Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Marty's Birthday Metric


It has taken a while to get this post up. Mostly because I was hungover all the way to Monday morning from drinking too many Mudslides too quickly on Saturday night.

My Birthday Ride

Last Minute PrepMy friend Mike had come up for my 40th Birthday Party. I told him for a while that I wanted to do a metric on or near my birthday (Actual Day: June 30th) with a few friends. He was the only one to take me up on it.

062808_0855.jpgWe futzed around and eventually headed out around ~8:30. When we hit downtown Franklin we came across a couple of other riders. We rode behind them for about a mile before parting ways.

Rhode Island

First StopFaux HawkShortly after crossing over into Rhode Island, we stopped for refills at a gas station on the corner of Rt 5 and Rt 102 in Slatersville, RI.

Harrisville, RI

Quick RefillThe town of Harrisville, RI is pretty much the last bit of civilization in Northwestern RI. We stopped and refilled our bottles here even though we had just done that a short while earlier. The road ahead goes through the Buck Hill Management Area and the Douglas State Forest. So we would not be seeing another convenience store for approximately 25 miles.

Headed for the Hills...

062808_1053.jpgWe were taking it a bit easy on Wallum Lake Road/Rt. 100 because we knew we had a climb coming up. While we were taking it easy, a couple of other riders came up from behind us. We rode their wheel for a bit as they really weren't going that much faster than us.

CT SignThey continued north on Wallum Lake Rd. while we took the left for the climb up Buck Hill. The climb up Buck Hill wasn't as tough as I remembered. I had only done it once before. We were just pedaling along then, BAM, there was the fire tower. I took a picture, then the camera phone lost it. From hear on out, my camera phone was very uncooperative.

We then had a very quick descent into a shallow valley. Valley. The word valley should tell you that we had an immediate climb after that fun descent. Once we topped that peak it was all downhill into Connecticut.

Into and Out of Connecticut...

Yeah, it was pretty cool hitting our 3rd state in our ride out of Franklin, MA. Even though it was only a tiny portion of the North-Easternmost Corner of Connecticut. We started to make the climb back into Massachusetts along East Thompson road. There are stone road markers on this road that seems to tell me that is was the main route from Boston to Hartford back in the day. How far back, I could not tell you. It was just odd seeing a stone marker on the side of a desolate, isolated road that says "Hartford 52 Miles." Shortly after that stone marker, there was a stone pillar indicating where the State Border is.

it was a long, steady climb back into Massachusetts and it was starting to take it's toll on my friend Mike. His Allez is a Triple, and I think he falls back on his "Granny Gear" too much.

East Douglas

East Douglas is really the only part of Rt 16 on this side of Rt 146 that resembles a downtown. We stopped at the Little Coffee Bean bagel cafe and ate. We each had a Bagel-egg-cheese-breakfast-meat sandwich and I had a Vanilla Iced Coffee. I sucked down that bagel sandwich like it was made of air. The Iced Coffee was yummy too.

The Final Stretch

MikeOnce we got past Uxbridge, I took us off Rt 16 onto Henry St. It runs parallel to Rt 16, is shady, and we didn't see a single car on it. Mike was starting to run out of energy at this point. Not quite a 'bonk', but he was out of gas. I know the feeling. It's that feeling at the end of a very long ride where you swear you bike weighs 40-50 lbs. We were less than 15 miles from home at that point and he pressed on.

Overall it was a good ride. I have to head out west more often. I just need to find the time...