26 mile out and back to Concord this evening. Lots of riders out enjoying the great weather.
Tested out my new saddle height and tilt. So far so good.
I think I figured out one of my "problems" I can't just go for a ride. I get on that bike and as soon as my cheeks hit the saddle I'm off. Now, if I were 18 and weighed 150 pounds that would be amazing, but neither of those things are true. Instead I wind up burning myself out after a few miles and just plodding along as best as I can for the rest of the ride. PArt of this is because I am always cramming my ride between other obligations.
Today I crammed myself onto the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail right after work. I started at the old Wang building and went out to Baptist (Hart) Pond. There were many suicidal squirrels out and about today and one lonely doe grazing in a meadow.
I spent some time talking to an older gentleman about growing up in town and about the shenanigans that they got into with the train cars that used to rumble through town. He walked and I rode next to him and we talked. It felt like being a kid when you came upon another kid and just started hanging out.
I rode on up to the pond and took a little break.
I knew that the grade was downhill heading back into town so I wanted to swing throughout the village where my wife grew up and take a few pictures before i headed home. This is the Parsonage where she grew up.
And the Church across the street where her father used to minister, First Baptist.
Right next door to that is Kate"s Corner general store and post office. It's really owned and operated by Kate. They have their own brand of Root Beer! Well worth stopping in if you are in the area!
This place is now called Red Wing Farm conservation area. It used to be a mess. It's really turned into a beautiful park recently.
So, there it was. A 10 miler crammed in between work and kids and a nice morning out. My bike was filthy by the time I rolled back into Lowell. Here is a video (unedited, sorry) of animals running in front of the bike and people saying "hi".
mr,grumpy - nice photo essay! I drive past Kate's everyday in a car (real slowly) so now I HAVE to try the root beer! :-) BTW I like that trail I wish it has parking at the south end, and I wish it ran the length of 27 from Maynard to Chelmsford. ... some day ...
Nice post, MG. Where is Red Wing Farm? We ride through there quite often and I recognized the stuff in every photo except that one.
It's on Male Rd. between the church and where the bike path crosses over it, on the north side of the street. Look for this big ol' stone sign:
Great ride report Mr. G. :thumb:
Out and back to Harvard today. Saw preperations for this weekend's Harvard Common Civil War Encampment.
Took my regular diamond frame Serotta on a ride with regular riding pal Bill on a new version of old routes through Sherborn, Millis, Medway, Holliston, Hopkinton and Ashland. Nice to mix it up.Attachment 385585
In celebration of my case of too-busy-to-live disease going into seasonal remission, and in recognition of the forecast of excellent riding weather, I took Friday off. After frittering the morning away by sleeping in and doing some puttering that seemed necessary at the time, took the LHT on a 70-mile ride through Arlington, Lexington, Bedford, Concord, Acton, Littleton, Harvard, Ayer, Groton, Westford, and Carlisle, a 50-mile loop beginning and ending at Depot Park, Bedford, with a 10-mile tail on the Minuteman on each end. A mysterious, autonomous phone reboot (remember when phones didn't do that?) and a bit of careless operation left me with three tracks to tell the tale: Arlington to Littleton, Littleton through Harvard and Ayer to Groton, and Groton to Arlington. There were plenty of hills on this one, with an elevation gain of 5768'.
The ride started with a quick run out an almost-empty Minuteman (this being a work day), continued on Route 62 to Concord Center on the shortest-distance-between-two points principle, then picked up Lowell Street (after a wrong turn onto Monument Street, recognized when I reach North Bridge, presumably sub-conscious buyer's remorse for the Route 62 leg), crossing the Concord River and picking up Barretts Mill Road to Strawberry Hill Road.
The Bedford Depot is undergoing historic restoration work. I guess this displaced the nice little antique store.
Oops! Wrong bridge..
The right bridge, painted with the official Massachusetts state colors, green and rust.
I normally ride Strawberry Hill Road in the other direction, which is mostly a fast descent; then I usually mostly notice architecture. In this direction it's a long, leisurely climb, and I had plenty of time to notice plants, in particular some beautiful irises in an array of colors, and this fine expanse of poison ivy, all green. Nature's way of saying, "Keep out!" Never did see any strawberries; perhaps a name change is in order...
After following Strawberry Hill Road into Acton, picked up Nagog Hill Road via Brook Street. Nagog Hill Road is the first of several favorite roads on this route, with stables at the start, the Nagog Hill Conservation Area and Lake Nagog in the middle, apple orchards at the end, and hills throughout.
To be continued...
