Monday, September 26, 2022

ABS (Acton, Boxboro, Stow) ride - September 21, 2022


Wednesday, 21 September 2022, ABS (Acton, Boxboro, Stow) ride

Ride Leader:  Ken Hablow

37 miles, 10:00 am start from Wayland, MA

Riders - 37 mi - (18):  Ken, Annemarie Altman, Bill Umphrey, Bob Wolf, Curt Dudley-Marling, Dale Ferguson, David Cooper, Dom Jorge,  Frank Aronson, Gary Williams, Gene Ho, John Aslanian, John Ho, Rick Lawrence, Rochelle Holman, Sue Amsel, Wing Chow, and first-timer Bill Furman.

Present at ride start:  Helen Greitzer.

On the last day of summer, and the International Day of Peace (who knew?) fifteen of us started out on a 37-mile rolling ride, mostly on quiet back roads through Concord, Acton Stow, and touching into Boxboro.  We met Curt and David in West Concord, and Rick in South Acton, to make a group of eighteen.

I offered a faster group to try to split the riders, but everyone was more comfortable staying together.  Several of the faster riders went ahead, but always stopped to arrow for the rest of us.  We pretty much stayed together, mostly within eyesight of the leader.  We had two planned “personal hygiene” stops - our favorite fire station in South Acton and the tennis courts on Elm Street in West Acton.  It was interesting to see how many times cars stopped at major intersections to let our whole group go through.

Riding back through Concord, several WWs, who either rode to the start or met us en route, left the group to head home.  Four riders stopped at the Twisted Tree CafĂ© in Lincoln center for lunch.  The rest of us took a scenic route back along Old Sudbury Road in Lincoln, past the infamous Ponyhenge, the extensive farm fields of Drumlin Farm, and a flock of free-range turkeys being fattened up for Thanksgiving at Codman Farm.

The day was enjoyable, cloudy with temperatures in the mid-50s.  We even had a Kaz sighting at the top of Strawberry Hill Road.  Thanks to Gene for sweeping and to all those who arrowed.

It was nice seeing Helen at the ride start.

Report by Ken Hablow.

Monday, September 19, 2022

Cape Ann Loop rides - September 14, 2022


Wednesday, 14 September 2022, Cape Ann Loop rides

Ride Leaders:  John Aslanian & Clyde Kessel

67 miles, 9:30 am start from Wenham, MA

32 miles, 10:00 am start from Gloucester, MA

Riders - 67 mi - (8):  John, Frank Aronson, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Marie Keutmann, Richard Vignoni, Sue Amsel, and first-timer Frank Scibilia.

Riders - 32 mi - (7):  Clyde, Betsy Harper, Dale Ferguson, Gary Williams, Ken Weber, Melissa Norton, and Steve Venizelos.

Present at ride start:  Helen Greitzer.

The Perfect Storm, the movie, is based on one of the most horrific weather days in the history of the Gloucester fishing community.  A fishing boat set out on that day, never to return to port.

Fortunately, today was the "Perfect Cycling Day!”  Eight strong riders set out from Gordon College, on a beautiful day, to enjoy one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world.  We stopped at different coastal spots to take in the views of the Boston skyline, the Gloucester and Rockport coastlines, and all of the lighthouses along the way.  What made the coastal views so special was the way the sunlight glistens off the water this time of year.

After an enjoyable lunch at Willows Rest, we rode inland, past pastures, farms, and an Equestrian Center, on perfectly paved roads as we made our way back to Gordon College.  Eight riders, with big smiles on our faces, returned safely after a wonderful day on our bikes!

I would like to thank Helen Greitzer for her years of dedication and help while being the coordinator of the Wednesday Wheelers.  Richard Vignoni and I were remembering the days when you had to contact Helen, far in advance, to request a spot on the WW ride schedule - to share a favorite local area that you wanted other WWs to experience.  I have experienced so many beautiful places and made many friends and memories over the years - that wouldn't have happened if this club didn't exist.

I would like to thank Richard, Frank, and Sue for helping with navigation, and Richard for pointing out interesting spots along the way, and Gene for sweeping.

Report by John Aslanian.

Yes, it was a fabulous day for cycling along the coast of Gloucester and Rockport.  The group was small and the leader could see the sweep nearly all the time, so we only needed a few arrows for the whole route.

