The plan was for me to pick up Carl and drive together to Deerfield. Carl and I apparently share a predilection for getting started slowly. And taking long breaks. I managed to get out of the house only 15 minutes late and we didn't linger too long at Carl's house so we managed to get to Deerfield around 9:15. We had called Carla and Alex, who were back in Massachusetts for the ride and enjoyed talking with them for 15 minutes before they left and we started to get ready (register, eat something, change, apply sunscreen, and get the bikes off the car. We weren't on the road until after 10, maybe 10:20 or so. And we took 7 hours to ride for about 4 hours. The weather was a blue sky day with moderate temperatures, maybe into the low 80s. It was warm but not muggy and not too hot.
The Green River Tour is a great ride on a nice dirt road. It was in stellar condition this year probably the best I've seen it in the four years I've done this ride. In fact all of the dirt roads where in great shape. We did have some paved roads on the Green River Tour but it was around half dirt, or so it seemed. The great surface condition meant that we could ride fast (relatively speaking) and we did. We had a few cars pass us on Green River Road but traffic was light and passing other riders (or get passed by other riders) was easy. Still, I was happy to be running daytime running lights to give drivers a bit of an extra chance to see me when Carl and I were riding side by side.
|The organizers let people know we would be on the roads.|
I saw this great child carrying set up at the first stop and late at the lunch stop. The family is from Cambridge. They were riding the Green River Tour. The bike is a flat bar version of the Salsa Marrakesh.
I think this is Tyler Evan's Firefly, equipped for carrying their child.
|A MAP. We saw one of the Green River Tour and a total of three at the lunch stop.|
The hills were harder than the Green River Tour hill (see the image from my Garmin ride page) but the views were amazing. Coming from western Massachusetts, these hills are just like home to me. My 34/32 gearing was just enough most of the time. There were a few places that I had to stand up but I had no issues with that with the great road surfaces. Carl had a much lower gear and came up slower. He had some issues with the chain jumping off but was stayed with us. Emma is a triathlete and conditioning coach and rolled over everything with seeming ease.
|On Optional Loop 2, at the top of the hill before descending to Green River Road and back to the tour route.|
|A Chapman Cycles machine at the finish.|
I would say that was my best experience on the D2R2, from the great company of Carl and Emma for part of the ride, to the amazing road surfaces, the little taste of hills on the optional loop, and the great weather. I will be back next year and Carl plans to be there as well, this time trying the 100K version, something I did back in 2009.
My Surly was a great bike for the ride, with 38 mm Compass tires softening what bumps there were. The gearing was just about perfect and brakes (Paul Neo Retro) made me feel secure on the dirt decents. Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington, MA put the bike together, including hand built wheels, last November and I think this is the longest and most adventurous ride I've done on the bike. Hopefully it carries me a few more D2R2 rides.
Strava says we only put out an average of 85 watts but it felt harder than that.
The ride, as we intended on RideWithGPS.
|Carl and Emma on the optional loop. It was a lot of extra work but also the best part of the ride for us. Emma was on the 100K ride so she had a lot more miles under her belt by the time we met up with her.|
|A Circle A made by Brian Chapman and a Chapman Cycles. Carl was looking for Brian and knew he would be riding a yellow Circle A so we knew where to look. It was great talking with Brian.|