The Quabbin: Now with 50% more hills!

Scully came to visit last weekend for what will hopefully be a regular fixture in the year: the big summer bike ride. It was great! Last year, we rode around Cayuga Lake with Andy. This year, we decided to ride around the Quabbin Reservoir, a route that I did solo in 2009. Here are a few notes about the ride:

  • It’s so much nicer riding with someone than by myself. It’s even better riding with a great friend!
  • MapMyRide isn’t so accurate. It said there would be about 3,500 feet of climbing. Actually, it was more like 5,300 feet. It was only off by 50%. That difference in climbing makes for an entirely different kind of ride.
  • I think I forgot about most of the hills from last time . . . including the first big climb on the ride: a long, 8% climb. A mile into it, I rounded a corner just to see the road kick up to it’s steepest slope. I might have sworn a little before putting my head down to finish it out. After 2009, I’m pretty sure I put that climb into a box labeled “pain” and shelved it away in the attic.
  • This wasn’t quite the same ride as last time. We followed much of the same route as the King’s Tour of the Quabbin century ride (minus the beginning and ending part to/from Rutland). Unlike my solo effort, we rode along Greenwich Road from Hardwick to Ware. It is a beautiful, mostly car-free road!
  • The ride along Hell Huddle Road from Gate 43 off Greenwich Road to the water is fine for road bikes and is worth the side trip.
  • People at general stores will fill your water bottles from the tap, even if they sell bottled water.
  • If your pockets are stuffed with lots of food, the banana you packed will get squished, but it will still be edible . . . and delicious.
  • I am a master at finding croissants while cycling.Avignon, Ithaca, Hardwick . . . I seem to be in the right place at the right time. In Hardwick, we rolled up onto a farmers’ market, and I bought a very delicious almond croissant.
  • If you say that “That’s the end of the hills!” you’d better be sure that (1) you’re at the top of the hill and (2) you don’t make a wrong turn and need to climb an additional 200 feet or so going the long way. Oops!
  • Scully can say more on the topic, but I’ll just say this: Don’t leave your insulin in a tree.

The day before the ride, Lisa, Scully, and I went into Boston to see some of the sights. Here are some of the photographs from when we played tourist and from the ride. Click on any for a larger version, or just start at the beginning and click through to see them all.

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2 Responses to The Quabbin: Now with 50% more hills!

  1. StephenS says:

    That photo of the two of you, riding and smiling (rolling along) is super. Looks like a great couple of days.

  2. scully says:

    You’re my DBFF!

    What a great time that was despite the hills.
    I maintain that I’m glad I didn’t know what I was getting myself into ahead of time or I probably wouldn’t have slept.
    :)

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