We were treated to views of the ocean and more beaches than I could count.  When we saw the wind turbine with only 2 blades, Gary explained to us that the third blade had fallen off.  The turbine is so old that a replacement blade is no longer available.

The route was really a twisty little maze of passages (all different) which this leader has never led before.  Therefore, we occasionally twisted when we should have turned, and turned when we should have twisted.  It pretty much balanced out in the end.  However, we did accidentally miss most of the Eastern Point section of Gloucester (which is really the southern point).  'Twas a pity, but we did get to lunch two miles early as a result.  Thanks to Gary for calling out some of the turns - just in time so the leader didn’t miss them.

Six of us had a nice lunch together, in spite of all the hornets.

Thanks to Dale for sweeping, as well as to the arrows which we occasionally needed.

Report by Clyde Kessel.

Monday, September 12, 2022

Drifting through Westport - September 7, 2022


Wednesday, 7 September 2022, Drifting through Westport

Ride Leader:  Susan Sabin

33 miles, 10:00 am start from Westport, MA

Riders (16):  Susan, Annemarie Altman, Don Buchholtz, Don Mannes, Elsa Lawrence, Frank Aronson, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Joe Tavilla, Marie Keutmann, Melissa Norton, Richard Vignoni, Sue Amstel,  Susan Broome, Tom Lawrence, and first-timer Mark Gabrenya.

What a pleasure to have some old and new wheelers join us.  Welcome back to Melissa Norton and Joe Tavilla, and a big hello to first-time rider Mark Gabrenya.

The ride lived up to its description - very rural, quite flat, few gasoline vehicles (but not as few as I had led riders to expect), plus good pavement and great views.  We picnicked at a very civilized pavilion next to a beach, just on the far side of the bridge outside of South Dartmouth.  Unfortunately, a bunch of busy bees joined us.

This was almost half way, and by majority opinion, the best was yet to come - more views, more farms, glimpses of rivers, bay, and, instead of the mega mansions of metrowest, a good sprinklIng of very modest homes, some of them appearing to be handmade log cabins.  Much of the way we cycled in a very light mist, with the sky darkening in one direction and lightening in another.  But no real rain ever fell.  We pretty much stayed together, with enough gaps for safety.  No incidents.  A happy group returned to Drift Road at mile 33.5.

Thanks to Elsa for sweeping.

Report by Susan Sabin.

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Too Cool for School Ride - August 31, 2022


Wednesday, 31 August 2022, Too Cool for School

Ride Leader:  Jack Donohue

31 miles, 10:00 am start from Bedford, MA

Riders (15):  Jack, Barry Nelson, Bernie Mango, Betty Salzberg, Bill Widnall, Curt Dudley-Marling, Gary Williams, Gerry Sheetoo, Hugh Folsom, Joan Fenster, Linda Nelson, Renee Rees, Sue Amsel, Ted Finch, and first-timer Gary Braver.

We had yet another perfect day for cycling.  In fact, it was even more perfect (grammar police?) than the day before, since the temperature was a bit lower and the dreaded humidity was down.  Nonetheless, I approached the ride with fear and trepidation since all the attendees had declared their average speed and it was faster than mine.  No matter, anyone in front of me was on their own and, as leader, I just had to make sure no one was abandoned and got lost.

My other concern was navigation.  Full disclosure:  I have no sense of direction.  Without my GPS I am lost, literally.  I pretty much never leave the house without my trusty RideWithGPS phone app.  I hadn't ridden the route since last year and I had a really sketchy idea of where it went.

What would happen if the leader got lost?  In days of old, all would be lost since no one but the leader knew the route.  Nowadays, with most riders having GPS, you can probably muddle through with crowdsourcing.

Everything was going just ducky, navigation-wise, when we encountered a detour in West Concord.  My GPS and I do just fine as long as we follow the prescribed route.  Stray off the little blue line and I might as well be in darkest Africa.  The RideWithGPS app has a new feature to reroute you when you stray off course, but I'd never used it and didn't want to try mid-ride.  Fortunately, not everyone is as directionally challenged as I am, and someone in the group found our way back to Laws Brook Road.

We passed the four advertised School Streets, though one was in fact a School Way.  Close enough.

