[personal profile] dmaze
Yesterday I again did the Quad Cycles ride. I seem to have this bad pattern going where I'll do a big ride or hit some other distraction, take a week or two off, and wind up almost starting from scratch, so yesterday's ride was "only" 63 miles and I was pretty wiped when we made it to Starbucks. (I think I'm still on track to hit the September centuries.) After speculatively eyeing the weather for most of the week, it did wind up being a beautfiul day, especially when you were moving, though I also discovered the joys of iced Gatorade when I got home. (Route map)

Leaving Bedford I figured I'd try going out with the fast group, particularly since they were going to do one of the normal routes. This lasted up until about the bridge between Bedford and Carlisle on 225, when I decided that I just couldn't sustain a 24 mph pace. But since I dropped out of the first group it meant that the faster end of the second group caught up to me in Concord. We took an alternate route up Strawberry Hill Road and the long way around through Great Brook Farm to eventually hit Carlisle from the east. Now that this group had gone the long way, though, everyone else was leaving almost immediately, so I gulped down my sandwich and followed the pack along the "modosaur" route through Great Brook Farm again. By around mile 45 I was starting to run a little low on steam and got dropped when we turned right on to Route 4.

Since the ride usually runs the same route this still didn't bug me, I could pretty easily find my way back to civilization. At the North Road split, though, a couple of riders were stopped by the side of the road and called out, "David! this way!" We went down Springs Road in Bedford past the VA hospital (which had gotten mentioned earlier but I totally failed to physically place), then down 62 towards Concord but turned left to do the usual orbit past Hanscom. The big hill just inside 128 was a killer again but found the group, and we headed back towards Starbucks. ("...Starbucks...Starbucks...Starbucks...")

The post-ride conversation wound up discussing shipping cases for bikes (like this one). If you don't mind taking off your wheels, handlebars, and derailleurs, and spending the shipping cost (do you trust airline baggage handlers with your bike?) it can be a good way to get your bike to where you will be. Or, you could rent a bike, and the place in Maui rented a really nice bike, but the place in North Carolina rented something merely acceptable built around Shimano Tiagra and 105 parts (thanks). There was also some discussion around bike fittings, which sounded expensive ($250 a pop) but probably worthwhile if you really are going to be spending a long time sitting on your bike and don't want it to hurt.
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