2006 Ride Reports

Sunday, October 8th

Newton to Concord and Countryside

Ride Leader:  Bruce Lederer (617 710-1832  bruce_lederer@bikeridesfop.org)

Mileage: 33
Terrain: Mostly flat and with a few rolling hills
Destination: Newton, Weston, Lincoln, Concord, Sudbury.
Meeting Place: Auburndale commuter rail parking lot (click here for map).
Meeting Time: 9:45am Leave promptly at 10:00
Other Notes:  This is a very pretty ride with a stop at Verrill Farm for refreshments


Sunday - August 13rd

Newton to Lookout Farm

Ride Leader: John Quatrale [mailto:jaquatrale@msn.com]

Mileage: ~20

Terrain: Mostly Flat

Destination: Newton and Natick

Meeting Time - 9:30 a.m.

Meeting Place: Newton Center Parking Lot - Meters are free on Sunday.

Notes: Belkin Lookout Farm (originally Marino Lookout) is a great place to visit. It has lots of organic vegetables and fruits in bloom and there is a great farm store as well.

There are also lots of farm animals.

On a beautiful Sunday morning (August 13), nineteen bicyclists cycled the 9.5 from Newton Centre to the Lookout Farm in South Natick.  Some of the riders had never been to Newton Centre (the biggest village in Newton) and several had never been to the Lookout Farm.  The organic farm has been operating continuously since the 17th century.

The ride encountered two flat tires and one wrong turn (actually it was a turn not taken). But after a few extra miles, everyone made it to the large sprawling farm with vegetables, fruit trees and lots of flowers.

After visiting the farm’s busy store, which has a large variety of goods, including its organic vegetables and fruits, the group relaxed outside with some of the goods that were purchased or brought.  The only disappointment was that the petting zoo could only be accessed by a motorized train that costs $5. Since bikes were not allowed, no one opted for the ride.  The ride back was a little warmer but still delightful. The route went past the South Natick Dam, with has a thunderous falls, and through the John Eliot Historic District as well as Elm Bank (the Mass. Horticultural Society’s headquarters) in Wellesley.

The ride continued through Wellesley Center and then Wellesley Hills before arriving in Newton Lower Falls.

At that point, we proceeded to Quinobequin Road, which is a well-shaded lightly traveled route that follows the curvature of the Charles River.  We then rode past Hemlock Grove and under Echo Bridge into Newton Upper Falls on our way back to the starting point in Newton Centre.

The leader was greatly assisted by the Bruce Lederer, the BikeRidesFOP organizer and Adena, a regular BikeRidesFOP as well as all of the other riders, who didn’t allow a few problems to get in the way of good time.

Saturday July 22nd

The Ride To Great Island (Map)
Ride Leader: Anna Marie Ventura (978) 302-5282 (c)
Mileage: 26 miles
Terrain: Flat, rolling hills

Destination: Wenham, Hamilton, Essex, Ipswich

Meeting Place: Wenham Church: Rte 128 North, exit 20A onto Route 1A North (towards Hamilton). Pass the mall and Wenham Lake on your left. Turn left at Wenham Church on Arbor St. Park in front or or beside the Church.  (Directions)

Meeting Time: 9:15. Ride leaves at 9:30 a.m.

There were 8 intrepid (or another word ending in “pid”!) who showed up to ride in the grey mist, and another 3 met us a few miles down the road after taking the commuter rail to Hamilton.  It rained lightly a few miles into the ride but stopped by the time we took a quick break at Russell’s Orchard.  After a little detour in Ipswich – bridges are still out due to the May rains – we headed out to Great Neck.  The beautiful views of Crane’s Beach and Plum Island were obscured by the mists, but it was cool and we weren’t bothered by any beach traffic.  We had a nice lunch in Ipswich at the Stone Soup café, and then headed back to Wenham.  However, another detour added 5 miles to the ride and we ended the ride in a downpour!  But people were still smiling as we quickly piled into our cars and drove off.

Saturday, July 8th
Dudley Road Ride
Mileage: 20
Terrain: Flat - Gently Rolling Hills
Destination: Lexington, Bedford, Billerica, Carlisle.
Meeting Place: Bedford end of the Minuteman Bike Path (opposite Bikeway Source)
Meeting Time: 9:15am Leave promptly at 9:30
Other Notes:  Ice cream stop at Great Brook Farm! Click here for map (5mb)

Maybe it is because it was a Saturday instead of the usual Sunday ride, but there were lots of new faces.  I love new faces!  I have lead this ride lots of times and, as nice as it is, I was getting a little bored with it.  So today, we went in reverse; saving Dudley Road until the end.   Riding the long flat stretch of Rt. 225 in the beginning gave everybody some time to warm up at little.  Once we turned on to Maple St, it was country roads for the rest of the ride.  And I was surprised at how few hills there are going in reverse.  Not that there were not any, but they seemed to be spread out.  We got to Great Brook Farm and I was relieved that it was open, even thought is was a little before 11.  I would hate to have to deal with a bunch of disappointed ice cream seeking bikers.  The second half of the ride was as pleasant as the first.  And for me it was all like a brand new ride.  Except for the great ice cream that is.

