Fun riding in a rarely ridden spot.

Hill and Dale - photo - Rob Vandermark

It felt very remote without being so.  Very quiet; a dozen cars we saw during two days of riding.  This ride was great.  John Lewis recommended the area.  Thanks!  Cool terrain.  Lots of deer in the day and night.  We saw more deer than people.  Memorable trees and trails.

Ride Overview

  • Purpose:  To escape the Boston snow and rain during the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Time-frame:  Two days and one night.  Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, 2014.
  • Total Distance:  45 miles.
  • Location:  Secret location in New England.
  • Elevation:  Zero feet.  The highest point was 188 feet.
  • Ride Type:  Intended:  Bikepacking.  Reality:  25 degree weather forced us into a hotel for the night.
  • Terrain:  Mixed:  About 50/50 pavement and dirt trails.  Very rideable on 33c cross tire.  Or even a road tire would have worked okay for me.
  • Climate:
    • Daytime Temperature:  Garmin said Saturday’s peak was 45 degrees on SAturday but it sure didn’t feel that warm.  Friday saw a 36 degree high.
    • Evening Temperature:  About 27 degrees.
    • Weather:  Sun and clouds both days.  No snow on the ground – unlike the Boston area.  Very windy, in large part because of the lack of tires; very exposed.

Highlight of the trip:  Lots of trails and dirt paths in a  very quiet spot with very few cars.

Most challenging aspects of the trip: Cold:  I was hoping to camp overnight but when it got down to 27 degrees, very dark, and windy, I just couldn’t hack camping out.  I was cold even while riding.  I clearly haven’t acclimated to the cooler temperatures yet.

For more information about this specific trip, check out these posts:

Thoughts for the Next Adventure

Repeat:  I’d love to ride in this area again in the summer or early fall.

Deer Ticks:  I learned a bit more about deer ticks; they still thrive at freezing temperatures.  I learned a few new tricks about how to avoid them.

Sleep:  Get more sleep before heading on an adventure.  I was tired!

Handlebar compression bag system:  Bar bags stink when you’re riding offroad; they rattle, move, destroy stuff, and more.  It’s long past due to create a compression system for the front end of the bike that integrates lighting, video, and GPS units.  It’s been on the list for nearly a year now.

Some Ratings

  • Overall – to what extent would I ride here again:  6.  It was great an I want to return in the warmer weather.  The challenge is simply that the riding area is very small with limited options for lots of miles.
  • Ride Location: 7.  Really interesting and unusual.  And very limited regarding multiday riding.
  • Ride Difficulty: 2:  It’d be difficult to find an easier mixed terrain ride.  I like this for a change!
  • Road:  8:  Great pavement.  No cars.  The few cars we saw were very nice, for the most part.  Narrow roads with no shoulders.
  • Offroad:  4.  Very easy offroad.  A cross bike would ride 99% of the trails.  A road bike could ride 75% of the trails very easily.  Regardless, I found the trails to be a lot of fun.  There just aren’t a lot of miles of trails.
  • Terrain:  6.  Definitely mixed terrain.  A good variety of terrain.  Very flat.  The only climbs are very short and fairly steep.
  • Towns:  5.  Only one, really.  Many food and supply places are closed for the season.  And they’ve never heard of a vegetarian before.
  • Weather:  3.  Definitely colder than I enjoy.  At least there was sun.

I’m already planning the next trip.

Atlantic Ocean - photo - Rob Vandermark


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