Monday, January 14, 2019

Hiking loop through Wright Woods - January 9, 2019

Wednesday, 9 January 2019 - Hiking loop through Wright Woods
Hike Leader:  Jack Mroczkowski
~4 miles, 10:00 am start from "588" Sudbury Road, Concord, MA

Hikers:  Jack, Barry Kaditz, Brett Serkez, Don Mannes, Greg Stathis, Ilkka Suvanto, Joan Laxson, Janet Miller, Margie Lee, Marie Keutmann, Patrick Ward, Richard Fortier, Rick Carlson, Robyn Maislin, Rochelle Holman, Roy Westerberg, Susan Sabin, Tony Lee, and William Feiring.

In spite of the early morning drizzle, by the time the group started trekking the rain had ceased. Our meanderings through an eclectic variety of scenery were punctuated by several lecture stops.  At one point, Joan jumped up on a bench overlooking the Sudbury River to give an interesting perspective on Thoreau - apparently, he did not endear himself to everyone.  Later, at a picturesque overlook onto Fairhaven Bay, Marie provided another bit of more recent history on Nat Marden who lived in a mansion (now torn down) above the boat house.

Almost everyone climbed Fairhaven Hill and peeked at part of the splendid modern mansion that sits on top.  Amongst the amenities is a private ice skating rink equipped with collision barriers, and sound and light systems.

Most of the group went to Verrill Farm afterwards to enjoy lunch.  Thanks to Janet for sweeping.

Report by Jack Mroczkowski.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Fourth Annual Walden Pond hike - January 2, 2018


Wednesday, 2 January 2019 - Fourth Annual Walden Pond hike

Hike Co-leaders:  Judith McMichael & Janet Miller
~4.5 miles, 10:00 am start from The Food Project parking lot, Lincoln, MA

Hikers:  Judith, Janet, Barry Kaditz, David Wean, Don Mannes, Gerry Sheetoo, Greg Stathis, Helen Greitzer, Ilkka Suvanto, Jack Mroczkowski, Julie Dodd, Joan Laxson, Margie Lee, Marie Keutmann, Mike Hanauer, Nancy Smith, Patrick Ward, Richard Vignoni, Rochelle Holman, Roy Westerberg (a.k.a. Santa), Susan Broome, Susan Sabin, Tony Lee, and first-timers Susan Yohalem and Tim Dodd

What a splendid day!  The air was crisp and cool, we had no wind, and the sun was shining bright.  Our very social group of twenty-five had a lovely time exploring Walden Pond and the surrounding area, including the beaver pond at Heywood Meadow, and a very special maple tree which somehow survives despite much of its heartwood being exposed to the elements and its extreme twisted shape.  Other features of the hike were the Thoreau cabin site, Goose Pond, and the view of Mt. Wachusett from atop Pine Hill.

Unfortunately, Janet had to drop out early to attend a previously scheduled meeting.  Helen and Nancy also decided to cut their hikes short and joined her as they made their way back to the Walden Pond parking lot, taking a walk on the beach as they returned.  Nancy and Helen had time to take in the replica of Thoreau’s cabin and the Walden Pond visitor center.

Special thanks to Joan for pointing out the survivor tree to the group, and to Janet for marking the Pine Hill portion of the hike with very stylish wooden arrows which she placed prior to the hike start.  Thirteen of us enjoyed post-hike lunch in the greenhouse at Verrill Farm.

Report by Judith McMichael and Janet Miller.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Too Cool for School - December 26, 2018


Wednesday, 26 December 2018, Too Cool for School

Riders (8):  Jack, Butch Pemstein, Clyde Kessel, David Fay, Gerry Sheetoo, Hugh Folsom, Ray Komow, and Selig Saltzman.

The day started out cold, in the teens, and I had my usual worries -  "Do I have enough layers?  Will I freeze to death?" - as I rode to the start.  But by the time I arrived, I had warmed up enough to dispel fears of hypothermia.

I was surprised to see Hugh Folsom whom I used to ride with on NEBC Saturday rides, many years ago.

Butch once again volunteered to sweep, but with such a small group we mostly stayed together.  Ray was the only arrow early in the ride (and he did a fine job), but we stayed together after that.

Traffic was light, given the holiday.  Indoor plumbing was in short supply, since most of our usual haunts are closed for the winter, so our rest stops were mostly al fresco.  As promised, we traversed four School Streets, though one was actually a School Way.

Ken's Deli had been suggested for the lunch stop - not sure if anyone went there.

Report by Jack Donohue.

