There's Mission Hill and Fort Hill, Roxbury.
There's Mission Hill and Fort Hill, Roxbury.
Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein
Thanks for the suggestions.
I think I could link goddard and those brookline / JP climbs near the arboretum on the way back in from the Blue Hills.
I do love strawberry hill; not sure if I can afford the mileage to swing that far northwest.
I'll make up a draft route on one of the mapping sites in the next few days to show you guys for more input.
Craig's Sufferfest route (not to mention JandersUF's plans for a hilly century) made me realize that I'd never given the hills here in Arlington their due. Rode a compact route up and down Turkey Hill, Mount Gilboa, and Arlington Heights, 9.8 miles and 980 feet of elevation gain. A welcome revelation about things so familiar they had become invisible.
57 miles over the hills of Phillipston, Templeton, Hubbardston and Princeton. Not too bad a day for an old guy.
We took the tandem out today, 34.8 miles, Concord, Carlisle, Billerica, Tewksbury, and back. Much of it new territory for us! We're exploring based on the Rubel's bike map. So far its recommendations are pretty good! It does help to have a more detailed map available. The Rubel's maps don't show all the roads so at some of the old, tricky, convoluted New England intersections composed of twisty little passages one can lose one's way pretty easily.
You never know what hidden treasures you might find. In Faulkner Mills astride the Concord River we found this:
Really cool! And the obligatory stop for lunch in Tewksbury:
Last edited by jimmuller; 05-07-12 at 11:17 AM.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
For hill rides out of Cambridge, you should check out Pam Blaylock's rides. She lives in Watertown and has a knack for stringing together any and every hill in the greater Boston area. She has a bunch of rides mapped out that start out of Ride Studio Cafe (which is about 10 minutes from Cambridge). You might get an idea of some good routes from checking out her strava page as well.
FYI, my Wednesday morning hill ride group has a couple of riders from Cambridge who make it every week: https://groups.google.com/forum/?pli...hester-rippers
thanks a ton for the resources! Pam Blaylock appears to be a total beast from my quick look at her Strava. I love stealing new routes from strava, I'll have to dig around later when I'm off work.
Also, that wed. AM ride looks nice. I might have to come join you sometime; I work very odd hours and have a new born at home, so not this week... but maybe next. I'll message you about.
And Blue Hills was a lot of fun. I finally got to race with my good friend / main riding buddy. Field of 40... 6 guys broke away at the top of the first climb, and we were in the next group of 8... myself, my friend, and one other guy managed to nearly bridge up to the leaders, but couldn't. 5 of them stayed away to the finish, and 1 fell back and integrated with us... we managed to stay away from the peloton and come in top 10. A 3 man, all-out, TTT for 14 miles was absolutely exhausting, but good fun and it was awesome to stay away from the pack.
45 miles on this beautiful day - Phillipston Barre, Hardwick and Petersham. Love these roads!
I got out for 40 miles yesterday Winchendon, Templeton, Gardner, Ashburnham area.
Yesterday, played hooky from the rest of my life and went for a 66-mile ride through Carlisle, Westford, Groton, and Tyngsboro. This was partly revisiting old haunts, partly a purposeful exploration of some interesting-looking lines on the map, and partly an exercise in Murphy's Law. The plan was to ride out the Minuteman and Rt 225 to MIT Haystack Observatory, in Groton, have lunch there, then do some exploring based on some previous route planning. It almost worked that way.
The ride out to Haystack was pleasant. It was a beautiful day, of course, so the Minuteman was full, with the usual cast of characters, showing its usual civic vigor. Overheard conversational snippet: (Teenager 1) "You were high that night, Skip." (Teenager 2) "We were all high that night." It looks like the Lexington DPW has concluded their months' long drainage improvement project, and things are back to slightly better than normal on the Lexington stretch. The hills on Rt 225 are still there, varying from rolling to imposing, with some runs of asphalt in better shape than others. Lots of riders out, many in genial moods, including the one who passed me on a beautiful road bike with a musical bearing chirping loudly. This turned out to be an omen. I missed my customary turn on Town Farm Road in Forge Village, and ended up climbing E. Prescott Street instead. This was the first of four wrong turns, and the one with the most pleasant consequences: it's a nice hill, and still early enough in the ride that an unexpected climb was welcome.
Haystack was wonderful as usual. Primarily used for radio astronomy and radar research in space and the high atmosphere, it also extends its hospitality to amateur astronomers.
When my kids were young I would bring them here to see meteor showers or comets. It's far enough out in the country so that seeing is superior, although recent residential development is encroaching with its light pollution, and the days of good seeing may be numbered.
I've always thought of Haystack as a sort of XXth Century Stonehenge; the various telescopes and radars are monumental and solemn. And there are enough hills to make for entertaining riding.
I had a peanut butter sandwich there, listening to to the fabric cover of a large radome moan in a basso register in the wind.
