Rides and adventures

Adventure: an unregretted experience that elicits no desire of repetition.

Back in the saddle: an 117 miler

The ride Let’s talk about goslings. Adorable, but useless. They’re fluffy, cute, and lacking in survival skills. If you get too close to them, they’ll imprint on you and start following you away from their mother and siblings. Useless. Baby turkeys (called poults1), on the other hand, are the perfect image of Darwinian fitness. I spotted a hen with her children in the road in front of me, and before I could even finish thinking “baby turkeys!

A 200k to Acushnet

The ride After last weekend’s ride, I was excited about Southern Massachusetts. I wanted to get back to narrow, stone wall lined roads, canopied by trees. I set out this Saturday on a ride to take me back while also upping my mileage. I rode the first sixty miles without taking a break. I made good time, averaging 15 mph. I rode past the Blue Hills Reservation, the skyline trail, a Ferris wheel by the side of the road, and on into the small backroads I wanted to see.

Providence to Cambridge (Memorial Day 4/4)

The ride Monday, I got up early and left Providence. A neighborhood cat was extremely curious about me and my bike. It kept me company while I was packing and saw me off when I left. I had thought that I might push it a little bit going up. My knees let me know very quickly that no, I would not. Again, cars were wonderfully sweet. I saw folks out and about on walks for Memorial Day.

Sandwich to Providence (Memorial Day 3/4)

The ride On Sunday, we retraced our steps going back to Providence. We crossed the scary bridge! We rode alongside the canal trail, where we saw a train cross the Cape Cod Canal Railroad Bridge. We made it back to Wareham, where we stopped at the Riverside Cafe. As we pulled up, a couple on a tandem was pulling out. They told us, “the food here is great.” It was.

Providence to Sandwich (Memorial Day 2/4)

The ride Saturday morning, my sister and I headed out of Providence. We rode on small New England roads. Lush, green trees canopied the roads, and small stone walls stood on each side. We took our time, riding slowly. Our conversation focused on our surroundings as we pointed out fields and houses that we found beautiful. As we worked our way West across Massachusetts, bodies of water began to complement the greenery by the roads.

Cambridge to Providence (Memorial Day 1/4)

The ride Last Friday afternoon, I kicked off a four-day Memorial Day weekend trip by riding down to Providence, RI. I left in the mid-afternoon. It was hot, windy, and the air was full of pollen. I dragged a new trailer filled with camping gear that slowed me to a crawl. Fifteen miles into the ride, I alternated between pulling the trailer uphill and stopping in Wellesley’s heavy traffic. I began to wonder what I had signed myself up for.

A Hundred-Miler to Rhode Island

The ride I have three rules on these rides. In order of priority: Don’t die. Avoid grievous bodily injury. Finish the ride. The first two rules carry a clear imperative: don’t get hit by cars. To avoid getting hit by cars, the people driving them have to see me and notice me. To that end, I use a bright daytime-visible front light, a flashing rear light, reflective ankle straps, a safety vest, and as a crowning touch, I wear a neon yellow helmet.

A Hundred-Miler to New Hampshire

The ride When I lived in Seattle, we’d finally have a glorious sunny day after a month of non-stop drizzle. Everyone would pour outdoors, smiling, outgoing, and friendly. Yesterday felt like that kind of day. Cars stopped for me. Two amiable police officers shepherded me through a closed road and made sure that the road workers didn’t bury me in asphalt. The other cyclists on the road waved and made small talk.

Minuteman, Ayer, Bolton, and Sudbury

The ride People ask me, “what do you think about when you’re on these rides?”. My response is, “Not much. I think about logistics, like when’s the next time I need to eat. I think about hydration. I try not to get killed by cars.” If I’m comfortable with the person, I might add that when rides are going well, I sing. Invariably, the question follows, “What do you sing?”. I shy away from answering with a, “You know, whatever’s in my head at the moment.

Minuteman, Westford, and Nashoba

The ride Looking for a confidence boost after the previous week’s challenging ride, I picked a straightforward route. I went out on the Minuteman rail trail, rode a big loop (getting into the countryside a little bit), then came back the same way. The ride was uneventful, just as I had hoped. The usual thrill hit me when I reached the end of the Minuteman, rode out a couple of miles, took a left, and found myself on a foreign street.