Friday, February 20, 2015

While the winter keeps me off the road

I've been thinking of fun rides to do this year, which is how I am spending my cycling time since I'm not actually cycling right now.  Eventually this winter will end, the ice dams will melt, and the water will drain of the basement.  And when that happens I'll be outside and, hopefully, on my bike.  It's not like I don't get outside now but it's never relaxing, especially watching your kids tumble down a steep sledding hill or helping them up a steep snow covered incline on snowshoes (all of us, usually).  So I dream of the summer, or at least the spring.

One ride that I'm thinking of is the Portland Dart, the short version.  This ride is part of the New England Randonneurs' Fleche weekend.  The fleche is over the top for me this year, seeing how this year is going.  The fleche is a 24 hour 360+ kilometer ride.  Besides not being in shape, I don't think I can get approval at home for this one.  The long dart is a 200+ kilometer ride, which might just be too long for me, even I get a lot of miles in this spring.  The Dart Populaire is more my speed, though it will still be a stretch at 120 kilometers.  All of these rides end in Portland, ME, which I can get a train back from Boston but the starting point and the routes are all what you choose.  And that choice is a team choice.  The fleche and both darts have to be completed by a team of 3 to 5 riders.  That is a problem unto itself - how to find 2-4 people who are interested in this kind of ride and can commit to it.  The ride itself could be fun - a train ride to Newburyport then the coast route as much as is feasible.  I'll take advice on reasonable cycling routes.  Knowing Cape Elizabeth, I'd pass by that section of coast, which isn't all that busy in May.  The train to Newburyport is a bit dicey - it gets you to Newburyport at 10:40AM, and the short dart should be done in 8 hours, and there is 80-90 miles between Newburyport and Portland.  Maybe that's my winter legs being a little afraid.  Or maybe it will be easy to do then. But if you want to go for a long ride in May, let me know.

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