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Sun. October 27th, 2002
Pumpkin Ride
Mileage: 25 miles
Terrain: Flat and gently rolling hills
Destination: Arlington, Waltham, Lincoln, Concord and Bedford

After a very raining Saturday, it turned out to be a beautiful Sunday.  Luck seemed to be with us.  And even with the slight chill the air, 14 people showed up.  I usually use routes that others have published, but today I was my own. And I think it turned out pretty well. From Trader Joes, we head up Mass Ave, turned left on Pleasant Street, passing Pumpkins at Wilson Farm, turned right on Concord Ave and took it to the end.  Then left on Wyman St all the way to Winter St. in Waltham.  We followed Winter Street around the reservoir with it background of colorful trees, then entered the wooded section, following the road until it met up with Trapelo Rd.  It was just a sort distance from here to Lincoln.  Turning right, we headed up the hill past the First Parish Church where they were selling pumpkin bread, across Rt. 2, then a right and a left to get into the entrance to Hancom Field.  Here, we picked up Virginia Rd, and the luck that I mentioned earlier turned in one bike with 3 flat tires.  Seems like a snake bite on 1 that produced 2 holes.  There were some holes under the paddled water.  But with enough of us searching through our bags, we came up with an extra 27" tube and patches,  By the time we could up with the rest of the group, they were at the Bedford end of the Minuteman Bike Path.  It was an easy ride home from here with 25 pleasant miles behind us.
 

Sun. October 6th, 2002
Concord River Ride
Mileage: 19 miles from Bedford or
              28 miles from Arlington Heights
Terrain: Flat and gently rolling hills
Destination: Arlington, Bedford, Carlisle and Concord

The group at Kimbal Farm after ice cream

People came from near and far for this ride.  Well, actually, they came from Needham, Roslindale, and Winchester.  But I don't think much further.  A group of 6 started at Trader Joe's, including Michael with young son Robert riding in the trailer.  Off we went up the bikeway to Bedford where the group got much larger. After a few jokes and introductions, we headed off through Bedford and out Rt. 225 toward Carlisle.  The plan had called for turning up River Street toward Concord Center, but I found Skelton St., shortly before it, which is quieter and much prettier.  We met up with River Street and followed it as turned into Monument St.  I had promised no hills.  But I always seem to forget about a few.  Anyway, Monument St. does have a bit of a hill which everyone climbed fine, though some were a little out of breath.  Once on top, the reward of the long downhill made the climb all the more worthwhile.  We regrouped at the Concord Bridge.  Then headed in to Concord Center and quickly avoided the crowds by turning onto Lowell St. just past the Colonial Inn.  It was a pleasant ride from here and no one seemed bothered by the uphill grade as we made our way to Carlisle Center.  From here, it was a short distance on Rt. 225 to Kimball Farm where everyone enjoyed the ice cream and apple crisp.  Then on down Rt. 225 and back home.  Be sure to see all the wonder photos that Dave Strauss took and posted for all to enjoy.

Sun. September 22nd, 2002

Bike Rides for Ordinary People Team ride for

Project Bread's Ride for Hunger

Mileage: ~25 miles

Terrain: Mostly flat with few hills.

Destination: Natick, Millis, Sherborn, Framingham

Another threatening forecast turned to sunshine and warm weather!  Summer returns on the first day of autumn, elevating everyone's spirits. The start was very crowed, but once we spread out a little bit after the start, the large crowd was fun to ride in as we passed through four metro west communities.  The marshals and police made it easy to find our way and deal with several more heavily traveled roads.  I thought it would be impossible to find each other again with white shirted people everywhere, but somehow most of us found each other at the refreshment area half way through and again at the finish.  We were treated to food and drink and music.  Believe me, this was a fun time.  Just look at all those smiling faces.

Sun. September 15th, 2002

Bruce's DeCordova Lunch Loop

Mileage:  ~20 
Terrain: Rolling Hills

Destination:  Lexington, Bedford, Concord and Lincoln

 

With a prediction of bad weather from the remnants of tropical storm Hanna, I was surprised to see 9 adventurous soles appear at Trader Joe's.  We headed off toward Bedford on the bike path.  The pace was quicker than usually and everybody kept up just fine. I Bedford, we were treated to the site of a working 2 foot gauge steam locomotive and car.  Then off through the local streets to Rt 62 into Concord center.  After a brief stop, we headed out of Concord past Walden Pond.  We followed the signs to the DeCordova (at least most of us did :-) where we stopped for lunch.  It started to sprinkle, but nobody seemed to mind.  It turned out that the rain was brief and the rest of the ride from the museum to Rt. 2A and back to Arlington was uneventful.

