Sunday, September 30, 2007

Ashland to Concord

Sunday Ride, Which One?

So Sunday I had a choice:

  • I could either do the Naragansett Bay Wheelmen's 75 ride from Whitman, MA to Mt. Wachusett and back, or...
  • I could do a 45 mile ride from Ashland to Concord and back.
The Cycling Site

I like the NBW club rides, however the longer rides require such a large time commitment. I need to balance my biking time with family time.

I had subscribed to a local biking site, The Cycling Site, that alerts you to upcoming local, sometimes impromptu, rides. A rider from the Phat Tuesday ride group, Bill Snapper, is putting this site together in his spare time. His vision is for it to become a "Social Networking" site for cyclists. You join the site and you can opt-in to email notifications about rides that are posted.

That is how I learned about the 45 mile Sunday ride. I opted to go on this ride because it would get me back home by early afternoon. I arrived at the meeting place early, as I usually like to do, and nobody was there. Eventually Bill and a couple of other rides showed up. These was only going to be 4 of us on this ride (as opposed to the probable 100+ on the NBW ride). At 10:00 we headed off to Concord.

Riding Blind...

This was one of the few times where I was with a group of riders without:

  • A map
  • Painted Arrows, or
  • The route preprogrammed into my GPS.

I guess I tend to over prepare and it is good to step outside ones comfort zone once in a while.

Scott on the left, Bill on the right. At an unscheduled bathroom stop on the way to Concord.


Downtown Concord was interesting to ride into. It was buzzing with activity. Everywhere you looked there was people going from shop to shop and tons of bikers. I was told that normally there is a lot more bikers buzzing around the center of Concord as there is a strong bike culture up there. We even came upon a charity bike ride (I forget the name of it).

Me in Concord. What's that parked behind me?

BMW Vixen Motor Home?

By far the oddest site was the BMW branded motorhome we came upon. After some research I discovered that it was a (BMW?) Vixen TD. I think the only reason why it had a BMW badge was the fact that the manufacturer used a BMW turbo diesel engine in this model. Interesting story behind this vehicle. Odd that it has a BMW Roundel.

Interesting looking Motor Home.

Is that a BMW Roundel on it?

There's a Roundel on the back also!?!

Headed Back

Passing some farms on the way back.

The ride back was a little more leisurely than the ride to Concord. Most of the roads along the entire route were back roads and free of traffic. That's difficult to do when Framingham is one of the towns you have to pass through and you have to cross Route 9 and Route 20 on top of that.

It was a good ride and it was nice to make some more connections into the biking community. I see a lot of potential with Bill's Cycling Site.