You kids are going to have so much fun.
You kids are going to have so much fun.
Me too, but i have 30 miles on thurs. 65 sat. and 80 on sun. so i think i will stay out of trouble.
I'm sure the Boston stories will appear in this thread, later be enshrined in the sticky “A Chronicle of the 50+ Annual Rides.” Furthermore, Marc will undoubtedly have tales to tell in his blog, Simply Cycling, linked to any of his posts.
Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-24-13 at 07:10 PM.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_nicknames: "The Hub, which is a shortened form of a phrase recorded by writer Oliver Wendell Holmes, 'The Hub of the Solar System.' This has since developed into 'The Hub of the Universe.'"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mean_ce...tes_population currently in Texas County, Missouri, 1.4 miles southwest of Plato. Ayuuup.
"I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."
The Kentons are in the house and looking around for a bowl of chowdah. 1:00 a.m. arrival--we should have listened to Siri when she was insisting we take a route other than Rte. 15.
I'll try to post by about 1:30 PM with update.
It was so nice to meet Jim, Diane and her husband! A big thank you to you Jim for organizing, being tour guide and your generous hospitality.
The traffic getting into Boston Friday afternoon was some of the worse I have ever experienced and so I was very late, but they all waited for me. We did a very nice, but wet, ride through the city and along the Charles River to Harvard U. and back. Then out to dinner at Legal Seafood. After dinner, Jim lead us down to see Fenway Park.
I hope you guys had a great ride on Sat - the weather was perfect!
"I bet German has a word for it. German has a word for everything."
Darn! I was hoping to be the first to post about this Fifth Annual Fifty-Plus Ride unbiased by the reports of the others, but missjean's post appeared immediately before mine. I did submit everything as written below before reading missjean's account.
The Friday of this Ride had an ominous start but demonstrated the enthusiasm of the members. All the participants coming into Boston hit bad to horrendous traffic. The Kentons from New Jersey left Thursday around 6 PM expecting an 11:30 PM arrival but came in at 1:00 AM. Marc from Michigan on Friday took 20 hours for his anticipated 12 hour ride due to construction, Missjean’s typical 45 minute drive from New Hampshire to Boston took two hours.
Other than Marc who was still en route, we assembled at 6 PM on Friday at our condo in Kenmore Square for a leisurely bike ride along the Charles River. Fortunately parking was plentiful but unfortunately, the on-and-off rain of Friday was in the on position. Nonetheless, we had a cheery ride to Harvard University and easily passed through those traffic jams. We walked the bikes through Harvard Yard and did the traditional rubbing of the foot of John Harvard’s statue for good luck. We arrived drenched back in Kemore Square, dried off, and had pleasant stroll in the waning sunny twilight to a Legal Seafood Restaurant for a nice dinner and chat.
I already knew the Kentons from the Second Annual Ride, and it was a pleasure to meet missjean. She was totally unfazed by her overly long drive and the rain for such a short visit. She is an admitted lurker on Fifty-Plus, but her simple tag line,“My Bikes: a black mountain bike & a gray road bike” belies her extensive road and touring experience, We walked back to Kenmore with a side trip to see an empty Fenway Park, but a lively Friday Night Scene at the surrounding bars and nightclubs. Missjean then drove back to New Hampshire since she was not doing the ride Saturday.
Saturday was a perfect cycling day. Marc and I took a ride through downtown Boston from about 7:30 AM to 9 as the City was waking up for a fun-filled July Saturday. At about 10:30 AM the Kentons, Marc and I left in our cars in a caravan on a smooth 45 minute drive to North Acton. The starting point was a verdant gem of a hidden suburban park with a beach on a small lake. We had previously decided to register for the 30-mile ride vs the metric century (or the imperial one). I have to say this was one of the nicest but more adventuresome routes I have ridden in Massachusetts in my 30+years riding around here,
The route took us on leafy, well-paved and lightly-traveled roads though the ritzy suburbs of Carlisle, Concord, Bedford, and Lexington. I have a personal term for such roads as “enchanted,” and the stretches I encounter on my usual routes are very short, but here they went for a few miles each. We had a few segments of more major roads of not more than a half mile, and these were not bad either, with decent shoulders.
The adventuresome part began in Lexington where we were directed onto the Minuteman Historic National Park. This is a 5 mile long roughly-paved to hard pack to slightly sandy trail with historic makers. It traces the path the British took to return to Boston from the fights at Lexington and Concord. There are signs that are marked by descriptions of, and the time of day that various skirmishes occurred during the march. I had never been there and I switched from tour guide to tourist along with the others.
