Damascus Native Wil Armstrong Completes Cross Country Bike Ride For ALS

72 days after commencing his cross country, against the wind bike ride for ALS, Damascus native Will Armstrong has completed his trip. He started on June 26th from Rehoboth Beach, DE, and finished September 6th in First Beach La Push, Washington. 

Throughout this journey, Wil updated his daily blog with his progress, experiences, and related statistics. Inspired by his mentor and former basketball coach, Rodney Lapp who has ALS, Will dedicated his cross-country journey to ALS and crowdfunded for the ALS Association.

Over the past 73 days, Wil has ridden and camped in various weather conditions. Riding in the haziness of the Canadian Wildfires in Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota was strenuous work. He would wear a mask while riding to avoid breathing in the smoke. 

After camping out in storms, Wil faced another one of Mother Nature’s obstacles, a heat wave in Montana. Morning temperatures were about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and would rise to 100+ degrees Fahrenheit by 2:00. To avoid as much of the heat wave as possible he started to wake up between at 3:30/4:00am to get going before the heat and wind picked up after noon.

He ran off of 6 packs of bagels for weeks, ate over 200 different kinds of bars (fruit bars, nature valley bars etc), and ran an impressive banana and apple count (86 bananas and 74 apples in his second month). Audio books, music playlists and educational podcasts (on crypto currency and economic theory) helped him pass time keeping his mind busy as he peddled his way through. A special shout out goes to the Home Depot theme song, he would loop the song from the commercial almost every day. He even got to apply for jobs and write up cover letters at camp.

Throughout the trip, Wil has been met with the overwhelming kindness of friends, families, and strangers. From getting to know and exchanging stories with strangers, to sleeping on strangers boats, sleeping arrangements (hotels and motels) paid by individuals along the way, camping in strangers back yards, and couch crashing.

To learn more about his daily encounters through out this trip his website is linked HERE. ALS Research donations can be found HERE. To learn more about his ride you can check out our previous article HERE.


Photo Curtesy of @wilsride Instagram



Jimmie Cone in Damascus Burglarized

Jimmie Cone at 26420 Ridge Road in Damascus posted online today that their store had been burglarized in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

From their Facebook:

“We are sad to report that our Damascus store was burglarized early this morning. Thankfully we’re only dealing with a broken window and a bruised spirit. Thank you to the MCPD for their assistance and support as we work to identify and prosecute the suspects! If anyone saw anything or may have helpful information please contact us or MCPD.

We are open for business as usual and would love to see your smiling faces”

Jimmie Cone has been serving soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt in Damascus since 1962.

If anyone has any information please contact the Montgomery County Police Department.


Former Damascus Football Player Bikes Across the Country Raising Money for ALS

On Saturday, June 26th Wil Armstrong, a 2016 Damascus High School graduate, commenced his cross-country bike ride “Against the Wind” from Rehoboth Beach, DE. He is expected to finish 2.5 months later in Seattle, Washington. Throughout this journey, Wil is updating his daily blog with his progress, experiences, and updates on his banana consumption count. During his cross-country journey, he is crowdfunding for the ALS Association after seeing his mentor and former basketball coach, Rodney Lapp, go through it.

Photo courtesy: @wilarmstrong4 Instagram

Wil played football for his high school’s state champion team and later played rugby at the University of Maryland. What started off as a high school job at Jimmie Cone carried over into his time at the University of Maryland, where he got his Master’s in Quantitative Finance through the Robert H. Smith School of Business through their Plus One program. With eight years under his belt, he was the Damascus Jimmie Cone’s longest tenured employee! How much more Damascus can you get?

When people ask Wil why he is taking on such an adventure he says, “Touring is a way to use my gifts to make a difference in the world, the stars are aligned, and nothing makes me feel more clear, focused, and alive.”

Photo courtesy: @wilarmstrong4 Instagram (2018 trip – biked 375 miles from Damascus, MD to Niagara Falls, CA in 4 days)

His sister Megan inspired his craze for fitness and his Eagle Scout days got him into exploring nature, camping, and cycling. Although he has an excellent fitness resume, which consists of biking from Damascus, MD to Ocean City, MD in a day (215 mi) and running his first marathon backwards, to prepare for the bike ride he read about athletes’ and Navy Seal wellness, focused on strength training, and learned new stretches to help with recovery. 

