Part I: Harvard Square - Lexington
|Weeks Bridge and Harvard University|
The ride met at Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington. So I figured 11 miles would be a great warm up. So a quick ride up the river and Minuteman carried me up to Lexington.
I signed in to the ride and got a nice cup of Rwandan coffee from the cafe.
Part II: South Harvard 100k
|Unitarian Church, Harvard, MA|
Towns: Lexington, Sudbury, Wayland, Bolton, Stow, Harvard, Boxborough, Acton, Maynard, Concord
Distance: Scheduled - 67.1 miles (Actual 69.5)
Goal Time: 5:10:00
Actual Time: 5:21:31 (12.96 mph)
This was a randonneuring ride - run by New England Randonneurs. This means it is officially timed. As a runner, I like to get official times. I did the 200k in both 2010 and 2011.
I left with the first riders but soon my already warmed up legs were getting ansy. So, I rode on ahead. Within 2 miles, I missed a turn on the cue sheet. 2 Miles! Then, after about 2 miles of riding in circles and backtracking (and rereading the cue sheet), I found the turn that I missed. At this rate, I'll be making it into a 200k!
But, I got my act together. By the first "controle" I was at least seeing other people.
I stretched a little. And repacked my bag and filled up my water bottles. I actually left two people there, meaning I was no longer in last - YES! (Randonneuring is NOT a race; the goal is to finish and ride well. However, I never want to be in last.)
The route then made its way into the King Philip Woods Nature Preserve - which was absolutely gorgeous. However, upon making the turn deeper into the preserve there was a big sign: "ROAD FLOODED." uh oh. And following me was a car as I got to the spot where it was flooded. Well, it was only 1/2 inch deep and I gave a what the f- - - look at the car about the sign. The driver had been less worried than I, apparently...
|Long Hill Farm|
The whole pack and I stopped at the second informational controle - Long Hill Farm. I got a little ansy and once again headed out on my own. This time, however, I didn't miss a turn. The second and last Cat-5 climb came up toward Fruitlands - the next controle. Right before the controle there is a beautiful overlook. I stopped to take a picture and then rode past four bikers near their Harleys who were trying to hide the fact that they had stopped to smoke a joint and the controle at Fruitlands.
|As an aside Amos Bronson Alcott is a dead ringer for actor George Coe|
|Bikes lined up at the Harvard General Store|
I had only 17 miles to come back to Lexington. I decided to hammer it back. Pretty soon I lot interest in that and was just finishing. Through Concord I passed Orchard House - yet another home of the Alcotts. After an S-shaped tour of Lexington's residential neighborhoods, I pulled into Lexington Center at Ride Studio Cafe. As I locked up my bike, I ran into Rory locking up his from a different ride. We discussed the coming races - 21 days until James Joyce Ramble!
I got my card signed and sat down for a cup of coffee.
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Part III: Lexington to Harvard Square
|HBS - I forgot to take a picture on the way back |
so this is the Business School from a Kayak trip a few years ago
Riding 11 miles home was a little excruciating. It was the first nice day after a long winter and EVERY FAMILY in Lexington and Arlington was out on the bike path walking, biking, rollerblading or whatever. Ran into Ruthanne and Dan on the bike path. While it was tough and slow to ride back to Cambridge, it was so wonderful to see New England coming alive again!
Total miles on the day - 91 miles... Next week: Boston 100k