Also a few historic houses and visitor centers are along the route, such as the Capt. Wiliam Smith House pictured below. The family tended to a mortally wounded British soldier for his last few days and he gave them gold sovereign he had hidden in his coat. Captain Smith was cousin of Abigail Adams. While riding the trail, we saw a demonstration of how the Minutemen loaded and fired their muskets.
The ride was fascinating, but the Kentons and I were on 25 C road tires so the going was slow, but the company was marvelous. Miss Kenton is as gracious and witty as she writes on the Fifty-Plus, and Tom K is gracious and good-natured. I had met Marc on the Third Annual Ride in Michigan. Marc has a great sense of humor and a lot of life and cycling experiences for his material. Even if his quips are not that funny, his hearty laugh made me laugh too.
Tom is also a technophile and brought his GPS. While the route was pretty-well marked, we did get puzzled at one point on the “Reformatory Trail.” Tom used his GPS, and the two of us perused the cue sheets and we searched out some dead end directions. Meanwhile, Miss K and Marc simply asked for directions and got us back on track. Otherwise, Tom had a flat and Miss K a slipped chain, all not too disastrous. A few miles before the end of the ride we rode over the Old North Bridge where “Here once the embattled farmers stood / And fired the shot heard round the world.”
Most of my usual cycling is solo on well-traveled routes with definite destinations and schedules, so I always enjoy these rides where I am lost to time and place. We arrived back at the starting point just before closing time and had some delicious barbeque sandwiches and local Sam Adams brews (second cousin of Abigail Adams’ husband John). We arrived back in Boston by about 6PM.
After cleaning up, we reconvened in Kenmore Square at about 8:30 PM. We took a 10-minute subway ride to ground zero of Saturday night fun in Boston, Quincy Market and the North End. There was a honk y-tonk carnival bedecked with neon lights at City Hall Plaza and throngs swarming around Quincy Market. In the North End a St. Joseph’s Feast street festival was happening. The North End is a distinctively Italian section of the City, and the visitors kept referring to it as “Little Italy.” To the locals it’s the “North End.” “Little Italy” is used to describe the ambiance to tourists, but that nickname is used more in New York. All these happenings were within less than about one mile of each other.
So even at 10 PM, there was a line of about 20 outside of Giacomo’s, and about 50 in front of Mike’s Pastry. Fortunately, Villa Francesca could seat us right away. We had, IMO, an excellent Italian dinner and again delightful conversation. Besides our personal stories, we imagined the social situation of the two couples sitting at the next table, and lavished praise on our waitress for the cannolis she prepared at the table. We took the subway back to Kenmore Square, and bade farewells.
The Kentons were going to leave early this morning, I had family and work activities that occupied me, and Marc was on his own, but he is an intrepid traveler and cyclist, so I look forward to the story of his Sunday activities.
I must admit I was disappointed that more Fifty Plus subscribers could not attend. I received regrets from several alumni and alumnae of previous Annual Rides, as well as from a few regular Fifty-plus correspondents I would have enjoyed meeting in person. I plan to ride this Mass Bike event next year and would once again welcome any visitors and fellow riders for a next Annual Ride, just as a few Fifty Plus subscribers reprised the One Helluva Ride in Michigan this year from 2011
Besides meeting these E-acquaintances face-to-face, it is also much fun to meet them as residents of Bike Forums and especially Fifty Plus. None of my own personal circle know much of the Forums whereas those attending the Annual Rides are now face-to-face acquaintances and also know the other personalities on the Forums. So we now as face-to-face friends could chat about those other subscribers and their personalities as we perceive the personae they project on the Forums, making you all more “real” than I alone would imagine. I found these conversations that we five had about our neighbors in Fifty-Plus particularly interesting in light of the recent contentious and now-closed threads about Face to Face vs Internet Forum Communications.
For all those whom I’ve met on our three Annual Fifty Plus rides, you really get what you read. But since all are so nice and social, it seems to be a selected group, and I suppose that the whiny and cantankerous subscribers, even if only a front for nice and sociable real life people, just don’t join such activities. I’d like to say more about whom and what we discussed, but by mutual agreement,
Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-13 at 06:22 PM. Reason: Missjean got there first
Very nice write up Jim,and it sounds like i really missed out on a great time.
Notice in the picture of John Harvard's statue how polished the toe of his right shoe is.
Also, the illuminated Citgo sign in the river view is the iconic symbol of Kenmore Square and is often seen in Red Sox games televised from Fenway Park. The view of the rainbow is our condo view just outside of the Square.
Last edited by Jim from Boston; 07-28-13 at 09:16 PM. Reason: Additional comments
Last edited by miss kenton; 07-28-13 at 09:03 PM. Reason: substantiation of statement with evidence