Monday, March 14, 2016

Weekend Riding

Cathy and I had the opportunity to take advantage of the wonderful spring weather this past weekend and get in some good solid riding. A nice, quick, 40 mile road ride Friday and then a fantastic, longer group road ride on Saturday out to Sterling MA. We got some good rolling terrain and some nice views through the orchards of Harvard and the hills west.

It was nice to be out on these roads, ones that we frequented in the past but have not ridden much if at all in the past couple of years, Amazing how much I've forgotten about what a truly spectacular area we have to road ride in the northwestern suburbs and beyond. Winding, narrow, tree lined back country roads abound and on the weekends there is little motor vehicle traffic. Certainly one thing that I miss when in VT is the variety of paved road. Don't get me wrong, I love gravel, but when conditions are poor, it's nice to have options.

Anyhow, it was a nice ride for sure and felt great to be back into the swing of the road ride thing. We are getting some good miles in on the The Bikeway Source Cannondale Bicycles Synapse disc bikes. Currently they have 28c Vittoria Zaffiro Pro semi-slick tires on them, which are great for spring pavement if at the cost of a little weight and rolling resistance, but can also handle gravel without much complaint.

Yesterday, Cathy and I decided to do separate rides, so she headed off with a friend for some MTB in the Burlington's Landlocked Forest on her new Cannondale Bicycles Habit 27.5 120mm travel bike. I'd swapped the stock 60mm stem out for a 90mm to make the bike handle a bit more traditionally and also cut the bars down a couple of inches, bringing them within an inch (still longer) of what the bars on her fat bike are, which are wider still than the bars on her Scalpel. It made a huge difference and she really enjoyed the bike, getting a chance to get a real feel for it.

I opted to go for a big MTB XC loop, heading through multiple areas to try and find some new trail areas near Russell Mill in Billerica. I was fatigued from the start but moved along out to Estabrook Woods, through Carlisle Conservation and into Great Brook State Park. From there I made my way to Russell Mill Pond Forest, and area I've not spent much time riding. After looping around looking for signs of the new trails to no avail, I hopped out to Rangeway Rd and searched from that end. I found the ones in the town forest and traced the way back to Russell Mill, through a neighborhood. The other trail network is in the state forest, which I need to explore from the south end I think. Eventually I made my way back to Great Brook and Estabrook and home, a broken man.

Anyhow, a great weekend of riding and some good hours in the training bank. Another big week for the team, which is hopefully going a long way toward getting us into shape for the upcoming spring classic gravel season.

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