Sunday, February 21, 2010

Glacial Century (2/20/10)

From Random Pics
Bascke Ostarije at the New Hampshire Line

Distance: 102.5 miles
Difficulty: Medium

Glacial - both in speed and amount of ice I rode through.

At 8:45 I left Central Square and headed out for a century ride. I found a great ride on

It was to take me up to the NH line and back. Then I was going to add a ten mile loop to make it up to 100 miles.

This first ran into some trouble when Bedford doesn't plow its portion of the Minuteman. I made my way over to 225 which is the main connector between the Minuteman and the Nashua River Trail.

The Nashua Trail was then not plowed at the Groton line. So I worked my way over to 111 and then up to the Nashua area.

There's a note in my book to kayak the Nashua river this summer.

But this was no touring ride! My goal was to do it in 8 hours - with stops.

Unfortunately, as usual I was too frickin' slow - I did it in 9:15 with breaks. Average speed - 11.08 mph. Alas.

Friday, February 19, 2010

No Chalk Candy Hearts Ride (2/14/10)

View No chalky candy hearts Ride in a larger map

Distance: 86 Miles

Difficulty: Easy

Ride: Cambridge, Somerville, Arlington, Lexington, Lincoln, Concord, Acton, Littleton

I know when the callendar flips to winter and the middle of February comes, the thing most people think of is - long bike rides.

The Charles River Wheelmen were doing a 45 mile Valentine's Day Ride leaving from Lincoln. I figured I'd tag along to that ride.

Lincoln of course is at least 15 miles from my house, so I had to ride there first. In my typical last possible second style I left Central Square at 9:15 with a little over an hour to ride out to Lincoln. With my cold legs churning through the cold February air I had difficulty moving my body but I created my mantra:

Throwing out what was a blistering pace for me, I rode up Mass Ave into Arlington and hopped onto the Minuteman into Lexington and took the surface roads out. I was unable to stop at my usual break-point, Paul Revere's Capture Site as I had no time.

Taking the tough hills of Bedford Road and Lincoln Road, I got to the ride with seconds to spare, riders were already leaving. As they started going by me, I asked:

As I had not brought a cue sheet, I had to hop on with these guys - with no knowledge of speeds, etc. The lack of knowledge and experience in these group rides is one of the detriments to my cycling skills. I have never tried to stay with another experienced rider. So now as we rode through the Lincoln Woods and Walden Pond, I had to push myself to keep up in some points but then only have to slow myself down in others.

At one point my computer started to malfunction (or not function). I split myself from the group and "repaired" the computer. (I wiggled the cable that was loose). But now I had to make up ground and was back to throwing down a blistering pace.

As things shook out, soon after the split off of the 45-miler and the 30-miler, It was only a guy Peter and I riding in our "group." I tried to just follow him and keep up. At times I was able to get my speed up or beyond his as I kept on his wheel. And, it turned out, he was a great one of these club cyclists with whom to ride.

We finished up the ride. Peter offered me a lift as far as Watertown, but I was actually looking forward to my ride back to Cambridge with only myself to account for. I hung out with Thoreau at Walden Pond for a few minutes and then enjoyed a pretty leisurely ride down 62 and the Minuteman back to Cambridge.

83 miles in 7.25 hours - 11.86 mph. While this is nowhere near the pace of 13.75 mph that I want to achieve by September; it's a good time for my second long ride of the year.

This coming weekend, I either want to throw down a century on Saturday or maybe a 50/50 on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Blues Ride (1/16/10)

View Winter Blues Ride in a larger map

Distance: 50 miles
Difficulty: Medium
Sights: Castle Island, Great Blue

I reached a rotary and somewhere in those recesses of my mind, I remembered something.

I’ve been here before, but why?

Suddenly I remembered that there was a good sandwich shop, but I didn’t remember exactly from where and to where I would have been going to get to said sandwich shop. So I made an educated guesstimate of the way I should go.

It immediately seemed wrong. The road looked familiar but I was definitely heading the wrong way. Into the sun meant southwest, while I clearly wanted to go Northwest to get to Chestnut Hill.

Soon I reached the Harvard Vanguard and Bertucci’s on VFW Parkway. Crap. Sure enough, I had ridden the exact wrong way from JP to get to Newton.

So, I rode up VFW, since NOW I know how to get over to Newton


It was a nice warm day to go out, for the middle of January at least. I took my new ride – Baska Ostarije – out on its paces. From Central I rode down the river and over to Southie. After a slow peddling around Castle Island and then down the beach, I cruised through the mayhem of Upham’s Corner and then down the long straight run of Blue Hill Ave.

I made it to the Blue Hills. I have never climbed the access road on Great Blue and have always wanted to, so up I climbed to the Weather station. While it is no near the challenge of Akrokorinthos or the climb of my bike’s namesake, it’s a tough climb for the middle of January with virtually no miles on the legs yet.

After a brief rest atop Great Blue, I cruised back down and through the backroads of Canton/Hyde Park and back to Mattapan.

Then cycling through Roslindale and JP and the Arbs, I stopped by the co-op and picked up some snacks (and a box of Tim Tams for Andrew).

I figured, I’d make the reasonable quick jaunt over to Newtonville to give him som Tim Tams before heading home.

Alas, this is where I took a wrong turn in Albuquerque or Brookline.


All, in all it was a pleasant ride that will probably make my routes list.

Tino Pai!