When I saw the forecast for cool and windy, I began wondering how many people would show up. In the morning, it was 46degrees and the winds were blowing as predicted. I had already made the decision that we would have to forego kayaking. Whitecaps on the Charles would be fun for some, but not for me.
Well, you never know what is going to happen with one of these rides, and today proved that. Ten people showed up ready to ride! So we set off for our destination, if for no reason other than that I could take a picture of us in front of the kayaks and pretend about the reset. It was nice riding along Grove Street and Huron Ave; the winds not a bother. I even began to rethink the kayaking. Things seemed to be going our way. As we approached Harvard Square, the highway department even shut town Memorial Drive for us ;-). Across the Harvard bridge, we headed for the kayaking place. Oh how quickly things can change. As we neared the turn on to Soldiers Field Road, we saw that there was a "Walk for Something" coming over the bridge and along the Bike Path on both sides of the river. Time for plan B. We headed for Watertown on Greenough Blvd. Boy those walkers were everywhere. After a stop across from the Arsenal Mall to take the above picture, we headed up to School St toward Belmont. We picked up Pleasant St. outside of Belmont Center and headed back to Arlington. Only 13 miles today, but everyone seemed to have fun.
Twenty miles was an estimate. I actually
clocked 24 3/4 and once again "Ordinary People" proved themselves
worthy. The weather was clear and cool, winds were calm, and the day
proved to be a welcomed respite for this week's tragic events. We were 8
at the start and 9 by the time we arrived at the DeCordova as Debbie, who was
late and missed the start, somehow made her way to the museum even without a
map. I'm not sure how many miles she rode to get there, but it sounded
like everyone she asked along the way told her to go in a different direction.
Our route took us to Lexington Center and then out Lincoln Street across Route 2A almost all the way to Route 2. A right turn on Mill Street proved as nice surprise. Try to get out there when the leaves begin to turn. Mill Street ended at 2A where we turned left and then right into Hanscom Airport, skirting the perimeter to get to Virginia Road, Route 62 and then into Concord Center. After a short stop on the green, we headed out Walden Street past the pond and then took Baker Bridge Road to the museum. Our picnic was fun, but leaving was like being on a school trip. Every time I thought everybody was there, another person was missing. Finally got on our way. Bedford Street in Lincoln was about the only hill of any size, but with lunch and a little rest, everyone seemed to have plenty of energy. We turned on to Route 2A and Bill led us through some back streets to avoid the construction. This was fun and we got to see the starting point of the Battle Road Trail. Looks like fun. Then back on to Route 2A to Mass Ave and home to our starting point at Trader Joe's.
|Well there were some hills. Not terrible, but sometimes I forget about them between rides because I'm having such a good time. And what a time we had. This was a most unusual group! We had recombinants, tricycles, wind socks, propeller heads, cb radios and walkie talkies as well as lots of fun people. Once again, many of the people had never been on one of these rides before.|
|From Arlington Heights, we started out with a group of nine, only to have our ranks grow to 22 when we left Bedford under a bright blue sky with a few clouds for accent and wonderfully cool temperatures. The route was the same as the May 13th ride, but with a large group, we really spread out. As usual, people waited at turns to make sure that no one got lost, but this time it was especially nice for the stronger riders since with a big group, easy directions and good maps, it was easy for them to ride ahead.|
|After climbing one fairly long hill we were
rewarded by a long downhill on a recently paved back road leading us to
Great Brook Farm and the much anticipated ICE CREAM STOP.
After picture taking, we were off again. The faster group was like a
young colt raring to go. And so they did. Never to be seen again
(although I did get an email, so I know they found their way back).
The rest of us spread out once again After regrouping at Rt. 225,
everyone headed back toward Bedford at their own pace. We arrived
back at Minuteman Bikeway where we said our good-byes to those who had
joined us there and headed back to Arlington Heights.
