Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Riding the Battle Road and Reformatory Branch Line

Last Sunday I had a chance for a short ride.  The day was cold and my original intention was to ride to Londonderry, NH but the morning temperature of 37F was a bit too much  I would need booties for an extended ride and maybe more clothes than I could comfortably ride in for 3-4 hours).  Since I couldn't go far and my IF is in the garage for repairs - it needs a new chain - I took the Surly.  Since I had wider tires (700x32), I tried a dirt path that I have been curious about, the Reformatory Branch Trail (search the page for it).  This path goes from Bedford, west of the bike path, to Concord center.  I didn't have time for the whole ride and left the trail near the Concord waste water plant.  I returned on Battle Road (mostly crushed stone surface) to Mass Ave and then the bike path.  The ride looked like this.  In the end it was a very cold day for a ride and had I been thinking I would have run out in Estabrook Woods.  It is the best time of year for running in the woods.

And like all rides at this time of the year, it could be my last ride of the season.  I have about 2200 miles on my bikes this season, which is pretty good for how constrained my time can be.

The entrance to the Reformatory Branch Trail in Bedford:

The only impediment on the trail was this recently downed tree, which you could carry bikes over, with care:

 The path was reasonably smooth.  It was never all that far from houses and Route 62:

 On the north side of Route 62, you pass the Great Meadows NWR:

 There is an observation tower in the parking lot that gives a great overlook:

On the return on Battle Road there were a couple of boardwalks that you have to dismount for.  One of them was quite long.  The fall from them were significant so I gather that the NWS was just being cautious:

View from Battle Road.  Unfamiliar, although I have passed close to this spot many times:

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