Nagog Hill Road got me into Littleton, and to Nashoba Road, with a fast descent that saw me perform my approximation of an aero tuck; I imagine that amused the chipmunks. After a quick jog on Newtown Road, I picked up Harwood Avenue, another favorite cycling route, with gentler hills, interesting and varied scenery, and a crossing of I-495 without ramps (hurrah!). It brought me to the Littleton Depot village.
Can't have Swamp Yankees without a swamp...
Bumblebee Park, a favorite sledding hill...
Picked up Harvard Road, and pedaled past the VeryFine/Sunny DeLight/Fruit20 factory that dominates the economic life of the village, and gives it a faint perfume of nectar: not bad, as industrial air pollution goes. Climbed Harvard Road, noting with pleasure that the road work that had made this an exercise in gravel grinding the last time I had ridden it had been completed, leaving an excellent surface in place of all those rocks. Crossed into Harvard, and picked up Shaker Road, and the Shaker Village Historic District. It's another favorite route; I believe the tenure of that spiritual community has left it with a slightly aetherial beauty (which is probably in the third eye of the beholder, of course).
Aetherial, but a little buggy...
A couple of sections of Shaker Road have the Gravity Hill effect, a really nifty psychophysical practical joke.
Shaker Road continues into Ayer, passing a less-than-aetherial golf course, and a pretty good swamp.
To be continued...
A jog across Routes 110/2A (Littleton Road) put me on Snake Hill Road, site of an unprepossessing new development, that I thought, at first, had no virtue other than the essential one of taking me where I needed to go. I'm happy to say I was wrong about that.
Picked up Sandy Pond Road, and took that into down-town Ayer, which was bustling.
Found the southern end of the Nashua River Rail Trail, and noted with relief that it had both toilets and bike racks: ah, civilization! Had a pleasant ride up the NRRT as far as Groton Center. It was leafy and cool, had some attractive natural vistas, and kept me off the roads during the worst of rush hour.
I had forgotten that the NRRT is infested with centaurs...
To be continued...
Rod, nice report. We may have crossed paths today, or almost crossed paths.
We did 63.7 miles on the tandem, Bedford out to Groton and Dunstable. Didn't quite make it to Pepperell, which was my goal, but it's probably better we didn't. I'd have been dead by the end. Did anyone ever mention that captaining a tandem is harder than riding a solo bike? It is for me anyway. Plus, lunch didn't quite hit the spot I was hoping for. But that's another story.
Hopped off the NRRT a little to the north of Groton Center, and passed by the Old Burying Ground on Hollis Street.
Turned east onto Martins Pond Road, another favorite cycling route. This hilly road runs past a diverse gamut of landforms, from bright hill-meadows to dark, wooded valleys, to wetlands, interspersed with pleasant farms and houses. The views change from moment to moment, and I seem to be doomed to always ride it at a time when I'm too concerned about the lateness of the hour to feel able to stop and try to photograph any of it. I did manage a couple, one of another gathering of ominous clouds, one of Baddacook Pond. Along the way, a little red squirrel ran out into the road and asked me what the hell I was doing there.
Martins Pond Road terminates in a three-way intersection with the unpaved Rocky Hill Road and the abandoned-but-no-longer-mysterious Dan Parker Road. I continued on Rocky Hill Road, which used to be well-graded and a pleasure to ride, but has apparently had a hard winter, like many of the rest of us. I hit a washed out section at full speed, and credit a combination of millisecond-domain steering and the 38mm Compass Bicycle Barlow Pass tires, inflated to 40/45 PSI, for the fact that this resulted in nothing worse than a jolt: no wreck, no wheel damage, no pinch flat, not even a deviation from my line. Exciting.
From there, proceeded on Old Dunstable Road, Hoyt's Wharf Road (with its handsome beaver lodges), and Cow Pond Brook Road down to Route 40, crossing that a block from the Haystack Observatory (an optional destination, but no time now), and proceeding on down to Route 225 at Forge Village. From there, pedaled past the familiar and often handsome agricultural and conservation scenes with the low sun at my back, a sunset ride a bit farther from home than usual, with the goal to make Depot Park and the Minuteman by dusk.
Made it to the Minuteman before the Friday night drunk drivers hit the streets, and had a pleasant spin home, watching the pollen grains flash through my headlights like a sustained meteor shower, the missing Camelopardalids in miniature. Lots of jolly folks out on the trail that night, enjoying the good weather. I was happy to have proved a point to myself about unifying a ride to Harvard with a ride to Groton. Now if only I could get out of the house a little earlier...