Then it was time to move on. I missed my turn at Millstone Hill Road, a short country road where I had once seen a pileated woodpecker. This was the second wrong turn of the four.
The planned exploration part of the ride began then. Rode out Rt 40 East--noting a road-kill fisher--to Gould Road, Westford, and took that North, connecting with Keyes Road and Davis Road. These are lovely country roads, with a bit of the residential development previously mentioned, but not too much, and plenty of forests, bogs, and hills, along with a working farm; prime cycling territory.
At some point, I crossed the town line into a western excursion of Tyngsboro I hadn't known existed. Picked up Groton Road and rode that West to the water course between Cow Pond Brook Reservoir and Upper Massapoag Pond. This is a lovely spot, with a waterfall and swimming hole much used in warmer weather.
So far, so good. Continued West on Island Pond Road (Groton), then South on Old Dunstable Road to Rocky Hill Road (West), a well-graded dirt/gravel road, good for riding, at least with my 38mm touring tires.
This quickly brought me to the beginning of what Google maps variously listed as "Dan Parker Road" and a bike route to Raddin Road (and, therefore, a sneaky way to approach Groton Center from the N.E.).
This seemed too useful not to investigate, so I did. The surface wasn't too bad...
... and neither was the scenery...
Unfortunately, I forked right when I should have forked left (or forked up when I should have forked down, the third wrong turn on the ride), and ended up on an increasingly stoney, hilly, muddy, single-track.
How'd that happen? I got to a point where the visible landmarks, the map, and the GPS didn't agree, and made the wrong call; it could be that I was fooled by OUR FRIENDS, THE BEAVERS, who put a pond where one didn't show on the map. In any case, the FOOL portion of the ride had started.
I forded two streams--BAD idea. The second, deeper one left me with a fouled rear brake and a wet right shoe.
This was followed by a series of very steep, very rocky climbs, that were frankly somewhat more than I'd bargained for that day. But I could see on the map that I was approaching an access road to a Groton conservation area, and sure enough, there it was.
This put me back on Old Dunstable Road, and I declared an end to exploration and pedaled along a known trajectory (Hoyt's Wharf Road, Cow Pond Brook Road, West Street, N. Main Street, Town Farm Road), that SHOULD have put me on 225 for a longish but uncomplicated ride home. Except that I made the last wrong turn of the day, mistaking Forge Village Road for 225, and getting another scenic hill climb for my trouble. Realized my error when I was almost to Westford Center, and bailed on Flagg to Hildreth and finally back to 225. That was the last accidental exploration of the day, the rest of the ride being made particularly special by the fact that my rear brake was rubbing the rim now, and I wasn't able to fix that after several tries (my MacGyver Quotient being a little low just then); this cost about four gear ratios, just kept pedaling. Ran out of water at the Westford-Carlisle line, and stopped at Fern's for some water and a little fuel. Made it home later than I expected, tired but pleased, and more than a little amused. Beautiful day, interesting ride. 5650 ft. elevation gain, if the MyTracks app is to be believed.
Last edited by rholland1951; 05-14-12 at 08:39 AM.
Rod, nice pics! It sounds like quite an adventure.
On a different note...would any of you know the gradient (or elevation gain per mile) on Hixbridge Rd in Westport between Drift Rd and Rt88?
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Ignored the threats of rain and T-storms and rode about 95 miles yesterday. The day started with a 35 miles pre-work workout, getting in as many miles as I could while the weather held. It sprinkled off an on but not enough to stop and don a rain jacket (though I was glad for the race-blade fender I stuck on my bike before I left). Rode my usual training loop from Melrose up through Lynnfield/Peabody/North Reading and back into Boston, By lunchtime the sun had apparently decided to come out so I left a little early and headed from Boston out to Bedford and rode the CRW TGIF loop (about 30 miles) through Carlisle and Westford. Had to stop and peel layers off since I had planned on riding in the cold and wet only to find it sunny and humid. With the ride back home through Lexington and Winchester, I finished at about 60 for the afternoon. I was planning on a quick 5 mile loop to round out an even hundred for the day but deteriorating weather, the two PB&bananna sandwiches and bowl of cereal as my only fuel for the day (besides the quick snickers from a convenience store at mile 90 that saved me from a full-on bonk) said otherwise. As I was putting the bike away the sky opened up and started raining buckets. Couldn't have been better timed.
No ride yesterday, but spent time trouble-shooting the rubbing rear brake, as well as cleaning and lubing the chain and machines. The brake symptoms turned out to have been caused by the rear wheel hub having been knocked a few millimeters out of position in the dropout when I was bouncing off rocks on that nameless path between Dan Parker Road and Blood Road, in back-woods Groton. Don't know if this means the quick-release skewer wasn't tight enough, but the LHT is rideable again.
Last edited by rholland1951; 05-20-12 at 09:56 AM.
We did about 56 miles today on the tandem, the middle-distance loop of the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen's Plymouth Century. Added to our 45 yesterday it's another 100-mile weekend.
