and made our way northward, stopping briefly at the bridge south of Corbett where we discussed some things we could do this season and to share our schedule of rides.. Then we stopped at Monkton.. Our northward point was the bridge south of Blue Mount where we looked for river critters, but saw none.. We headed south at 7:40 PM, and we arrived in Sparks and were off the trail by 8:25 PM.. Two of the participants were joining us for the first time.

JUNE 2, 2010: This evening we met at Paper Mill for our first 'official' Bike Through History of the season.. It was a pleasant evening.. We left at about 6:33PM and biked single-file to the bridge across the headwaters of Loch Raven, about a mile north of Paper Mill, which is a wide bridge with plenty of space to spread out.. It was at this point that we made brief announcements & asked everyone to say a few words about themselves & their interest in biking, etc.. We left the bridge at 6:55PM and leisurely headed north without making stops to Sparks, arriving 7:13PM, where we were graciously greeted by Duvall and Barbara at the Nature Center.. Duvall spoke on the history of the railroad and Sparks, and Barbara spoke on the role of the Nature Center.. It was great, as always.. This, I believe, is the high point of our program each year - our visit to the Nature Center - and this sets the pace for the rides that follow for participants to return to be with us week after week.. We left the Nature Center at 7:45PM and headed north to Glencoe, arriving there ten minutes later.. This was our turnaround point for this bike ride, and it was here that we introduced those who had caught up with us, talked briefly on the railroad, pointing out some rail, the old platform, the original train station, & the superelevated curve still visible at the old crossing.. By our count there were 30 participants in attendance, this being a new record for our Bike Through History since the volunteers assumed the program.. We left Glencoe at 8:05PM and headed south, non-stop, to Ashland, arriving there at 8:41PM.. Many in attendance left us at Paper Mill, & by the time we reached Ashland there were only seven of us left.. Nancy Berger gave us a short talk about the history of Ashland.. We left Ashland at 8:53PM & we got back to Paper Mill & were off the trail at 9 o'clock.. Many thanks to all who made this ride such a great success.

JULY 9, 2010: (Canceled due to weather)

JUNE 16, 2010: This evening we met at White Hall for our second official ride this season (the ride scheduled for last week having been canceled) on a pleasant evening (although there had been a prediction of thunderstorms).. There were eight participants, four of whom were NCR volunteer staff members.. We left from White Hall about 6:45PM, having waited for one of the participants who had gotten lost en route, and headed south to Hicks-Wilson Road for introductions and a trivial question (what is a 'burthen' train?).. We then turned around and arrived back at White Hall at 7:08PM for Richard Anderson's creature feature, interesting as always.. One participant left us at this location, leaving seven (7) in our party.. We then headed north to a spot north of Dairy Road where we stopped for our annual 'ring around the sycamore' ritual.. Next we headed further north to bridge 30-23 north of Walker where we stopped to read about the millrace over which the bridge had been built in 1925.. We arrived at the millrace at 8:00PM, and (because we did not have enough time to continue onward to our intended destination MP-15) we turned back and headed south at 8:10PM.. We stopped briefly at Dairy Road to hear the answer to the evening's trivial question ('burthen' is an archaic word for 'freight,' used in the 1800's).. We got back to White Hall and were off the trail at 8:40PM.

JUNE 23, 2010: We assembled in Freeland this warm evening with temperatures in the mid 90's for most of the day, and our ride was attended by 18 participants.. First we had a creature feature by Richard Anderson, and we then departed north at 643PM stopping at the state line at 655PM.. It was here that we had our introductions and announcements, and then we had our annual rendition of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, with each of our participants reading a segment while standing in a circle on the state line.. We left the state line at 715PM and arrived New Freedom at 731PM, finding the station museum open, and we dwelled here for about 15 minutes.. Next we biked north to the site of the old Sielig Furniture sign, at the south end of the borough of Railroad, and we admired the newly redeveloped park on which the sign once stood to be viewed by passengers on the passing trains.. We left the site at 802PM and biked south, mostly non-stop, back to Freeland, and we arrived there and were off the trail at 835PM.

JUNE 25, 2010 (MOONLIGHT BIKE RIDE): It was at Monkton that we assembled for our annual Moonlight Bike Ride on a splendly clear evening for the event taking us to the 'Snake Pit' & return.. (The Snake Pit is a nickname for rapids, near Parkton, where copperhead snakes have been seen).. About 15 minutes before the event, parking at Monkton had become a premium, but just then David Rusk showed up with his truck & key, and he opened the gate allowing overflow vehicles access to the area north of the gate, which worked out wonderfully.. We assembled at 830PM for a creature feature by Richard Anderson & then we had announcements & introductions, & there were twenty-four (24) bicyclists in attendance, plus David Rusk who would follow the group along behind with his truck.. David had preopened gates along our route.. Don Minogue, leader of the Sunset Scramble bicycling group in York County (Pa.), was also one of the participants, & he told us about his group's activities.. A safety briefing was given, and we departed Monkton at 845PM, heading north, stopping 907PM briefly at the bridge spanning Little Falls just south of Blue Mount to allow the group to bunch up, meanwhile looking for any wildlife in the stream but finding none, but we did see a bat.. Then we headed north once again.. The leader shouted 'Gate Open' as each time we encountered a gate & 'Crossing the Road,' etc., stopping at the parking lot in White Hall 925PM for a singalong session.. The moon had just risen above the trees, and David turned his truck toward the south in order that his headlights could shine upon our songbooks & the participants could face southward toward the moon to sing, 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon,' 'In the Good Old Summertime' & 'America the Beautiful.'. .The Mormon Tabernacle Choir we were not, but most everyone participated & it sounded melodious just the same.. Heading north once again we did encounter one gate that had closed, & we stopped & opened it, finally arriving at the Snake Pit at 950PM where we dwelled about 10 minutes while Richard Anderson talked to us about snakes.. Meanwhile, two participants had already told us they were heading back to Monkton before he had arrived at the Snake Pit.. Then we headed back south ourselves, & the moon shone through brilliantly as we biked non-stop to Monkton, arriving there at 1036PM & off the trail.. Special thanks to David Rusk for his wonderful support by preopening gates & driving his truck behind us, & to Richard Anderson for his splendid show & tell before the ride & his lecture at the Snake Pit, & to all who participated in the choir without even a mere rehearsal.