Report by Jack Donohue.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Seabrook to Portsmouth - August 24, 2022


Wednesday, 24 August 2022, Seabrook to Portsmouth

Ride Leader:  Jimmy White

38 miles, 10:00 am start from Seabrook, NH

Riders (14):  Jimmy, Adam Walpert, Chris Schuch, Francie Sparks, Frank Aronson, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Harriet Fell, Ken Weber, Renee Rees, Selig Saltzman, Sue Amsel, Susan Broome, and Susan Sabin.

The day was gloomy, with a dark overcast, as we began our ride, but there was a clear view of the Seabrook Nuclear Powerplant.  Hampton Beach, which we reached within the first mile, was not too crowded as a result of the weather, but the clouds quickly dissipated and the sun came out for the remainder of the day.  Unfortunately, the sweep soon had a flat tire and we decided to ditch him and Chris, as the route to Portsmouth was straightforward with no turns and it was too hot to wait in the sun.  We were reunited at Rye Harbor State Park and there were no further problems for the remainder of the ride.

To my surprise, few people were interested in the gorgeous botanical gardens in Portsmouth.  We agreed to spend twenty minutes in downtown Portsmouth, where we snacked, and it was agreed to have a post-ride lunch in Seabrook.

The return was a pleasant inland route that had little traffic, and I allowed a large gap to develop on a five-mile straightaway to let some faster riders have a fun sprint.  For lunch, some people went to Markey's, and six of us ate at the Tuna Striker Pub, a very elegant eatery which none of us had been to previously (but always with a wait to be seated).

A cross/ocean breeze for most of the day made for a near-perfect cycling Wednesday.   Thanks to Gene and Susan Broome for sweeping.

Report by Jimmy White.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Through the Woods (along the bay) and Over the River - Blue Hills and Neponset - August 10. 2022


Wednesday, 10 August 2022, Through the Woods (along the bay) and Over the River - Blue Hills and Neponset

Ride Leaders:  David Wean & Ron Beland

25 or 27 miles, 10:00 am start from Canton, MA

Riders - (18):  David, Ron, Adam Walpert, Bruce Barnett, Butch Pemstein, Cynthia Zabin, Emily Wean, Frank Aronson, Gary Williams, Gene Ho, Gerry Sheetoo, Herb Kavet, Julia Zhogina, Ken Weber, Maya Mosyak, Veronica Vedensky, and first-timers, Christine Talbot and Susan Amsel.

We had a nice romp through Milton, Quincy, Dorchester, Mattapan, Milton (again), and Canton.  We warmed up with a climb to the not-terribly-impressive-today overlook on Chickatawbut Road, then sped down the back side into Quincy.  Along that stretch one rider had an irremediable mechanical issue, and Ron stayed with them until they arranged transportation back to the ride start.  Butch volunteered to be the interim sweep, and we rode through Quincy, cruised Wollaston Beach, stopping at Marina Bay for a water view and restroom break, where we were rejoined by Ron who resumed his sweeply duties.

We crossed to Dorchester on the Neponset Bridge walkway and viewed the estuary from the paths around Pope John Paul II Park.  The Neponset Trail took us back along the "high speed trolley" line to Mattapan Square, from which we found our way back to the Blue Hills Reservation.

Seven of the riders chose to climb the access road to the top of Great Blue (0.9 miles, 400 feet of climbing), and eight of the group enjoyed a tasty lunch on the patio at Trillium Brewery, a mile and a half from the ride start/finish.

Ride report by David Wean.

Monday, August 8, 2022

August 3, 2022 - Circle the City & The Emerald Necklace -


Wednesday, 3 August 2022, Circle the City & The Emerald Necklace

Ride Leader:  Gary Williams

34 miles, 10:00 am start from South Boston, MA

Riders (7) Gary, Adam Walpert, Don Buchholtz, Everett Briggs, Gene Ho, Robin Frain, and Rochelle Holman.

Our petite group mustered at Castle Island for a unique tour of the Seaport, the North End, Charlestown (Bunker Hill and the USS Constitution), Back Bay, the Fenway, Jamaica Plain, the Arnold Arboretum, Franklin Park, Mattapan, the Neponset River Trail, Dorchester, UMASS/JFK, and South Boston.  We had only one incident, when a bus cut between riders at the back of the line and we lost Gene - he fell victim to the whims of RWGPS and made an early turn ahead of the group (we met up with him again later).  The route featured a mixture of paved trails, dedicated bike lanes, and city streets.  Notwithstanding the traffic, everyone made it back to Castle Island, without further incident, on a warm summer day.

Ride report by Gary Williams.