It was great to see more unknown countryside. Sometimes you find unexpected treats! Like this great place for a picnic, at the intersection of rts 79 and 140:
Or this little park on the banks of the Taunton River (beside a bridge under construction, with one lane open and a separate sidewalk for bikes and pedestrians):
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Off the road and on the mountain bike for a few hours in the Quabbin. Such a beautiful place on this lovely weekend.
Met up with my riding group and there were two options: head out with the slow group on roads I know for 40-50miles or head out with the fast group for an unknown ride (to me) out to Cranes beach (80ish) and have no reasonable expectations on a return time. Sizing up the "fast group" I surmised that I could keep the pace pegged and get back sooner than they expected. Plus the slow group was not going to save me any time.
We had a tight pace-line group of about 10. One guy kept going OTB and decided 1/3 of the way that he's turn back and go at his own pace. That left 9 very fast riders. A few guys refused to pull but they kept gapping so I was happy to let them hang on the back and let 5 of us do all of the work. Left from Winchester ~6:15 up through Lynnfield/Middleton, through Topsfield and out to the coast. The rolling pace never seemed to drop below 24mph. Once we got on Ipswich Rd in Topsfield (gently rolling stretch with a wide shoulder, no cross streets and smooth, smooth tarmac) we had the pace pegged at 28-30mph for about 6-8 miles.
The only annoying bit on the ride was when a group of about 100 cyclists (yes 100!) riding the Tour D'Cure the same day decided that they didn't need to stop for a stop sign and instead cut right in front of our group on Ipswitch Rd, yelling at us as they did. Yes I know you feel good riding for a cause and all, but a stop sign is a stop sign, regardless on how large your "Fred quotient" might be. I sat in the road, unclipped and fumed as the entire group rolled through the stop sign at 4mph (it's not like there was a cop flagging them through either).
Road out to the neck, went up and down a bunch of hills, then headed out to Cranes Beach. The guard at Castle Hill graciously allowed us to ride the grounds there as well (last time I got yelled at for riding there). Rode a few more hills, took in the views and snapped a few photos.
The ride back was even faster (due, in part that I was stressed about getting back on-time). Got back home by 10:15 (had to be home no later than 10:20). Computer clocked in a 20mph average speed for 79.3 miles and 2253ft of climbing. Strava looked a bit slower b/c I never paused it for all the rest stops/photo ops, regrouping bits. So glad I took a chance and went for the longer, faster ride.
Last edited by cmolway; 05-21-12 at 06:41 AM.
I am occasionally appalled by the thoughtlessness of other cyclists. On a ride last weekend we had to pass group of slower-goers (twice, in fact). They were riding three abreast, jabbering away and otherwise oblivious, the left-most rider running nearly on the dividing line. I called out "passing on your left" and he ignored me. (Uh, helloooo? Is anybody home? Maybe he was texting or something.) Of course this scenario happened when we passed them the second time too.The only annoying bit on the ride was when a group of about 100 cyclists (yes 100!) riding the Tour D'Cure the same day decided that they didn't need to stop for a stop sign and instead cut right in front of our group on Ipswitch Rd, yelling at us as they did.
Near the start of yesterday's ride a bunch of folks were running multi-abreast coming out of a busy intersection when a ride leader behind us called out "Car back! Single-file everybody. Single-file! HEY YOU IN THE SOCKS, SINGLE FILE!!" No effect at all. Socks continued out in the traffic lane, the 3rd bike over from the shoulder.
We hope for motorists to show us some courtesy (and they generally do) so we owe them, not to mention other cyclists, the same consideration. And if we anger someone it will reflect back onto the next cyclist that driver sees.
Last edited by jimmuller; 05-21-12 at 08:26 AM.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Working from home today I used a late lunch hour (plus some extra) to spin the Masi's wheels. Waltham over to Arlington Center via Rt 60, picked up the Minuteman west into Lexington. Couldn't finish that way because it was closed in one spot for more construction.
On the way out I noted the Bike Stop, and small bike shop in Arlington with a door opening onto the bike path. I'd seen it before but never gone in. This time I decided to check it out on the return. I walked in the door with my bike and one of the guys who I guess to be a mechanic immediately says "Nice Masi!" Then another guy comes over and wants to talk about some of parts and the frame, how old was it, etc. We talked for a while, discussed vintage bikes.
Then he starts telling me about some of the competition bikes he'd restored. For one bike he'd spent months looking for the correct crank dust caps, and then when he showed it to a friend the guy's first response was "What's with the dust caps? They never raced that way. How could a mechanic tighten your crank in a race if it has dust caps?" Sometimes attention to detail isn't worth the attention!
It was a fun visit. The ride was fun too but very very very humid.
Real cyclists use toe clips.
Lovely buzz around Concord/Bedford/Carlisle with tandem and baby in tow. The cycling gods granted me strong legs today.