At the start before Clyde arrived

Rest stop with Clyde

Monday, December 24, 2018

Ride from Burchard Park - December 19, 2018


Wednesday, 19 December 2018, Ride from Burchard Park
Ride Leader:  Barry Nelson
36 miles, 10:00 am start from Burchard Park, Weston, MA

Riders (10): Barry, Clyde Kessel, David Fay, Frank Hubbard, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Richard Vignoni, Robin Frain, Selig Saltzman, and Wing Chow.

The group stayed mostly together until the coffee stop at Fern's.  Our sweep, Richard, had light duty until then.  Afterwards, he went above and beyond the call of duty when one of the riders was so tired, that he was unable to finish.  Richard rode to the finish, drove back to the rider, picked up him and his bicycle in his car, and brought him to the finish.  Thanks, Richard!

Gene, Gerry, Selig, and Barry enjoyed lunch at Dumpling Daughter after the ride.

Report by Barry Nelson.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Ride, Hike & Hanukkah Party - December 12, 2018


Wednesday, 12 December 2018, Ride, Hike & Hanukkah Party
Ride Leader:  Rich Taylor
Hike Leader:  Marie Keutmann
Party Hosts:  Marie Keutmann, Richard Vignoni and Barbara Jacobs
31 miles, 10:30 am ride start from 68 Birchwood Lane, Lincoln, MA
~4 miles, 11:00 am hike start from 68 Birchwood Lane, Lincoln, MA

Riders (11):  Rich, Barry Nelson, Bob Wolf, Butch Pemstein, David Fay, Everett Briggs, Frank Hubbard, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Selig Saltzman, and Wing Chow.
Hikers (23):  Marie & Zoe, Adena Schutzberg, Bob Anderson, Carol Anderson, Chris George, Ilkka Suvanto, Janet Miller, Judy Kanigel, Margie Lee, Marsha Westerberg, Mike Hanauer, Nancy Smith, Rich Mandel, Richard Fortier, Robyn Maislin, Roy Westerberg, Russ Keene, Sally Chapman, Sander Nydick, Steve Maislin, Ted Nyder, and Tony Lee.
Party-goers (15):  Ann Northup, Barbara Jacobs, Barbara Martin, Bob Wadsworth, Eli Post, Francie Sparks, Harriet Fell, Helen Greitzer, John Allen, Judith McMichael, Julie Dodd, Ken Hablow, Mike Counihan, Patrick Ward, and Richard Vignoni.

We had a route generously laid out and shared by Ken Hablow, who is currently recovering from knee replacement surgery.  The weather was crisp (OK, cold), below freezing, but wonderfully sunny, with a brisk breeze in our faces to start out, but at our backs on the way home.  Last week's Ace Mechanic, Gene Ho, suffered his own chain malfunction about two miles into the ride (across the pond from the party house).  Several riders pushed on because of the cold, while Everett and Wing went back to help with the repair.  Selig got some extra miles doing loops to keep warm.  After fifteen minutes we were back on the road and headed to the Acton fire station to lower our body weight.  Per plan, Bob had already cut out, as he continues his recovery, and ten of us forged ahead with the ride.

For a lot of people it was exciting because, although we traveled on familiar roads, it was opposite to the normal direction.  We picked up our average pace, returning on Hudson Road with a tailwind and a brief stop at the Sudbury Pool.  Everett facilitated our return by taking multiple consecutive arrow positions, allowing the rest of us to ride at our respective comfortable paces.  Comfortable that is, until we hit Sherman's Bridge, aka "the cobbles", where all our bikes were rattled beyond belief.

Butch was our able sweep for most of the route, except when I wound up behind him at the aforementioned bridge.  By then everyone could imagine the goodies that waited for us at the Hanukkah party at Marie's house and that incentive drove us to move quickly before all was eaten.  Not a chance of that!  Thanks to all for the post-ride feast!!

Report by Rich Taylor.

Marie and her dog, Zoe, led WW hikers on a trail skirting Farrar Pond. The weather was sunny and cold, perfect for walking.  We enjoyed some beautiful ice formations on the stream leading into the far end of the pond.

Report by Marie Keutmann.

While others were out walking or riding, Richard, Barbara Jacobs, and Helen were hard at work in the kitchen.  Barbara and Ted Nyder had arrived early with a turkey they had cooked on Tuesday.  They also brought two kugels, as well as dozens of potato and sweet potato latkes that they had made on Sunday with the assistance of Judi Burten.  Despite Judi’s huge contribution, she was unable to attend the party.