JUNE 30, 2010: Today's ride departed from Monkton on a very pleasant evening at 634PM, and we headed south to Corbett where we discussed some of the history of that community & introductions and then headed back north.. We stopped briefly at the bridge spanning the Gunpowder north of Corbett for some reminiscing, and with one participant catching up at this point we now had a total of 13 in our party.. We then went back to Monkton, arriving at 701PM, and we were treated to a tour of the Monkton Gardens by Carmela Veit of the Gunpowder Garden Club.. This was a great feature & allowed our participants a chance to learn of the wonderful work of the garden club members to enhance the beauty of the grounds at Monkton Station.. We also had refreshments.. We left Monkton at 735PM and headed north to Blue Mount, arriving 752PM, where we got a glimpse of the old waiting shelter depot that was removed from its former railroad location to some property about 300 feet away.. Next we biked north to White Hall where we read the history sign, arriving there at 809PM, & we had our closing announcements.. We were back in Monkton & off the trail at 843PM.. Also, we enjoyed the rest of the refreshments.

JULY 7, 2010: Today's ride departed from Sparks on a very warm evening with the temperature about 100, and there were 12 participants.. At 630PM we began with a demonstration in the use of the 'train order stick,' the device used to 'hoop up' train orders and messages to trains in the days before radio communication and computers.. I played the part of the tower operator handing up the message using a genuine train order stick, and Garrett, a fifth-grader, ran along the trail as though he were a train and took the message from the stick.. This was followed by a brief talk on the subject of 'fireflies' by Nancy Berger.. We left Sparks at 642PM, heading north, and we stopped at 653PM north of Glencoe for introductions & a discussion of the '509' signal, and we departed at 702PM.. We then dwelled at Monkton from 720PM until 728PM.. Next we stopped at Pleasant Valley to read the sign, arriving there at 736PM, & we also asked a trivia question: 'Who can remember the names of their first through fifth grade teachers without pausing to think about it?' .At 750PM we arrived at our northern destination, the bridge spanning Little Falls just south of Blue Mount Road, where we had closing comments, etc.. Most of us left at 803PM, although some remained behind to look for berries.. David Rusk served as sweep on the return ride, and all remaining in our party were off the trail at Sparks at 850PM.

JULY 14, 2010: Today's ride was from Parkton on a humid evening with temps in the low 80's & a threat of isolated thunderstorms, which did not occur.. There were eight participants., First we had a creature feature from the menagerie of Richard Anderson, & then we departed Parkton heading north at 648PM.. We stopped at Walker at 658PM for introductions, and a trivia discussion from a 1938 PRR timetable listing two northbound trains serving passengers between Parkton & Freeland, but no southbound trains.. One can only wonder whatever happened to folks who went north & then found no corresponding way to get back south again.. We biked to Bentley Springs, arriving 724PM to read the sign, & departing 736PM.. Next we stopped at the entrance to Camp Bee Tree to read their sign, arriving 745PM.. Finally we turned around at Freeland, thus completing all the mileage on the TCB in our rides thus far, leaving there at 817PM.

JULY 21, 2010: Our final BTH event for the year originated this evening at Phoenix, and there were 11 participants.. We left southbound at 633PM & stopped at the big river bridge for introductions & a trivia question, then biked to MP-0, Ashland, arriving 658PM, where Nancy Berger gave us a 'circle tour' of the community to show us its historic architecture.. She also brought us up to date on the Ashland garden.. We left Ashland at 716PM & headed north back to Phoenix where we were treated to a creature feature by Richard Anderson on the topic of bats; also we got first-hand to observe a snapping turtle which happened to appear upon the road nearby.. When we left Phoenix at 748PM only six of our group were left, & we biked to Sparks to read the sign & hear a narrative about the King & Queen of England coming through Sparks on the train.. We arrived Sparks at 802PM and left at 810PM.. We arrived back at Phoenix & were off the trail at 825PM.

NCR/Hereford Volunteers Association

_ _ _ _ _ _ _


Click Here for Program Notes from 2009

Click Here for Program Notes from 2008

Click Here for Program Notes from 2007

Click Here for Program Notes from 2006

Click Here for Program Notes from 2005

Click Here for Program Notes from 2004

Click Here for Program Notes from 2003

Click Here for Program Notes from 2002