Monday, May 27, 2013

60 miles inside of 495

I had the chance to get out for a decent ride today on what was the nicest day of the weekend.  It was a bit windy but not over the top hard.  I chose this standard ride, although somewhat modified from earlier versions.  I skipped the usual East Street to Rutland Street to North Road into Great Brook Farm Park and instead took Maple to West Street (which turns into North Road).  I also skipped the Arlington Road to Newtown Road to Acton to the Pope/Strawberry Hill area heading into Concord and instead followed School, River, and Laws Brook into West Concord then followed Old Road to Nine Acre Corner to Verrill Farm and then followed 117 to Lincoln and then followed my usual route south to Conant and Old Conant Road, eventually getting to Trapelo Road and then to Lexington center.  I find the Trapelo Road/128 crossing much easier with the new lights but it remains less enjoyable than the Mill Street/Lincoln Street/Lexington Road crossing, which passes below 128.  But I'm not a big fan of that stretch of highway between Hanscom and Route 2A so I avoid it on occasion.  I'm looking for alternatives between West Concord and Lincoln, perhaps heading south and certainly avoiding 117 but without adding on that many more miles.  I am familiar with riding from Sherman Bridge Road to Lincoln by various roads but I want to get to the Lincoln Sudbury High School on quiet roads first.  I need to explore some by map then ride what looks good.

Conant Road is currently being paved.  I may avoid it for another couple of weeks (June 9 or so).  It was doable today but could be a mess in the future.  Old Conant Road (which is private) remains in poor condition.

I rode with a couple of fast riders from the 4 and 225 intersection west of Bedford to the Concord River.  They helped cut the wind in that section but I had no hope of keeping up with them.  I appreciated their assistance.

I rode with B.J. for several miles, from near where he started west of South Chelmsford until the Foster Road/Harwood Road intersection in Littleton.  He was faster than me or we egged each other on and were faster than either of us.  He was heading up to Harvard, which was appealing, but I didn't have time to join him for that part of the ride.

I stopped for a delicious apple coffee cake at the Nashoba Brook Bakery in West Concord.  They are definitely bike friendly.  I last stopped there on a club ride in 2007 but I didn't usually go through West Concord so never made my way back.  I passed by this area on my Harvard ride a month ago and thought of stopping in but didn't feel like I had the time.  Given my time usual time constraints, I usually eat bars on the bike but today I had a little flexibility.

Spider web on the railing at the bakery:

One curiosity of the ride was passing three people (one by herself then a couple) apparently off course on a 25 mile CRW ride.  Having looked at the map (second link here), the couple were on the route but were confused about where they were.  The other person was off the route but still close enough to get back on the route easily.  I sent them on the right path as it turned out.  They didn't appear to have a map but instead relied on the cue sheet, which really doesn't help if you are off route.

The ride was 61 miles and I rode it at 14.6 mph.  I'm now over 700 miles for the year but less than 300 miles on my IF, which is what I used today.

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