Monday, February 2, 2009

The Ride Heard 'Round the World (8/17/08)

Minuteman Statue in Lexington

Date: August 17, 2008
Distance: 40 miles
Location: Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Lexington, Concord, & Bedford, MA
Sights: Lexington Battle Green, Concord Battle Road Trail, Paul Revere's Capture Site, Walden Pond, Old North Bridge, Cows
Difficulty: Easy, only two and half rough hills

To Borrow from LongfellowListen my children and you shall hear
Of the mighty ride of pedal and gear;
On the seventeenth of august in o-eight
Hardly a ride so great
Will be made on that famous day and year.
Unfortunately for the others only 3 of us made it out for the ride. Felix, Caro and I had a great day, however.We met at 10 at the Diesel Cafe in Davis Square, Somerville. We waited until 10:30, in case others would make it - they did not. So off we went on the ride. We took the Minuteman Bikeway up into Lexington, where we made our first stop - the Lexington Battle Green, where the Revolution began. Historian Niall Ferguson describes the encounter and "The shot heard round the world thus:"It is not clear who fired the first shot, but the outcome was never in doubt; the Minute Men were mown down by well-drilled regulars."Indeed, as I recall the British suffered one flesh wound while one Minuteman was dead and 6 were injured. While later in the day the fight would turn, Lexington was a fiasco militarily. Politically it was not; the farmers of Massachusetts announced with gunfire that they would not be beholden to the crown anymore!
Jesse and Felix at the Lexington Battle Green

We then went out Mass Ave to the Minuteman Historic Park. There is a great trail through the park called the Battle Road Trail. It is definitely the crown jewel of this ride. The Battle Road not only passes most of the historic spots within the park but it travels through some boggy land, farms and some of the most beautiful woods New England has to offer. Included in the historic sites is the place where the British captured Paul Revere in his aborted midnight ride.

Me and Felix at the Paul Revere Capture site; Felix getting his birthday call from Oma; Caro on one of the boardwalks of the Battle Road

After the Historic Park we rode through Concord Center and out to Walden Pond. Walden Pond is a great site. It is where Thoreau went to the woods to see what it could teach him. Additionally, It has a free public beach. saw the site of Thoreau's cabin and went for a quick, cooling dip.

Thoreau Cabin Site; view of Walden Pond from Thoreau's cabin

After a sack lunch the three of us rode on to the Old North Bridge where the American Farmers stood tall and drove back the British Regulars. The next leg was through the exurb land in Concord and Bedford to the Chip-In Farm, where I had promised Caro some cows:


We rejoined the Minuteman Bikeway and I set what was considered a blistering pace for home. We stopped for a pint at Redbones in Davis and then finished the ride with a birthday Barbecue at Felix's. Great day; great ride. Others should definitely make the next ride.

Map of ride can be found:

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