Mystic Lakes Loop
Terrain: Flat and gently rolling hills and one big mother hill
|Sunday, Bike Rides for Ordinary People returned to some of
our old haunts in Winchester, including the "big mother hill"
behind Mahoney's. But before getting to that, I have to comment that it
was great to have a nice size turnout of 16. Not only that, lots of the
group had never been one of our rides before. So what were the newbie's in
Once again, we left from Carberry's in Arlington Center and headed out
Medford Street, crossing the Mystic River and heading left past the Mystic
Lakes. At the end of the parkway, the group headed up Bacon Street,
following its turns as it changed names. Just before it ended at Main
Street, we turned left on to the Horn Pond Bike Path. This was a nice hard
packed dirt trail that went from woods to neighborhood streets and then
back through woods fragrant with wild roses. Shortly we reached Horn Pond.
Until this ride, I did not even know Horn Pond existed. It should be hard
to hide something that large. Off we went to circumnavigate the pond.
Missing a turn, we found ourselves at a busy intersection. But thanks to
the superb map reading skills of several of our members, we were once
again at Horn Pond.
|We stopped briefly after completing the loop of the pond, breathing
deeply the sweet smell of sausages and such from a street side vendor
before continuing through quiet streets toward the "big mother
hill." As people passed me at the bottom of the hill, I yelled,
"If this is easy, you are on the wrong ride." And so it was (not
easy). But everybody made it! The picture shows the proud group shortly
after reaching the top. A short distance further and hooray, a long down
hill past beautiful homes and green golf courses. Unfortunately, while I
was waiting to make sure everybody went the right way, the leaders
continued past where we should have turned, stopping at the bottom of the
hill next to the Winchester Country Club.
|So back up much of the hill we had just descended (on
different streets which seem to be decidedly steeper)! Once to the top
again, it was down hill all the way to Arlington Heights where everybody
congratulated each other on a ride well done! With time and energy waning,
most of the group headed to the bike path and back to the starting point,
while a couple of us completed the mapped ride by going up the Park Avenue
hill via Wollaston and Hillsides Ave., down Belmont Hill, finally arrive
back at Carberry's via the bike path from Lake Street.
An afternoon nap felt well earned!
Sunday, May 13, 2001
Dudley Road Ride
Terrain: Flat and gently rolling
Winchester Highland Loop
Wow, was I surprised.
I didn’t think that that many people met at Carberry’s to go
riding. Until I realized that
they were all there for today’s ride; 20 strong.
The group included a couple on a tandem and a scooter rider (not a
rasor, but a hybrid bike/scooter that is apparently common in parts of
The day was clear and spring like, meaning a very agreeable temperatures and lots of wind as we rode along the Mystic Lakes toward Winchester. After a short stop because of a flat tire, we resumed the ride just as a charity walk came through. But it was nice to have the road closed. After riding through some of the neighborhoods in Winchester, we came to our first (and biggest challenge) of the day; a very long steep hill. Some attacked while others merely persevered. But everyone made it to the top. Who says these are “ordinary” bike riders! On to another shorter hill and then, yippee, the downhill. A relief, but seemingly too short.
Next, we wound our way along Lowell St in Lexington, to East Street and Adams and finally to Merriam. Another significant hill, but after the last twoand some easy space in between, I think everyone felt this was not too bad. Then a steep down hill where we had to be careful as there were holes in the rode the size of small cars. Fortunately bikes can navigate around them!
Now on to Belmont. Down Mass. Ave. and on to Pleasant St. past Wilson Farm. Our next challenge was Marsh Street, a much-cycled route up Belmont Hill. But notice the word hill. Everyone hung in thinking this was the last hill on the route. The next turn would be Route 60 and a flat ride back to Arlington Center. Well guess again. A quick turn after crossing Route 2 took us up Veneer Street to Jason Street with many in the group now wondering if this route should have been called the Winchester Highland Hill Ride. This time, there were no more hills except for the downhill to Mass Ave and back to our starting point.
Well done riders!