 

Sun. August 25th, 2002

Bike To The Big Dig

Mileage: ~25 miles

Terrain:  Mostly flat

Destination: Arlington, Cambridge, Somerville, Boston

Meeting Place: Carberry's Bakery in Arlington Center

 

What a great excuse for a ride: Tour the Big Dig! Well it was a good enough excuse for me a group that grew to 15 as we left Carbury's and picked up more people in Inman and Kendall Square as we rode down the Minuteman Bikeway and out the linear path to Davis Square. Passing through Davis, we made our way to Hampshire street and followed it across the Longfellow Bridge. Then we cut up Charles Street, across the Common, finally ending up at the Big Dig's Kneeland Street headquarters at about 10:15.  Arriving early for the noon event had it's advantages as we were very close to the front of the line.  And luck was also on our side as they decided to start letting people in early.  But first we were treated to the Police Bagpipe band and got to follow behind them and the Mayor as we walked into the tunnel.   The tunnel was, well... a tunnel.  But events always are exciting and this was no exception.  We walked in a ways and then had to double back and walk out on the opposite side of this 5 lane inbound portion (no bike lane found).  As the line of walkers spread out, Stuart took the opportunity to ride for a little while.  He may be the first to ride in the new tunnel. After the tour, the group decided to stop and have lunch in Kendall Square. What a great idea.  A Big Dig thanks to Dave Adams for suggesting, organizing and leading this ride. Click here to see a few more pictures.

Sun. June 30th, 2002

Dudley Road Ride

Mileage: 19 from Bedford end of the Minuteman Bikeway; 27 from Arlington Heights.

Terrain: Gently Rolling Hills

Destination: Arlington, Bedford, N. Billereica and Carlisle

The Dudley Road Ride is my favorite in the area, and 30 of us were able to share in it's beauty. With a group this size, it takes a lot of  cooperation.  Fortunately, we had lots of willing helpers who kept the faster group on track and Bob, who when out of his way to wait and make sure that people at the front of the second group did not miss any turns (Thanks again!).  Over half the people on the ride had never been on a Bike Ride for Ordinary People ride.  Many said they had never been on a group ride before.  But you would never have know it by the way they rode.

The Dudley Road Ride officially starts at the end of the Minuteman Bike Path although a number of us started in Arlington Heights,  following the bike path to Bedford.  From there we rode out Rt. 4 to Dudley Road, the most wonderfully rural area I know of that is so close to Boston.  After a very bumpy section, we were back on Rt. 4. We made our way to Treble Cove Rd and on to West Street where the sign says "Formerly Known as North St".  This quiet tree lined road rolls and winds until suddenly your are at Great Brook Farm.  Yippee! Ice Cream Break! After our well deserved break, we exited the farm and turned on to Curve St, past the cranberry bog, finally ending up on Rt. 225.  Just past the circle in Carlisle, we turned on to East St, then on to Maple.  The bridge is closed, but forunately, you can walk your bike across without any trouble.  Then back on to Rt. 225 and the nice flat stretch all the way back to Bedford.  Everybody seems to have a great time.  I know I did.  See you on the next ride.

Sun. June 2nd, 2002

Mystic Lakes Loop

Mileage: 15 miles

Terrain: Rolling hills, steep hills, almost vertical

Destination: Arlington, Medford, Winchester, Woburn

 

 

With only slight confusion caused by the Air Show at Hancom Field, the route was changed from Dudley Road in Bedford to a ride which kept us away from the traffic.  We had 14 people participate with varying experience, but all looking for a nice ride.  People there  found the ride  through the Bike Rides FOP, the AMC, and MassBike lists and by word of mouth

Like the Winchester Highland Loop (see below), this ride goes on the Medford side of the Mystic Lakes; a great beginning for a ride.  Once in Winchester, we wound our way to the Horn Pond Trail and followed it to and around Horn Pond.  Then out to Wildwood Street and up the big hill by Mahoney's Gardens.  Not everybody rode all the way up, but everybody made it. There's  no shame in walking up hills on these rides. We always wait for people to catch up.  We then cut across the hill back to Arlington.  Some people took a short cut, to avoid the next set of steep hills.  Others got a little ahead of the pack and missed the turn.  But we got back together and found our way to what must be the steepest hill in Arlington.  But at least it's short.  One to the top, we followed Hutchinson Road to Ridge Street and weeeeee down the long hill back to Arlington Heights.

Don't worry, the next ride will not have big hills.  I promise!

Sun. April 21st, 2002

Winchester Highland Loop

Mileage: 16

Terrain: Flat and Rolling Hills

Destination: Arlington, Winchester, Lexington & Belmont

The Hill - Big!

The Company - Friendly!

Total Experience - Priceless (and free)

It was great to be back on the road again with Bike Rides for Ordinary people.  The route was the same as we had taken last year for our first ride.  Not too long and not too hard; although there were several comments made about the hill between Winchester and Lexington.

From Arlington Center, we road down to the Mystic Lakes on the Medford/Winchester side.  It's always a pretty ride and especially so with the leave not yet full out.  We wove our way through Winchester and then up the big hill.  This hill builds character, but as always, there is not shame in walking part of the way.  The top of the hill was a good place to wait for everyone to regroup.  Non of the hills after this were worth complaining about.  That's not to say they were all small, but in comparison, they were easy(er).  Anyway, back to the ride.  I personally liked the reward of the big downhill to Lowell Street in Lexington.  From there, we followed side streets into Lexington Center.  Then we went down Mass Ave, turned and went past Wilson Farms, wound our way to Belmont Hill, down to route 60 and back to Arlington Center.