Before starting his adventure, Jimmie Cone kick-started his fundraiser on Tuesday, June 22nd by matching the tips to donate towards ALS. He reached out to the outdoor equipment company Lone Peaks with his story and had about a thousand dollars worth of bags donated to him; which, he hopes to give a special in-person thank you in Washington. 

The planning of this trip was like a full-time job back in March. He considered starting on the west coast. Wil decided to take on the challenge of biking against the wind patterns and wrapping up his tour while visiting national parks. Since he was limited to the summer months he is taking a far turn north to avoid the heat, which will allow him to bike one of the most beautiful roads in America, “Going-to-the-Sun Road” at Glacier National Park, Montana.

I had the opportunity of interviewing Wil Armstrong on day three as he was pedaling through Towson, MD. He said the Oliva Rodrigo album has been a frequent play and the Home Depot theme song “locks him in.” Last year it was on his Spotify top five most played songs and says he wouldn’t be surprised if he was in the top 1% of listeners. The Home Depot song has helped him get his mind off some tough hills recently. On his long rides, he listens to recommended audiobooks and listens to a lot of music suggested by those keeping up with his trip.

On his website, he encourages individuals to reach out and connect with him. His sleeping arrangements will mostly consist of camping and sleeping in his mosquito net-covered hammock, but accepts the courteous offers of mutual connections or anybody offering their hospitality even if it’s a couch to sleep on or back yard to camp in. 

Wil’s Twitter (@wilarmstrongiv) automatically posts “Shared LiveTrack” links that update you on his location. You can learn more about Wil Armstrong and his journey on his website againstthewind.xyz


MoCo Ads 1979

MoCo Ads 1979

This week we’re looking back at Montgomery County ads from 1979!

At Safeway you could get three bottles of Catsup for only $1. There are close to 20 Safeway’s throughout Montgomery County today.

Here’s a pair of ads from Lox Stock & Bagel that used some pretty offensive stereotypes.  Today this location is a mobile phone repair shop.

Another ad from Gaitherstowne Plaze, Mr. Ho’s offered $.50 ALL YOU CAN DRINK SCHLITZ when you purchased the $3.50 buffet.

At the moment, Ride-On fares are currently free on all buses due to the pandemic.

Half smoke and a soda for $.69 at Jimmy Cone in Damascus.

Rockville Crushed Stone is now owned by Aggregate Industries.

The site of the Gaithersburg Cracked Claw is now a tire shop. The Cracked Claw location in Urbana closed back in 2011.
Here’s a fun 1982 article from the Washington Post about the Cracked Claw. 

Back when the Wizards were know as the Bullets, Quincy’s Bar and Grill was known as Ernie’s. Quincy’s has additional locations in Rockville and Damascus.

The only restaurants still open at Lakeforest Mall in 2020 are Sbarro, Pollo Campero, Kelly’s Cajun Grill, Charley’s Cheesesteaks, and Nori Japan (try the Sesame Chicken.). Anyone else miss Spinnakers?

I grew up in Gaithersburg, not too far from Damascus, yet one of the only things I knew about Damascus was the existence of Jimmie Cone. Since then, I’ve learned plenty more about the wonderful, tight-knit community, but one thing’s for certain…I still love Jimmie Cone.

Jimmie Cone has been serving soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt in Damascus since 1962 (that’s 57 years!). They close when the weather gets colder in the late Fall, but don’t worry…March 17th marks the first day of the 2019 Jimmie Cone season.


Jimmie Cone

I grew up in Gaithersburg, not too far from Damascus. Yet the only thing I knew about Damascus was the existence of lots of open space and Jimmie Cone. Since then, I’ve learned plenty more about the wonderful, tight-knit community, but one thing’s for certain…I still love Jimmie Cone.
Jimmie Cone has been serving soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt in Damascus since 1962 (that’s 55 years!). They close when the weather gets colder in the late Fall, but don’t worry…March 17th marked the first day of the 2017 Jimmie Cone season.

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