Sunday, May 14th June 18th
Hull Circumnavigation

Ride Leader: Bruce Lederer (617) 710-1832

Mileage: ~20

Terrain: Flat

Destination: Hull, Hull, Hull.......

Meeting Place: Beach Parking Lot on Nantasket Avenue (free). Click Mapquest directions

Meeting Time: 9:45am, Leave promptly at 10:00

Notes: Easy riding up one side and down the other with a side trip to Spinnaker Island

No Rain this time, but it was pretty hot for the 13 of us.  Always be cautious of Mapquest directions.  I'm not sure if anyone got there without at least a little confusion.  This is a case of maps working better than computers.  But we got started close to the advertised time and headed up along the beach.  Our friend Bernie had made lots of suggestions and we tried hard to follow them.  While Hull is on a narrow peninsula, I was able to find a big hill or 2 as we with the  on the water on our right

the whole way.  We found a maze to walk through in someone's yard, when to the fort and even snuck over to the very private Spinnaker Island condominium (it wasn't my idea) and left before anyone raised an eyebrow.  We had planned to continue the ride over to Cohasset for ice cream, but it was so hot that when we returned to the parking lot here we started, most people decided that they had had enough.  Too bad, because the road along the ocean is just breathtaking.  Next time, I'll modify the route to start in Cohasset. 

Sunday, June 4th, 2006
Long Lake Ice Cream Ride (map)
Ride Leader
: Bruce Lederer (617) 710-1832

Mileage: ~23.5

Riders: 12
Terrain: Flat & rolling hills
Destination: Concord, Acton, Littleton, Westford & Carlisle 
Meeting Place: Old North Bridge parking lot in Concord (directions)

Note:  If weather permits, you can take a swim before we head out to Kimball Farm in Westford for lunch and/or ice cream.

It was another one of the days when you don't know whether to call off the ride or not.  But I decided to go ahead.  Except that a couple of people called to say that they were going to be there, I did not expect any others.  So I was surprised to see the parking lot full and bikes everywhere.  But it was for a local bike-ride-kayak event.  Yet somehow, 12 of us found each other and off we went.  The weather was sub-optimal but the ride turned out to be one of the best in a long time.  The on and off drizzle and occasional light rain did not dampen anyone's spirits as we rolled over the hills of Concord, Carlisle, Acton, Littleton, Westford and Carlisle.

We waved to Long Lake as we rode past.  No need to stop at the beach when it is raining.  Soon we were at Kimball's were we enjoy their good food, ice cream and hot drinks!

After lunch, it was back to Concord with brightening skies and lots of down hills.  What more could you ask for?

Sunday, May 7th, 2006
Horn Pond Loop

Mileage: ~20

Riders: 38
Terrain: Flat, Rolling Hills and One Big Mother hill (that a lot of people walk up)
Destination: Arlington, Winchester, Woburn
Meeting Place:
Carberrys Bakery

Meeting Time: 9:45am Leave promptly at 10:00

Other Notes:  Don't worry too much about the hill.  It's a very pretty ride.  We always take a break at the top.

Though the picture does not show it, this was a big ride.  By

my count, we had 38 at the start.  But this was not ordinary group.  They took my words to heart when I said that if it was too slow, people could go off on their own at their own pace.  By the time we reached Horn Pond, I could already see a group on the opposite bank.  And as best I can figure, there were, at one time, four groups.  The map was just a guideline and I now know that there as a lot of improvisation.   One group took a little know bike path off of East St. and people really liked it.  I took my group through the mansion filled neighborhood along Solomon Pierce Rd and through the wooded dirt part of Ridge Street in Lexington.   When I later talked to people, it seemed like everybody had a great time.  That's what's important.  Good riding, friendly people, and lots of fun.  Thanks to Tom, for leading a group, to John for giving new riders some great pointers and to Jon for help sweeping my group.

Sunday, April 16,  2006 (Easter)
Easter on The Charles
Riders: 23
Mileage:  21 
Terrain: Mostly Flat
Destination:  Arlington, Cambridge, Boston


Year 6 of this annual Easter ride gave us a gorgeous morning.  Bright sun with the wind in our backs.  The glass path in Denahey Park was shimmering as we found our way to Garden St. and into Harvard Square.  From there we made our way down the Charles River on the bike path amazed at how all the trees were suddenly in bloom.   With Easter and Patriots day back to back, we altered the normal route and left the river path at the Mass. Ave bridge so we could ride down Boylston St. and through the Boston Marathon finish line.  What a thrill!  After a short break at a very popular local Starbucks, we headed off for our traditional visit with Arthur Fiedler and, as usual, took the group picture.  After the photo, it was back to Arlington Heights with several people setting a fast pace (to make holiday commitments) and the rest of us setting a more leisurely pace.

Thanks to Jack and Billy for taking the lead and Bob for spending much of the ride being sweep.

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