Helen, Barbara, and Richard made applesauce and Richard cooked another turkey.  Barbara orchestrated the tricky timing of using the oven for cooking, as well as reheating various dishes brought by WWs.  The many food contributions included appetizers, salads, side dishes, and desserts, and Roy once again brought an assortment of his home-brewed ale.  When the hikers returned, most of the food was distributed on various tables and ready to go.  The traditional Yankee Swap followed our delicious repast.

Thank you for the food contributions.  Thanks to all those who participated, to those who stayed behind and helped clean up, and, especially, to Barbara and Ted who, in addition to their many hours of cooking, were so helpful in the organization and orchestration of the food.

Lost and Found: Only two items were left behind and not claimed yet: A silver serving fork with a rose on the handle, for a pie or cake; and a Neutrogena sunscreen.

Report by Richard Vignoni & Marie Keutmann.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Bustin’ In - December 5, 2018


Wednesday, 5 December 2018, Bustin’ In
Ride Leader:  Roy Westerberg
29 miles, 10:00 am start from Stow Shopping Center, Stow, MA
Riders (7):  Roy, Butch Pemstein, David Fay, Gene Ho, Richard Vignoni, Selig Saltzman, and Wing Chow.

The day was surprisingly pleasant despite sub-freezing temperatures, thanks to full sunshine, no wind, and clean, dry roads.  Seven of us gathered at the start, well bundled against the cold, and after several minor delays we started out.  After just a few miles we made a couple of stops due to one bike’s mechanical problems.  Gene, our Ace Mechanic, worked on it and in a few minutes had it in a state of definite rideability, if not quite factory perfection, and we continued on our route.  One rider had gone on ahead and we did not see him again until he and we got back to the parking lot at about the same time.

The ride proceeded smoothly after that, although we were somewhat slow on the many uphills and we had a number of regrouping stops.  When we arrived back at the start, four of us went for lunch or beverages at three different restaurants, one to Dunkin Donuts, one to Emma’s, and two to Red Ginger.  So much for group solidarity.

Thanks to Richard for sweeping the entire ride, and to all the riders for being friendly, cheerful, and companionable.

Report by Roy Westerberg.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Desperate Wheelers - November 28, 2018


Wednesday, 28 November 2018, Desperate Wheelers
Ride Leader: Jack Donohue
35 miles, 10:00 am start from Bedford Depot, Bedford, MA

Riders (24): Jack, Arthur Teepe, Barry Nelson, Bill Widnall, Bob Wadsworth, Butch Pemstein, Clyde Kessel (joined en route), Dan Krechmer, David Fay, Dom Jorge, Doug Hobkirk, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Judith McMichael, Marc Baskin, Maria Noya, Patrick Ward, Ray Komow, Richard Vignoni, Rochelle Holman, Roy Westerberg, Selig Saltzman, Wing Chow, and first-timer Leslie Goldstein.

A few days ahead of the ride there was talk of flurries, but, as the day grew closer, the forecast improved and I was looking forward to a fine late fall day with temperatures in the 40s. The 40s materialized, but so did a pretty stiff and cold wind in our faces to start out. We could handle that as long as there was no precipitation - that came later. The initial flurries forecast proved to be spot on, though mostly a light rain - not really wiper-worthy, but enough to put a damper on things.

Nonetheless, we soldiered on and things went pretty smoothly, until Bill developed an odd mechanical problem: his freewheel started freewheeling in both directions. This is a rather large impediment to forward motion. I've had this problem before and immediately recognized the symptoms. What happens is the freewheel pawls are not engaging to make the wheel turn. Bill managed to get it to work as long as he kept pedaling all the time (poor man's fixed gear), so an Uber assist was not required.

We had an early rest stop in Carlisle center, since the planned one was around mile 20. The portajohn at Ferns had been retired for the season, so those in need availed themselves of the indoor restroom. Bill kindly gave the owner a $5 bill to cover us non-customers using the facilities.

The planned rest stop at Jack Walsh Field was a disappointment, since the portajohns had been removed, so we had to improvise. After a quick photo op, we were on our way.

Several folks bailed early, since they were getting cold or had to be somewhere else. A group went to the recommended lunch stop, Ken's NY Deli.

Thanks once again to Butch for sweeping. He is definitely my "main man" in this regard. Thanks also to Bill Widnall for shepherding back one of the riders who was having trouble keeping up with the pace of the group.

In keeping with the birthday theme of this ride (as mentioned in the ride announcement), it was Dom's birthday today. Happy Birthday, Dom!

Report by Jack Donohue.